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Microbiologist Technologist: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a microbiologist technologist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria. A technologist in this field uses scientific equipment to examine and research these organisms. Medical and clinical technologists jobs are expected to increase by 14% in the 2014-2024 decade.

Essential Information

Microbiologist technologists are employed in laboratories or hospitals, examining bacteria and microorganisms for scientific and medical purposes. These workers exercise the best safety measures available when working with machines or performing tasks by hand. This career requires a bachelor's degree and previous job experience is recommended.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements State licensure or registration
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 14% for medical and clinical laboratory technologists
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $60,250 for medical and clinical laboratory technologists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Microbiologist Technologist Job Description

Microbiologist technologists often have to work with infectious specimens. This can be dangerous, so a microbiologist must properly practice safety and sterilization procedures to minimize the risk of any hazardous accidents. This includes wearing gloves, goggles, protective masks and any other safety equipment. The work setting varies for this career. Some technologists are employed in laboratories while other techs work in hospitals. Microbiologist technologists are often on call in case an emergency happens on weekends or at night. Work weeks are generally 40-hours long and may include evening shifts. A technologist may take short-term or long-term contract work.

Requirements

The minimum amount of recommended education for this career is a bachelor's degree. Programs need to be accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (www.naacls.org). The ideal major for this career would be in microbiology or medical technology. The coursework for these programs covers microbiology, mathematics, statistics, biological sciences and chemistry. Many schools offer internship programs and many microbiologist technologist complete job training programs with employers.

Microbiologist Technologist Job Duties

Microbiologist technologists identify, examine and study microorganisms and bacteria. They write up their report and pass it along to the person who submitted the sample. With a new specimen, a microbiologist technologist analyzes the cells or body fluids to determine what bacteria or microorganisms can be found within them. This is done using automated equipment or by hand with detailed instructions. A microbiologist technologist may work on several different projects throughout the day.

Microbiologist Technologist Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), medical and clinical laboratory technologists - the broader group to which microbiologist technologists belong - can expect job opportunities to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. The overall job growth for this career is projected to be about 14% between 2014 and 2024. Growth will be due to the growth of the elderly population, which is expected to increase the need for laboratory procedures related to disease. As of May 2015, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $60,250 for medical and clinical laboratory technologists.

A prospective microbiologist should earn at least a bachelor's degree in microbiology or another relevant field, which includes classroom and hands-on training. Adhering to safety procedure is critical to this job. Microbiologist technologists can work in medical hospitals or labs.


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