Graduates from a Canadian University with a BSc degree in Microbiology or closely related field which must include 30 credits of university level courses in Microbiology (where 1 credit =15 hours per semester), who have an additional 2 years of microbiology experience consisting of either documented work experience.
The scope of Microbiology is huge because of the involvement of microbiology in various fields such as Pharmacy, Medicine, clinical research, agriculture, dairy industry, water industry, nanotechnology & chemical technology.
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What is a microbiologist?
A microbiologist is a scientist who studies microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Microbiologists use their knowledge to help protect people’s health by finding out how bacteria and other microbes affect human beings.
What’s the difference between a microbiologist and a biologist?
Both microbiologists and biologists study living things. However, while biologists study all living things—from plants to animals to humans—microbiologists focus on microorganisms (which are often invisible to the naked eye). They also study how these tiny organisms interact with each other and with their environment.
How do you become a microbiologist?
To become a microbiologist, you need both knowledge of science and experience working with microorganisms in either an academic laboratory or industry setting. The best way to get this experience is through an undergraduate degree program in biology or chemistry (or both). You can also earn an online degree from an accredited university if you don’t have time for classroom instruction.
Microbiologist Job Description
Microbiologists are responsible for studying the physiological, biochemical and genetic aspects, as well as the growth characteristics of micro-organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. They must also study how micro-organisms interact with their environment.
Microbiologists are employed in a wide range of industries and fields of study, including food science and manufacturing, medical research, environmental studies and biotechnology. A microbiologist’s salary can vary significantly depending on his or her location, work experience, education level and type of employment. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median annual wages for microbiologists were $66,720 in May 2016.
The salary range for microbiologists is vast because there are so many different types of jobs within this field. Salaries for senior level scientists who have more than 10 years of experience can be quite high; however those with less experience may start out making less money than other professionals with similar qualifications.
Microbiologist Job Duties
• Develop medical and industrial applications for micro-organisms
• Study human diseases caused by micro-organisms
• Conduct experiments to isolate and grow cultures of specific micro-organisms under controlled conditions
• Identify and classify micro-organisms
• Isolate and genetically modify micro-organisms
• Perform tests on water, food and the environment in order to identify any harmful micro-organisms
|Simon Fraser University, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
|University of British Columbia, Microbiology & Immunology
|University of Victoria, Biology
|University of Victoria, Biochemistry & Microbiology
|University of Alberta, Microbiology & Biotechnology (Biological Sciences)
|University of Alberta, Medical Microbiology & Immunology
|University of Calgary, Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
|University of Calgary, Cellular, Molecular & Microbial Biology
|University of Lethbridge, Biological Sciences
|University of Regina, Biology
|University of Saskatchewan, Department of Veterinary Microbiology
|University of Saskatchewan, Microbiology & Immunology
|University of Saskatchewan, Applied Microbiology & Food Science
|University of Manitoba, Microbiology
|University of Manitoba, Medical Microbiology
|Carleton University, Biology
|Laurentian University, Biology
|McMaster University, Molecular Immunology, Virology & Inflammation
|McMaster University, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
|McMaster University, Chemical Biology Graduate Program
|McMaster University, Pathology & Molecular Medicine
|Queen’s University, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
|Ryerson University, Department of Chemistry and Biology
|University of Guelph, School of Environmental Sciences
|University of Guelph, Molecular and Cellular Biology
|University of Guelph, Pathobiology
|University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Applied Bioscience Graduate Program
|University of Ottawa, Biology
|University of Ottawa, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology
|University of Toronto, Molecular and Medical Genetics Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
|University of Waterloo, Biology
|University of Western Ontario, Microbiology & Immunology
|Concordia University, Biology
|INRS Institut Armand-Frappier , Applied Microbiology, Virology and Immunology, Experimental Health Sciences, and Biology
|Laval University, Biochemistry & Microbiology
|Laval University, Biology
|McGill University, Microbiology & Immunology
|McGill University (Macdonald Campus), Natural Resource Sciences (NRS)
|University of Montreal, Microbiology & Immunology
|University of Montreal, Veterinary Medicine
|University of Sherbrooke, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
|Memorial University of Newfoundland, Biology
|Acadia University, Biology
|Dalhousie University, Microbiology & Immunology
|Prince Edward Island
|University of Prince Edward Island, Pathology & Microbiology
Educational Requirements for Becoming a Microbiologist
Completing coursework in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics is a great way to build an educational foundation for your prospective career as a microbiologist, as these courses will give you an understanding of scientific principles, as well as introduce you to laboratory methods, equipment and processes.
Level of education needed based on job responsibility
- If you want to become a microbiologist that works in an entry-level research job such as laboratory assistant, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related program.
- If you want to work as a senior-level researcher, you will need to have a graduate degree in microbiology.
- If you want to direct research, or become a faculty member in a university or college, then you will typically need to complete a doctoral degree program in microbiology.
Please Note: Microbiologists must also complete continuing education throughout their careers in order to keep their skills current stay up to date with advancements in the field.
How to Become a Microbiologist: Career Path Guide
If you want to become a microbiologist, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a microbiologist.
Those who become microbiologists are strong in academics and are emotionally stable, as this is required to complete short and long-term tasks. They typically have very inquiring minds, an aptitude for science, and are interested in a wide range of natural phenomena.
Microbiologists must also be manually dexterous in order to utilize specialized equipment and conduct experiments. They must be comfortable working in a laboratory setting, and communicating their findings and opinions to others.
If you’re interested in becoming a microbiologist, you’ll need to know how to become one. Below we’ve outlined what you’ll need to begin a career as a microbiologist. We’ve also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!
Students interested in studying Microbiology in Canada have many choices of schools they may attend. Below is the full list of Canadian Universities offering this program, each with detailed information about their program, including research facilities, list of faculty, financial support available, and admission information.
How to Make Microbiologist Career Preparations in High School
Coursework: Taking courses in math, biology, physics and chemistry is a great way to get a head start on becoming a microbiologist. These courses will give you a solid understanding of the scientific principles at work in biology and other areas of science, as well as an introduction to the research process.
Learn what microbiologists do: Speaking with microbiologists and related scientists can give you a great idea of what it’s like to work as a microbiologist. You can also speak with professionals in related occupations, such as veterinarians, doctors, dentists, zookeepers and naturalists in order to gain an idea of what other careers related to microbiology are like.
Choose a university or college to attend: Deciding where to go to college and what to study is a daunting and thorough task. Make it a little easier on yourself by talking to your school’s guidance counselor. They will be able to help you find schools that suit your professional ambitions and interests, as well as provide you with tips on which programs will be of interest to you.
Tip for Success: Speaking with your school’s guidance counselor will also provide with confidence in knowing you have support!
Microbiologist Salary: How Much Do Microbiologists Earn?
The salary level of microbiologists can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including where they work, their job responsibilities, their level of education, their level of experience, and many others.
Microbiologist Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working as part of the Biologists and Related Scientists occupational group earn an average salary wage of $39.83 per hour.
Microbiologist Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary of workers in the Biologists and Related Scientists occupational group is $56,406 per year. More than 55% of workers in this occupational group earn over $50,000 per year.
Microbiologist Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the Microbiologists occupational group earn a median salary of $65,920 per year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $39,180 and the top 10 percent earned more than $115,720 per year.
Personal Characteristics Needed to Become a Microbiologist
Those that become successful microbiologists tend to have the following personal characteristics and attributes.
• An inquiring mind and a keen interest in the natural world
• An aptitude for science and mathematics
• The ability to learn quickly
• Mental and emotional endurance, needed for completing long tasks
• The ability to keep working hard when solutions don’t present themselves easily
• An interest in searching for answers to complex questions
• Manual dexterity (for transferring micro-organisms from one culture medium to another without contaminating samples)
• The ability to pay close attention to detail
Where Do Microbiologists Work?
There are many employers within a variety of industries that are interested in employing the skills, knowledge and competencies of microbiologists, including:
• Pharmaceutical companies
• Federal, provincial/state, or municipal government departments
• Colleges and universities
• Public and private research institutes
• Environmental consulting firms
• Biotechnology companies
• Medical research organizations
• Agricultural companies
• Food production research and development organizations
• Resource based companies, such as oil, gas, mining and forestry
Career Advancement for Microbiologists
Microbiologists often receive greater levels of responsibility and independence in their work activities as they acquire more and more experience. These same levels of responsibility and experience can also be achieved when microbiologists advance their level of education. For example, microbiologists who earn their Ph.D. are usually those that lead research teams and control the direction and content of projects.
With an acquisition of experience and education, microbiologists can also pursue careers at the management or executive level. Those who pursue management careers spend much of their time on administrative tasks such as preparing budgets and schedules.
Careers Similar to Microbiologist
Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Microbiologist, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.
- Biotechnology Researcher
- Cell Biologist
- Molecular Biologist
This is what you typically need for the job.
- A bachelor’s degree in biology or in a related discipline is required for biologists.
- A master’s or doctoral degree in biology or a related discipline is required for employment as a research scientist in biology.
- Post-doctoral research experience is usually required before employment in academic departments or research institutions.
Source National Occupational Classification
Professional certification and licensing
You might need to get a certification from a regulatory authority before you start working. Find out if this occupation is regulated in your province or territory.
|Alberta Society of Professional Biologists
|College of Applied Biology
Source Foreign Credential Recognition Program – ESDC
Congratulations! You’ve just become a microbiologist. Now what?
We jest, but there are several paths you can take in your career after earning your degree. Many microbiologists go on to teach at universities or even do research themselves, but there are also opportunities for those who wish to work in industry or government positions.
If you’re interested in teaching, then you’ll need to get some experience first. Talk with your professors about internships or summer jobs where you can get a taste of the teaching world. Once you have some experience under your belt, then applying for teaching jobs should be easier because they’ll know that you’re familiar with the ins and outs of academia and its requirements.
If you want to pursue research instead (which is something we highly recommend!), then consider attending conferences related to your field and networking with other scientists who are working toward similar goals as well as those who have already accomplished them.
Regardless of which path you choose after graduation, there are many exciting opportunities out there waiting for us all!