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Updated July 11, 2022

Average Microbiologist Salary

$56,411 yearly
To create our salary estimates, Zippia starts with data published in publicly available sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Foreign Labor Certification Data Center (FLC) Show More

$27.12 hourly

Entry level Salary
$38,000 yearly
$38,000
10 %
$56,411
Median
$82,000
90 %

How much does a Microbiologist make?

Microbiologists make $56,411 per year on average, or $27.12 per hour, in the United States. Microbiologists on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $38,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $82,000.

Location impacts how much a microbiologist can expect to make. Microbiologists make the most in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, and New Jersey.

Highest Paying States For Microbiologists

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

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Average Salary:

Microbiologist average salary by State

Rank  State  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Count  
1Massachusetts$76,326$36.701,435
2California$79,992$38.462,057
3Vermont$72,774$34.9934
4New Jersey$66,052$31.76383
5Maryland$58,111$27.94426
6Virginia$66,986$32.20248
7New York$54,308$26.11685
8Connecticut$53,845$25.89138
9Rhode Island$49,421$23.7647
10Pennsylvania$48,020$23.09484
11Oregon$51,009$24.52153
12Georgia$61,276$29.46127
13Michigan$46,245$22.23331
14Washington$45,823$22.03569
15Arizona$54,712$26.3090
16New Hampshire$49,126$23.6247
17Nevada$50,585$24.3244
18North Dakota$52,645$25.319
19Maine$47,993$23.0729
20West Virginia$46,860$22.5329
21Tennessee$45,155$21.71117
22Wyoming$42,820$20.5917
23Utah$41,888$20.14114
24Colorado$46,050$22.14128
25Delaware$43,106$20.7234
26Kentucky$43,735$21.0334
27Oklahoma$43,712$21.0232
28Wisconsin$38,361$18.44189
29Minnesota$39,952$19.21205
30District of Columbia$40,636$19.5494
31Hawaii$44,883$21.5822
32North Carolina$39,367$18.93251
33Alaska$40,075$19.2728
34Alabama$43,452$20.8925
35Iowa$40,088$19.2768
36New Mexico$38,488$18.5054
37Missouri$38,416$18.47181
38Texas$37,472$18.02572
39Idaho$39,405$18.9428
40Illinois$39,658$19.07302
41Louisiana$38,630$18.5759
42Florida$40,306$19.38261
43Ohio$35,407$17.02277
44Montana$37,989$18.2626
45Mississippi$37,332$17.9518
46Indiana$35,853$17.24133
47Kansas$32,122$15.4470
48Nebraska$30,460$14.6458
49South Carolina$35,794$17.2135
50Arkansas$34,103$16.4030
51South Dakota$29,488$14.1813

Highest Paying Cities For Microbiologists

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Rank  City  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  
1Fairfield, CA$85,292$41.01
2Boston, MA$76,535$36.80
3Atlanta, GA$60,762$29.21
4Rockville, MD$57,435$27.61
5New York, NY$54,228$26.07
6Tucson, AZ$53,539$25.74
7Philadelphia, PA$48,936$23.53
8Denver, CO$45,753$22.00
9Ann Arbor, MI$45,719$21.98
10Urban Honolulu, HI$44,938$21.60
11Huntsville, AL$41,373$19.89
12Largo, FL$40,907$19.67
13Chicago, IL$39,793$19.13
14Milwaukee, WI$38,493$18.51
15Kansas City, MO$38,212$18.37

Microbiologist Salary Details

Microbiologist Salary

What is a Microbiologist's Salary?

Percentile  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  
90th Percentile$82,000$6,833$39
75th Percentile$69,000$5,750$33
Average$56,411$4,701$27
25th Percentile$46,000$3,833$22
10th Percentile$38,000$3,167$18

Average Salary By Related Titles

Job Title  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
Laboratory Internship$34,212$2,851$16.4590,970
Research Laboratory Technician$37,219$3,102$17.8986,476
Research Technician$41,218$3,435$19.8264,786
Chemical Technician$39,796$3,316$19.1340,191
Research Scientist$84,125$7,010$40.4493,013
Research Chemist$78,999$6,583$37.9853,769

How would you rate the starting salaries for Microbiologists, as well as the prospects for salary advancement?

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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Which Companies Pay Microbiologists The Most?

According to our most recent salary estimates, Estée Lauder and MannKind are the highest paying companies for microbiologists.
Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Estée Lauder$67,578$32.498
2MannKind$67,436$32.421
3L'Oréal$66,697$32.07
4Guittard Chocolate$66,140$31.80
5Colgate-Palmolive$65,343$31.412
6PRO Unlimited$64,715$31.11
7Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory$64,420$30.972
8Jabil$64,294$30.912
9Leprino Foods$63,989$30.764
10Heartland Food Products Group$63,986$30.761
11Novartis$63,897$30.724
12Innophos$63,772$30.66
13Medtronic$63,606$30.5814
14Formulated Solutions$63,496$30.53
15Gillette$63,490$30.52
16Mentor$62,888$30.232
17Mettler-Toledo International$62,798$30.19
18Ben Venue Laboratories Inc$62,758$30.17
19The Boston Beer Company$62,588$30.09
20Aqua$62,573$30.08

How Much Do Microbiologists Make In Different Industries?

Here are some examples of how much a microbiologist salaries can based on different industries:

  1. The manufacturing industry pays microbiologists an average salary of $60,376

  2. The hospitality industry pay $60,080

  3. The lowest paying industry for microbiologists is the retail industry. Microbiologists in this industry earn an average salary of $59,204

Highest Paying Industries For Microbiologists

Rank  Industry  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  
1Manufacturing$60,376$29.03
2Hospitality$60,080$28.88
3Health Care$59,496$28.60
4Pharmaceutical$59,287$28.50
5Retail$59,204$28.46

High Paying Microbiologist Jobs

Microbiologist Salary Trends

Average Microbiologist Salary Over Time

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

    Microbiologist Salary By Year

    Year  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  % Change  
    2022$56,400$27.12+10.4%
    2021$50,600$24.31+5.3%
    2020$47,900$23.02+2.4%
    2019$46,800$22.48+4.4%
    2018$44,700$21.48-1.0%

    Recently Added Microbiologist Salaries

    Company  Job  Location  Date Added  Salary  
    Cdc FoundationMicrobiologist 3West Virginia05/31/2022$57,600
    Port of Long BeachMicrobiologist I-IIILong Beach, CA05/30/2022$60,114
    ActalentMicrobiologist TechnicianIrvine, CA05/26/2022$43,827
    ActalentImmediate MicrobiologistRaleigh, NC05/24/2022$48,001
    State of IndianaBiowatch MicrobiologistIndianapolis, IN05/20/2022$44,910
    Tyson FoodsLab MicrobiologistWaterloo, IA05/19/2022$42,992
    State of ArkansasMicrobiologistLittle Rock, AR05/15/2022$40,340
    Idaho Division of Human ResourcesMicrobiologist, Principal-MolecularBoise, ID05/15/2022$53,560
    ActalentMicrobiologist TechnicianIrvine, CA05/10/2022$43,827
    State of ConnecticutMicrobiologist Hour HCRocky Hill, CT05/09/2022$59,393

    Microbiologist Salaries FAQs

    What state pays Microbiologists the most?

    California pays Microbiologists the most in the United States, with an average salary of $79,992 per year, or $38.46 per hour.

    How do I know if I'm being paid fairly as a Microbiologist?

    You know if you are being paid fairly as a Microbiologist if your pay is close to the average pay for the state you live in. For example, if you live in Massachusetts you should be paid close to $76,326 per year.

    What type of Microbiologist gets paid the most?

    Scientist gets paid the most. Scientist made a median salary of $94,940. The best-paid 10 percent make $114,000, while the lowest-paid 10 percent make $78,000.

    Do microbiologists get paid well?

    Yes, microbiologists get paid well. They get paid around $85,000 a year. Employment of microbiologists is projected to grow five percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations.

    How much do beginning microbiologists make?

    Beginning microbiologists make around $35,000 a year. These cities pay entry-level microbiologists the most:

    • New York City, NY

    • San Mateo, CA

    • Juneau, AK

    • Boston, MA

    • Berkeley, CA

    • Santa Monica, CA

    • Daly City, CA

    • Quincy, MA

    • Renton, WA

    • Minneapolis, MN

    How much does a microbiologist with a Ph.D. make?

    A microbiologist with a Ph.D. can make up to $90,000 a year. You need a Ph.D. in microbiology to work as a microbiologist at a college, university, or university-affiliated research facility.

    What is the salary range for a microbiologist?

    The salary range for a microbiologist is anywhere from $35,000-$100,000 a year. An entry-level employee with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $43,885 based on 65 salaries.

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