What Education Is Needed to Be a Bacteriologist?

Save

Bacteriologists are specialty microbiologists, studying living things that are visible only through the microscope. Bacteriologists focus on bacteria and how they affect other living things. They work for many varied industries, including universities, government, pharmaceutical manufacturing, water treatment and food processing. A bachelor's degree in microbiology qualifies you for entry-level jobs, but many positions require a master's degree or a doctorate.

Things You'll Need

  • High school diploma including four years of math and science classes
  • Complete a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology, including classes in chemistry, biochemistry, physics, computer science, statistics and English composition. Classes in the major typically include general microbiology, molecular and cellular biology, microbial genetics and microbial physiology. Undergraduate programs also include research and lab sections to help prepare students for jobs.

  • Complete an internship or get a summer job with a relevant company such as a drug manufacturer, food company or agricultural lab. Employers prefer to hire bacteriologists who have extensive practical experience in the lab. With internship experience plus a bachelor's degree, you'll qualify for entry-level positions such as lab assistant in a pharmaceutical company.

  • Complete a master's degree in bacteriology or microbiology to qualify for higher positions in labs or as a step toward the Ph.D. A master's degree typically takes one to two years and includes classes such as advanced molecular biology, genetics and advanced biochemistry. Programs geared toward preparing students for jobs require significant lab work and often include internship opportunities. M.S. programs leading to an eventual doctorate emphasize research and require a master's thesis.

  • Prepare for a career doing independent research or managing a lab by completing a Ph.D. Doctoral programs in microbiology or bacteriology require advanced coursework, a qualifying examination and preparation of a thesis based on independent research. Many Ph.D. graduates also complete postdoctoral appointments as a steppingstone to permanent jobs. Bacteriologists with the Ph.D. typically work for universities, government agencies and clinical and industrial labs.

  • Complete a medical degree in addition to the Ph.D. if you're interested in doing clinical research such as for infectious diseases. Medical school typically takes four years, including two years of coursework and two years of clinical rotations. As a shortcut, some universities offer a combined M.D. and Ph.D. program targeted at training medical scientists for jobs in academia and biomedical research.

References

  • Photo Credit Dean Golja/Photodisc/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • What Does a Microbiologist Do?

    In general, microbiologists study microscopic organisms, which are organisms too small to see with the naked eye. There are many types of...

  • How to Become a Fast Runner

    Fast runners are valued in sports such as football, basketball and soccer. If you run fast, many people will think you are...

  • Jobs for a Microbiology Degree

    Microbiologists are experts in the physiology and classification of microscopic organisms such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. They work in a range...

  • How Much Do Bacteriologists Make?

    A bacteriologist studies viruses, parasites and bacteria, and can expect to make between $85,000 a year and $140,000 a year. Get a...

  • How Much Do Certified Nursing Assistants Make?

    A certified nursing assistant is required to complete a six- to eight-week course, and can expect to make around $10 an hour....

  • How Much Money Do Bacteriologists Make?

    The salary for a bacteriologist, or someone who studies bacteria and microbiology, generally averages $60,000 a year and will likely require post-graduate...

Related Searches

Check It Out

3 Day-to-Night Outfits for the Work Week

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!