Career in Microbiology – Job Opportunities, Courses & Top Colleges

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What is microbiology and how it is important?

Microbiology is all about the detailed study of small living organisms that can’t be even seen with naked eye. Bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and all cellular agents like viruses, these all are included in the category of microorganisms. Microbiology is all about in-depth analysis of structure, genetics, taxonomy, ecology, pathogenicity, and physiology of microorganisms.

microbiology career scope salary courses

Now the question arises why microbiology is important for us and how it affects everyday’s life? Actually, with the advancement in science and research fields, importance of Microbiology is widespread. It is the misconception that all microorganisms are harmful; instead, microbes are of great importance in various areas.

‎By 2100, our destiny is to become like the gods we once worshipped and feared. But our tools will not be magic wands and potions but the science of computers, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and most of all, the quantum theory.

Michio Kaku American theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science


In medical terms, it helps in finding how diseases are caused by microorganisms. What are their types and adverse effects? Anti-biotic are made from microbes only. Other than medical field it’s playing a great role in agriculture too. The microorganisms help in making natural manures by decomposing waste.

Food security, environment, industrial, genetic engineering, development of green technologies, climate changes and many more fields directly or indirectly depend on Microbiology.

How to Become a Microbiologist?

Is microbiology hard nut to crack? Not really if you are strong in academics and emotionally stable because in the complete course you have to complete many short and long-term tasks.

 young-scientists-microbiologist-biotechnologist-performing-in-lab

Microbiology is the emerging field of which research loving people can dream for their bright future. So now you need to know how to become a microbiologist? Here is the description of steps needed to become a microbiologist-

  1. Earn Bachelor’s Degree in microbiology or closely related stream.
  2. Join an internship in a company or laboratory. It will help you in gaining valuable experience in the field.
  3. Earn Doctoral degree if you want to work in the research field.
  4. Earn additional certification if you want to direct a clinical laboratory. American Board of Medical Microbiology issues certificates to the eligible candidates to fulfill state licensing requirements.

What do Microbiologists do? What are Their Duties?

Microbiologists study and understand how the microorganisms like fungi, bacteria, algae live, grow and interact with surroundings.

Microbiologists perform following duties-

  • Plan and execute research work to develop new drugs
  • Study different ways by which microbes affect animal, plant, and humans.
  • Identification of different microorganisms
  • Perform various laboratory services that can be used in diagnosis.
  • Attend conferences to know the findings of others’ research.
  • Publish research papers, prepare complete reports and make further research based recommendation
  • These were the major duties performed by Microbiologists, but other than this, work depends on the field you have selected. There are many types of microbiologists such as clinical microbiologists, industrial microbiologists, public health microbiologists, etc.

young-scientists-microbiologist-biotechnologist-performing-in-lab

Different Branches of Microbiology

Microbiology includes all the organisms you see, or you can’t see around you. So based on the purpose of research and type of organisms, classification is done. Here is the list of major branches of Microbiology:

  • Agricultural Microbiology: Various roles played by microbes in agriculture. This branch is further classified in various sub-branches according to the subject under consideration like:-
    • Soil Microbiology
    • Plant Pathology
    • Food Microbiology
    • Dairy Microbiology
    • Agricultural Astrobiology
  • Medical Microbiology: Study of pathogenic microorganisms that causes infections and diseases in humans as well as animals and ways to treat and prevent these infections.
  • Complex Microbiology: The study of modification of cell signaling pathways, complex system of tissues, and their interaction with other pathogens and microorganisms
  • Food Microbiology: Deals with the process of fermentation and related products like beer, yogurt, wine, etc. and prevention of spoilage and deterioration of food items.
  • Environmental microbiology: Checking the different microbes present in the environment and how they interact with each other while performing decomposition of biological waste.
  • Water Microbiology: This area ensures the quality of water for domestic and other purposes.
  • Immunology: Study of immune system
  • Virology: Deals with viruses.

Microbiology vs Biotechnology vs Biochemistry

Microbiology, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry are the subdivisions of science. Practically, these are entirely different subjects. But readers get confused in all these three terms. So, here is the comparison to make it quickly understand:

Biochemistry

It is the branch of science that deals with the study of chemicals and various chemical reactions that take place within the cells & tissues and their interaction with the living body.

Biotechnology

It is the branch of science that deals with manipulating chemical substances, to produce the medical products, like, medicines, drugs and so on, using biological techniques.

Microbiology

It is the science which is related to microorganisms. It includes the study of life cycles, growth, and mechanisms of microorganisms. Microorganisms are the organisms which cannot be seen with naked eye & only can be seen with the help of microscopes like bacteria, viruses, fungi and many small parasites.

Is Microbiology Better than Biotechnology?


After completing B.Sc., Students often get confused what to choose further between Microbiology and Biotechnology. Biotechnology is a part of microbiology, or we can say that it is an application of engineering principles and scientific methodologies that performs material processing by microorganisms and creates useful products.

But on the comparison basis, Biotechnology has more scope than microbiology, especially in India.  There are numerous initial options in biotechnological companies where you can set up yourself for a good future.

Biotechnology opens many doors as you can go in industrial processing, management jobs or can adopt Ph.D., whereas microbiology is purely research-oriented that leaves you with fewer options.

Ph.D. of biotechnology in India makes some sense, but if you want to go for microbiology, then you should move abroad.

In a nutshell, choose your stream according to your interest, scope, and affordability.

Scope of Microbiology

Due to massive advancement in the field of technology and science, the scope is raised manifold. Microbiology scope is wide because it is involved in numerous fields like dairy, clinical research, medicine, water industry, pharmacy, industry, chemical technology, nanotechnology, agriculture and much more. With the microorganisms’ intervention and enhancements, microbiology study contributes a lot to understand the life. Microbiologists are being demanded excessively at the global level. He is an expert in researching, discovering new drugs, innovating new diagnostic kits and all.

There is tremendous scope for a biologist, and some job opportunities are available. Amidst that, some are agricultural & food scientists, biological technicians, chemical technicians, medical & clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, natural science managers, Medical scientists, epidemiologists, biochemist & biophysicists, postsecondary teachers, physicians & surgeons, zoologists & wildlife biologists and much more. As per interest, microbiologist can choose any line and become an expert in that.

How much does a microbiologist make- Salary of a Microbiologist?

A microbiologist gets higher compensation always, and can around 70000 dollars very quickly. Experience is always counted as a bonus point for a person. So, as per the background, the compensation obviously gets a considerable hike. The salary structure differs as per your designation that means, if you are earning in healthcare, then that salary would vary from working in private sector or government sector. On an average, a microbiologist can earn around $67,550 annually.

List of Top 10 Colleges in India:

Where to study microbiology in India?

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences – (AIIMS), New Delhi, Delhi NCR
  • Christian Medical College – (CMC), Vellore, Tamil Nadu
  • Armed Forces Medical College – (AFMC), Pune, Maharashtra
  • Kasturba Medical College – (KMC), Mangalore, Karnataka
  • Maulana Azad Medical College – (MAMC), New Delhi, Delhi NCR
  • Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research – (JIPMER), Pondicherry, Pondicherry
  • Lady Harding Medical College – (LHMC), New Delhi, Delhi NCR
  • Madras Medical College – (MMC), Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Grant Medical College – (GMC), Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • King George’s Medical University – (KGMU), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  • Name of courses: Duration, eligibility, if any entrance test is required

Microbiology Bachelor’s Degree

Microbiology undergraduate programs are as follow:

  • Bachelor in Microbiology: The eligibility to take these subjects is 10+2 in science stream. It means you must have studied the subjects of biology, physics, and chemistry. It would take three years to complete.
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Microbiology: The candidate must have passed 10+2 with more than 70% marks. Duration of the course is three years. If you want to take admission in reputed college, then you have to pass an entrance test.
  • Bachelor in Industrial Biology: Eligibility for Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biology is 10+2 class in science stream. The time required to complete it is three years.
  • Bachelor in Food Technology: For its eligibility, you must have passed 10+2 standard and scored at least 50% marks. Along with it, you must have a diploma. The time required for its completion is three years. The reputed Institutes hold an entrance test.
  • Bachelor in Clinical Microbiology: You must have passed 10+2 class with minimum 70% marks. Prominent institutes usually conduct entrance test for it. Its duration is three years.

Microbiology Masters Programs

  • Masters in Microbiology: Eligibility for post graduation in Microbiology is, B.Sc. from a college or recognized university. For admission, the candidates have to pass out the entrance exam. It takes 2 years to complete Masters.
  • Masters in Applied Microbiology: With a pattern of 10+2+3, you have to take any two subjects from following subjects: Chemistry; Life Sci.; Botany; Biotech; Zoology; Life Sci.; Industrial Microbiology; Environmental Science; with B.Sc. or the candidate can pass out B.Sc. (Hons.). Entrance is required for post-graduation. The duration is two years.
  • Masters in Medical Microbiology: Must have B.Sc. degree passed with life science branches like Botany, Chemistry, Microbiology, Physiology, and Zoology. You need to get minimum 55% with the general category and 50% of the reserved category. The duration is 2 years to pass post graduation in Medical Microbiology.
  • Masters in Microbial Genetics and Bioinformatics:  The candidate must have completed the graduation degree in science subjects. The duration is two years. The Entrance test is required to take admission in M.Sc. in Microbial Genetics and Bioinformatics.

Scientific skills are needed to become a professional in the field of Microbiology. So prepare yourself adequately for microbiology and set up your career.

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