Microbiologists

Description

Investigate the growth, structure, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.

Tasks

  • Investigate the relationship between organisms and disease including the control of epidemics and the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Prepare technical reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes.
  • Supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists.
  • Provide laboratory services for health departments, for community environmental health programs and for physicians needing information for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Use a variety of specialized equipment such as electron microscopes, gas chromatographs and high pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, thermocyclers, fluorescence activated cell sorters and phosphoimagers.
  • Examine physiological, morphological, and cultural characteristics, using microscope, to identify and classify microorganisms in human, water, and food specimens.
  • Study growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of bacteria and other microorganisms to understand their relationship to human, plant, and animal health.
  • Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed or developed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition.
  • Observe action of microorganisms upon living tissues of plants, higher animals, and other microorganisms, and on dead organic matter.
  • Study the structure and function of human, animal and plant tissues, cells, pathogens and toxins.
  • Conduct chemical analyses of substances such as acids, alcohols, and enzymes.
  • Monitor and perform tests on water, food, and the environment to detect harmful microorganisms or to obtain information about sources of pollution, contamination, or infection.
  • Develop new products and procedures for sterilization, food and pharmaceutical supply preservation, or microbial contamination detection.
  • Research use of bacteria and microorganisms to develop vitamins, antibiotics, amino acids, grain alcohol, sugars, and polymers.

Knowledge

Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Gross Body Coordination
The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
Gross Body Equilibrium
The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.

Interests

Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Work Values

Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Bacteriologist
Cell Biologist
Chemist
Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Clinical Microbiologist
Cytologist
Electron Microscopist
Genetic Scientist
Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Microbiologist
Medical Technologist
Microbiological Analyst
Microbiological Laboratory Technician
Microbiologist
Microbiology Laboratory Director
Microbiology Laboratory Manager
Microscopist
Mycobacteria and Brucella Laboratory Head
Physical Scientist
Professor of Microbiology
Public Health Microbiologist
Public Health Microbiology Laboratory Director
Quality Control Microbiologist (QC Microbiologist)
Study Director
Virologist
Virology Director

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$31.86 hourly, $66,260 annual.
Employment (2008):
18,550 employees