Career in Microbiology 

Career in Microbiology 

Career in Microbiology 

How do I make a career in Microbiology?

Molecular biology is the application of biological activities at a molecular level; Microbiology is the study of microorganisms. They are similar topics and there are many cross-overs between the two. Both are fully developed branches of biology and the ongoing advancement in these two areas has resulted in many new applications across the field of Biology.

What qualifications do I need?

An honours degree in either Microbiology or a related, (and relevant,) subject is required. Relevant degrees include the following:

  • Applied biology
  • Biological sciences
  • Biology (but specialising in microbiology)
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Microbial sciences
  • Molecular biology

Should you choose a course in biological sciences or applied biology, you will have experience in a wide-ranging background before you need to make a definitive choice about moving into a specialist area.

Skills Required

You will need to have the following:

  • Excellent oral and written communication
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Good levels of numeracy
  • Confidence and a sympathetic manner when dealing with patients
  • IT skills and an accurate and methodical work ethic
  • The ability to show leadership

Employers will generally expect for you to be experienced in good laboratory practice (GLP).

Where could I work?

The role of a microbiologist is relevant in a number of settings, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Agriculture
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Biotechnology
  • The environment

By understanding how microbes affect things, a microbiologist’s aim is to solve a wide range of problems affecting health, the environment, climate, food and agriculture, including the prevention, diagnosis and control of infections and disease. There is also a role to ensure that food is safe, a need to understand the role microbes play in climate change, and how to develop green technologies.

What would my responsibilities be?

Your responsibilities could vary quite widely depending on which area you specialize in. Microbiological healthcare scientists will be involved in the prevention, diagnosing of, and controlling the spread of infections, but those who work in manufacturing could be involved in quality control and checking for signs of contamination.

In general, a ‘normal’ working day could include:

  • Monitoring and identifying microorganisms;
  • Tracking microorganisms in differing environments
  • Using a variety of methods to test samples
  • Developing new techniques, products and processes and developing methods to prevent the spread of disease
  • Developing and registering new medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tests and pharmaceutical products
  • Evaluating new and developing products in clinical trials
  • Collecting samples from a range of environments
  • Developing products such as enzymes, vitamins, hormones and antimicrobials
  • Growing microbial cultures
  • Using specialist software to undertake studies
  • Managing and overseeing laboratory work

– Sujeet Singh

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