Copyright

Become a Cellular Immunologist: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a cellular immunologist. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career in cellular immunology. View article »

View 10 Popular Schools »

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Select a school or program

View More Schools
Show Me Schools
 Replay
  • 0:00 Become a Cellular Immunologist
  • 0:54 Career Requirements
  • 1:56 Earn a Bachelor's Degree
  • 2:29 Earn a Graduate Degree
  • 4:03 Gain Work Experience

Find the perfect school

Video Transcript

Become a Cellular Immunologist

Cellular immunologists develop and design immunoassays, which use antibodies to measure the amount of macromolecules found in solutions, and study how they work on cells. They use a variety of laboratory tools, equipment and computer software in their work. Their overall goal is to help design and create vaccinations that will be more effective in fighting and preventing modern strains of microbiological diseases.

Cellular immunologists, more so than other types of physicians, interact with infectious diseases and are at risk for infection. Strict prevention and protection policies are in place to keep immunologists free from illness. Immunologists may work independently or as part of a team, depending on the study. They generally enjoy full-time work.

Career Requirements

A Ph.D. in cellular or molecular immunology or a related field is preferred, but a master's degree may be accepted in some cases. Two to six years of experience may be necessary, depending on the education level. Key to this position is experience with flow cytometry equipment (such as Canto, FACSCalibur and FACScan); experience with cell culture, human neutrophils, functional immune assays, immunofluorescence staining, ELISA, microscopy, SDS-PAGE/Western blot and immunoprecipitation. Additionally, experience with Microsoft Office, Softmax Pro, FlowJo, Prism Graph Pad, Diva and Cellquest are required.

According to PayScale.com, all allergists and immunologists made a median annual salary of $166,940 as of January 2016.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's degree programs in biological science prepare students for graduate degree programs in immunology. Biological science programs typically have a strong base in math, chemistry and physics. Some schools offer concentrations in areas such as genetics, molecular biology or biochemistry, which can be useful for potential immunologists. Most schools require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED as a condition of enrollment.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Bacteriology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology

Step 2: Earn a Graduate Degree

A master's degree program in immunology is typically required for employment as a cellular immunologist. The programs generally include coursework in advanced topics such as immunology, microbial pathogenesis and biostatistics. In some cases, a master's degree is acceptable education for a cellular immunologist position when combined with professional experience, though some employers prefer candidates with a Ph.D. Graduate degree programs typically require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in biological science and a strong background in the field.

Ph.D. programs are typically research-based and give students the chance to work on independent research projects, collaborations and a thesis. They usually take 6 years to complete. Immunology Ph.D. programs often accept students with just a bachelor's degree; however some programs may require a master's degree.

Success Tips:

The following are tips for success:

  • Focus your studies on cellular immunology. Ph.D. programs in immunology may offer several areas of focus. Take additional courses in advanced cellular immunology to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible.
  • Join an internship program. Many schools offer internship programs that provide students hands-on laboratory experience that can be valuable for employment. Experience with flow cytometry tools can be highly beneficial.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

Since most employers require cellular immunologists to have at least 2 years of experience in the field, an entry-level position can provide the necessary experience. Entry-level job duties typically include developing cell assays, performing experiments and writing procedures, reports and protocols under supervision. Higher-level positions require candidates to have extensive experience and accomplishments with cellular immunology research and lab work. They must be able to work independently, as a leader and with a team.

A cellular immunologist must have a bachelor's degree in biological science but should earn a master's degree for independent research.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MSHS in Clinical Microbiology
    • MSHS in Clinical Research Administration
    • MSHS in Clinical and Translational Research
    • MSHS in Regulatory Affairs
    • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
    • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Bioinformatics
    • Master of Biotechnology Enterprise & Entrepreneurship
    • MS in Biotechnology

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Nursing - Nurse Educator
    • MS in Nursing - Nurse Administrator
    • MS in Nursing
    • Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN
    • BS in Health Science

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • BS in Health Sciences

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MPH in Epidemiology Focus
    • MPH Certificate in Epidemiology

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your age?

  • What year did you graduate high school?

    • Medical Laboratory Technology

    Year of High School Graduation or GED completion:

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?