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Become A Quality Control Microbiologist

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Working As A Quality Control Microbiologist

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • $85,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Quality Control Microbiologist Do

Microbiologists study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites. They try to understand how these organisms live, grow, and interact with their environments.

Duties

Microbiologists typically do the following:

  • Plan and conduct complex research projects, such as improving sterilization procedures or developing new drugs to combat infectious diseases
  • Perform laboratory services that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses
  • Supervise the work of biological technicians and other workers and evaluate the accuracy of their results
  • Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms for study
  • Identify and classify microorganisms found in specimens collected from humans, plants, animals, or the environment
  • Monitor the effect of microorganisms on plants, animals, other microorganisms, or the environment
  • Keep up with current knowledge by reviewing the findings of other researchers and by attending conferences
  • Prepare technical reports, publish research papers, and make recommendations based on their research findings
  • Present research findings to scientists, nonscientist executives, engineers, other colleagues, and the public

Many microbiologists work in research and development conducting basic research or applied research. The aim of basic research is to increase scientific knowledge. An example is growing strains of bacteria in various conditions to learn how they react to those conditions. Other microbiologists conduct applied research and develop new products to solve particular problems. For example, microbiologists may develop genetically engineered crops, better biofuels, or new vaccines.

Microbiologists use computers and a wide variety of sophisticated laboratory instruments to do their experiments. Electron microscopes are used to study bacteria, and advanced computer software is used to analyze the growth of microorganisms found in samples.

It is increasingly common for microbiologists to work on teams with technicians and scientists in other fields, because many scientific research projects involve multiple disciplines. Microbiologists may work with medical scientists or biochemists while researching new drugs, or they may work in medical diagnostic laboratories alongside physicians and nurses to help prevent, treat, and cure diseases. For more information, see the profiles on biochemists and biophysicists, physicians and surgeons, and registered nurses.

The following are examples of types of microbiologists:

Bacteriologists study the growth, development, and other properties of bacteria, including the positive and negative effects that bacteria have on plants, animals, and humans.

Clinical microbiologists perform a wide range of clinical laboratory tests on specimens collected from plants, humans, and animals to aid in detection of disease. Clinical and medical microbiologists whose work involves directly researching human health may be classified as medical scientists.

Environmental microbiologists study the ways in which microorganisms interact with the environment. They may study the use of microbes to clean up areas contaminated by heavy metals or study how microbes could aid crop growth.

Industrial microbiologists study and solve problems related to industrial production processes. They may examine microbial growth found in the pipes of a chemical factory, monitor the impact industrial waste has on the local ecosystem, or oversee the microbial activities used in cheese production to ensure quality.

Mycologists study the properties of fungi such as yeast and mold, as well as the ways fungi can be used (for example, in food or the environment) to benefit society.

Parasitologists study the life cycle of parasites, the parasite-host relationship, and how parasites adapt to different environments. They may investigate the outbreak and control of parasitic diseases such as malaria.

Public health microbiologists examine specimens in order to track, control, and prevent communicable diseases and other health hazards. They typically provide laboratory services for local health departments and community health programs.

Virologists study the structure, development, and other properties of viruses and any effects viruses have on infected organisms.

Many people with a microbiology background become high school teachers or postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become A Quality Control Microbiologist

A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a closely related field is needed for entry-level microbiologist jobs. A Ph.D. is needed to carry out independent research and to work in universities.

Education

Microbiologists need at least a bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a closely related field such as biochemistry or cell biology. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in biological sciences, including microbiology.

Most microbiology majors take core courses in microbial genetics and microbial physiology and elective classes such as environmental microbiology and virology. Students also must take classes in other sciences, such as biochemistry, chemistry, and physics, because it is important for microbiologists to have a broad understanding of the sciences. Courses in statistics, mathematics, and computer science are important for microbiologists because they must be able to do complex data analysis.

It is important for prospective microbiologists to have laboratory experience before entering the workforce. Most undergraduate microbiology programs include a mandatory laboratory requirement, but additional laboratory coursework is recommended. Students also can gain valuable laboratory experience through internships with prospective employers such as drug manufacturers.

Microbiologists typically need a Ph.D. to carry out independent research and work in colleges and universities. Graduate students studying microbiology commonly specialize in a subfield such as bacteriology or immunology. Ph.D. programs usually include class work, laboratory research, and completing a thesis or dissertation.

Training

Many microbiology Ph.D. holders begin their careers in temporary postdoctoral research positions. During their postdoctoral appointment, they work with experienced scientists as they continue to learn about their specialties and develop a broader understanding of related areas of research.

Postdoctoral positions typically offer the opportunity to publish research findings. A solid record of published research is essential to getting a permanent college or university faculty position.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Microbiologists should be able to effectively communicate their research processes and findings so that knowledge may be applied correctly.

Detail oriented. Microbiologists must be able to conduct scientific experiments and analyses with accuracy and precision.

Interpersonal skills. Microbiologists typically work on research teams and thus must work well with others toward a common goal. Many also lead research teams and must be able to motivate and direct other team members.

Logical-thinking skills. Microbiologists draw conclusions from experimental results through sound reasoning and judgment.

Math skills. Microbiologists regularly use complex mathematical equations and formulas in their work. Therefore, they need a broad understanding of mathematics, including calculus and statistics.

Observation skills. Microbiologists must constantly monitor their experiments. They need to keep a complete, accurate record of their work, noting conditions, procedures, and results.

Perseverance. Microbiological research involves substantial trial and error, and microbiologists must not become discouraged in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Microbiologists use scientific experiments and analysis to find solutions to complex scientific problems.

Time-management skills. Microbiologists usually need to meet deadlines when conducting research and laboratory tests. They must be able to manage time and prioritize tasks efficiently while maintaining their quality of work.

Advancement

Microbiologists typically receive greater responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. They also gain greater responsibility through certification and higher education. Ph.D. microbiologists usually lead research teams and control the direction and content of projects.

Some microbiologists move into managerial positions, often as natural sciences managers. Those who pursue management careers spend much of their time on administrative tasks such as preparing budgets and schedules.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certifications are available for clinical microbiologists and for those who specialize in the fields of food safety and quality and pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They may help workers gain employment in the occupation or advance to new positions of responsibility. Certifications are not mandatory for the majority of work done by microbiologists.

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Quality Control Microbiologist Career Paths

Quality Control Microbiologist
Quality Control Analyst Research Associate Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Analyst Research Associate Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Director
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Analyst Quality Assurance Analyst Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Specialist Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Specialist Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Specialist Quality Assurance Supervisor Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Microbiologist Microbiology Supervisor Laboratory Supervisor
Laboratory Manager Of Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Microbiologist Microbiology Supervisor Laboratory Manager
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Chemist Quality Control Supervisor Quality Manager
Corporate Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Chemist Quality Control Supervisor Production Manager
Continuous Improvement Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Chemist Analytical Chemist Laboratory Manager
Director Of Laboratory Services
12 Yearsyrs
Research Associate Clinical Research Coordinator Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Regulatory Affairs Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Supervisor Production Manager Food Service Director
Food Safety Director
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Supervisor Quality Control Supervisor Quality Control Manager
Project Quality Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Scientist Quality Control Manager Compliance Manager
Regulatory Compliance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Scientist Process Engineer Senior Quality Engineer
Vice-President Of Quality
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Microbiologist
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Microbiologist Microbiology Supervisor
Microbiology Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Specialist Chemist Quality Control Scientist
Quality Control Microbiology Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Quality Control Microbiologist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Microbiologist 3.0 years
Quality Control 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Quality Control Microbiologist
Internship 4.1%
Top Careers After Quality Control Microbiologist
Scientist 5.5%

Do you work as a Quality Control Microbiologist?

Quality Control Microbiologist Demographics

Gender

Female

49.2%

Male

36.9%

Unknown

13.9%
Ethnicity

White

53.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Asian

14.8%

Black or African American

9.6%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.1%

French

8.2%

Chinese

4.1%

Vietnamese

4.1%

Japanese

4.1%

Russian

4.1%

Italian

4.1%

Indonesian

2.0%

Filipino

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Carrier

2.0%

Hindi

2.0%

Mandarin

2.0%

Gujarati

2.0%

Bengali

2.0%
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Quality Control Microbiologist Education

Schools

Johns Hopkins University

8.3%

Colorado State University

8.3%

University of California - Irvine

5.8%

University of Phoenix

5.8%

Iowa State University

5.8%

University of South Florida

5.0%

University of California - Riverside

5.0%

Temple University

5.0%

University of Florida

5.0%

Drexel University

5.0%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

4.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.1%

University of Rhode Island

4.1%

North Carolina State University

4.1%

University of Puerto Rico - Humacao

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.1%

University of California - Davis

4.1%

Eastern Kentucky University

4.1%

Oregon State University

4.1%

Indiana State University

4.1%
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Majors

Biology

34.2%

Microbiology

27.0%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

5.5%

Biotechnology

5.5%

Business

3.8%

Medical Technician

2.7%

Food Science

2.4%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

2.3%

Chemistry

2.1%

Public Health

2.0%

Pharmacy

2.0%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.5%

Environmental Science

1.4%

Nursing

1.2%

Zoology

1.1%

Biomedical Sciences

0.9%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

0.9%

Pharmacology

0.9%

Liberal Arts

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

56.5%

Masters

27.7%

Other

6.4%

Certificate

3.5%

Doctorate

3.5%

Associate

1.8%

Diploma

0.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$85,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$51,000
Min 10%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$141,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Bayside Solutions
Highest Paying City
Pleasant Grove, UT
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Quality Control Microbiologist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Quality Control Microbiologist in the United States is $85,181 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $51,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $141,000.

Real Quality Control Microbiologist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Quality Assurance Microbiologist New World Medical, Inc. Rancho Cucamonga, CA Sep 04, 2014 $70,000
Quality Control Microbiologist Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Rockford, IL Aug 30, 2016 $69,056 -
$106,000
Quality Control Microbiologist Van Blarcom Closures, Inc. New York, NY May 01, 2012 $67,954
Quality Control Microbiologist Masala, Inc. CA Jan 09, 2016 $67,176
Quality Control Microbiologist Kelly Services, Inc. Raritan, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $64,697
Quality Control Microbiologist Masala, Inc. CA Sep 13, 2013 $60,000
Quality Control Microbiologist Masala, Inc. CA Sep 23, 2010 $60,000
Quality Control Microbiologist Vintage Pharmaceuticals, LLC Huntsville, AL Sep 30, 2012 $59,950
Quality Control Microbiologist Englewood Lab, LLC Englewood, NJ Sep 20, 2013 $57,393
Quality Control Microbiologist Senior Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Shirley, NY May 15, 2015 $57,200
Quality Assurance/Quality Care Microbiologist Alliant Food Safety Labs, LLC Farmington, CT Jul 14, 2014 $55,286
Quality Assurance/Quality Control Microbiologist Alliant Food Safety Labs, LLC Farmington, CT Jul 14, 2014 $55,286
Asst Director of Quality Control/Microbiologist SCA Pharmaceuticals, LLC Little Rock, AR Sep 03, 2013 $55,000
Microbiologist Quality Control Avid Bioservices Inc. Tustin, CA Jun 15, 2015 $52,000
Microbiologist, Quality Control Cephazone Pharma, LLC Pomona, CA Apr 14, 2015 $50,502
Quality Control Microbiologist Pharmaceutics International, Inc. Huntingtown, MD Apr 12, 2013 $48,000
Quality Control Microbiologist Norwich Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Norwich, NY Sep 12, 2014 $47,008
Quality Control Microbiologist Lead Alera Technologies, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT Aug 01, 2013 $45,914
Quality Control Microbiologist Pharmaceutics International, Inc. Huntingtown, MD Apr 12, 2010 $45,750
Microbiologist, Quality Control Cephazone Pharma LLC Pomona, CA Oct 01, 2011 $43,451
Quality Control Bacteriologist Clearchoice Orthodontic Associates PLLC Houston, TX Dec 02, 2015 $43,396
Quality Control Bacteriologist Clearchoice Orthodontic Associates PLLC Houston, TX Feb 12, 2016 $43,396

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Top Skills for A Quality Control Microbiologist

  1. Microbiology
  2. Lab Equipment
  3. Final Product
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted and wrote Microbiology Investigations for microbiology laboratory and controlled environment of product.
  • Performed routine maintenance and calibrations of lab equipment, scheduled yearly preventative maintenance of lab equipment.
  • Perform and document microbiological analysis on received test samples, including raw materials, bulk, final product, water.
  • Perform microbiological analysis on incoming raw materials, processing water and finished products and complete antiseptic testing.
  • Ensured that departmental standard operating procedures and databases were regularly updated to accurately reflect current processes.

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Top 10 Best States for Quality Control Microbiologists

  1. Maryland
  2. Georgia
  3. California
  4. Iowa
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Alaska
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Virginia
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Nevada
  • (114 jobs)
  • (161 jobs)
  • (587 jobs)
  • (82 jobs)
  • (160 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (114 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)

Top Quality Control Microbiologist Employers

Jobs From Top Quality Control Microbiologist Employers

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