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How Much Does a Microbiologist Earn In The United States?

Average Yearly Salary
Updated December 31, 2020
$59,000
$43,000
$59,000
$82,000
The average microbiologist makes about $59,448 per year. That's $28.58 per hour! Those in the lower 10%, such as entry-level positions, only make about $43,000 a year. Meanwhile, the top 10% are sitting pretty with an average salary of $82,000. Many of microbiologists seem to be drawn to pharmaceutical and health care companies. Unless they care more about money, in which case microbiologists tend to work at retail, health care, and pharmaceutical companies. Even the employees who work in these industries can confirm that's where the money is. Although money is important, a lot of people base their career decisions solely on location. That's why we found that California, Virginia and Arizona pay microbiologists the highest salaries.
Best Paying Cities
Tucson, AZ
$66,694
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Where Microbiologists Earn The Most

The darker areas on the map show where microbiologists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary

How Much Do Microbiologists Earn In Different Cities?

Throughout the U.S., the average salary for a microbiologist is roughly $59,448 per year, which boils down to $28.58 per hour. Interestingly enough, microbiologists have the highest salaries in Fremont, CA at about $86,586 per year. For those who are just starting out, the average entry-level salary in Fremont, CA is $53,000. Additionally, microbiologists make more than the average salary in Cambridge, MA, Tucson, AZ, Fargo, ND, Gaithersburg, MD, and Duluth, GA. On a more broad level, microbiologist salaries are highest in California, Virginia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, and North Dakota. On the contrary, Indiana, New Mexico, and Kansas offer the lowest microbiologist salaries.
City
Average Salary

Fremont, CA

Salary Range67k - 111k$87k$86,586

Cambridge, MA

Salary Range56k - 83k$68k$68,477

Tucson, AZ

Salary Range52k - 84k$67k$66,694

Fargo, ND

Salary Range53k - 79k$66k$65,514

Gaithersburg, MD

Salary Range52k - 79k$64k$64,404

Duluth, GA

Salary Range48k - 76k$61k$61,037

New York, NY

Salary Range48k - 73k$60k$59,697

Iowa City, IA

Salary Range45k - 69k$56k$56,257

Philadelphia, PA

Salary Range45k - 68k$56k$55,776

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Salary Range41k - 65k$52k$51,976
$30k
$111k

High Paying Microbiologist Jobs

Which Companies Pay Microbiologists The Most?

If you want to get paid the most as a microbiologist, being employed by a company such as Boston Scientific or Amgen would be a smart choice, as they are the highest paying companies in this field. Additionally, companies like Exova and HJF also report highly competitive salaries for microbiologists.
Company
Average Salary
Boston Scientific
Salary Range73k - 86k$80k$80,023
Amgen
Salary Range73k - 86k$80k$80,023
Exova
Salary Range73k - 86k$80k$79,875
HJF
Salary Range73k - 84k$79k$78,938
Battelle
Salary Range72k - 82k$78k$77,657
Applied Biotech
Salary Range72k - 82k$77k$77,404
Zymergen
Salary Range71k - 82k$77k$77,191
Estee Lauder
Salary Range71k - 83k$77k$77,030
Unilever
Salary Range72k - 81k$77k$76,804
NSF International
Salary Range72k - 81k$77k$76,767
$69k
$86k

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

How would you rate the starting salaries for graduates in this field, as well as the salary prospects down the line as they advance in their careers?

Patrick Schlievert Ph.D.

Chair, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa

Undergrads who obtain BA/BS can expect a starting salary of $40K-50K, plus fringe benefits, in a university setting. These numbers are set by grant funding. Industry salaries are perhaps $10K higher. Wages for MS folks are rising, but I have seen little evidence of this truly happening. Ph.D. faculty salaries at small colleges are almost always nine months and $40K to $100K max. For large Universities and significant industries today, the starting salaries are usually $100K and peak at $300K as prominent full professors with lots of grant funding or accepting directorships in companies.

These are proportionately scaled down for nine-month appointments, but you can generate additional summer salary from grants. If you go with a start-up, your salary will likely also be in the $100K range, but you will probably also have to write SBIR grant applications, generating additional wages. The critical thing with small companies is that you can gain experience that may get you the desired job in a large company. I became chair of M&I because I wanted to help the faculty! That is my only desired legacy. That is often not why chairs are hired, though. Department chairs in large universities often make $250K to $350K; this is quite acceptable.

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Microbiologist Salary History

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

    How Much Do Microbiologists Make In Different Industries?

    The salary for a microbiologist can vary depending on what industry the job is in. The highest salaries for microbiologists tend to be found in retail, health care, and pharmaceutical companies. In fact, microbiologists can make a yearly salary of $77,377 while working for retail companies.
    Industry
    Average Salary

    Retail

    Salary Range72k - 82k$77k$77,377

    Health Care

    Salary Range70k - 83k$77k$76,653

    Pharmaceutical

    Salary Range61k - 74k$68k$68,067

    Manufacturing

    Salary Range61k - 72k$67k$66,593

    Telecommunication

    Salary Range61k - 67k$64k$64,311
    $61k
    $83k

    Recently Added Microbiologist Salaries

    CompanyJobLocationDate AddedSalary
    Microbiologist-Santa FE
    Microbiologist-Santa FE
    Santa Fe Springs, CA
    Santa Fe Springs, CA
    11/26/2020
    11/26/2020
    $41,740
    $41,740
    11/26/2020
    South Dakota Board of Regents
    South Dakota Board of Regents
    Microbiologist
    Microbiologist
    Microbiologist
    Brookings, SD
    Brookings, SD
    11/20/2020
    11/20/2020
    $36,481
    $36,481
    11/20/2020
    Microbiologist
    Microbiologist
    Covina, CA
    Covina, CA
    11/19/2020
    11/19/2020
    $50,088
    $50,088
    11/19/2020
    Spherion
    Spherion
    Microbiologist
    Microbiologist
    Microbiologist
    Spokane, WA
    Spokane, WA
    11/19/2020
    11/19/2020
    $43,827
    $43,827
    11/19/2020
    Microbiologist
    Microbiologist
    Denver, CO
    Denver, CO
    11/18/2020
    11/18/2020
    $62,610
    $62,610
    11/18/2020
    Microbiologist I/II/III
    Microbiologist I/II/III
    Ione, CA
    Ione, CA
    11/18/2020
    11/18/2020
    $53,061
    $53,061
    11/18/2020
    Microbiologist I/II/III
    Microbiologist I/II/III
    Ione, CA
    Ione, CA
    11/18/2020
    11/18/2020
    $53,239
    $53,239
    11/18/2020
    Biowatch Microbiologist
    Biowatch Microbiologist
    Indianapolis, IN
    Indianapolis, IN
    10/28/2020
    10/28/2020
    $44,910
    $44,910
    10/28/2020
    Microbiologist I
    Microbiologist I
    Houston, TX
    Houston, TX
    10/27/2020
    10/27/2020
    $35,479
    $35,479
    10/27/2020
    Microbiologist Technician I
    Microbiologist Technician I
    Islandton, SC
    Islandton, SC
    10/23/2020
    10/23/2020
    $47,208
    $47,208
    10/23/2020