10 Places to Work as a Microbiologist and their Duties

Here in this article, you are going to find out information about the 10 places to work as a microbiologist and earn a higher income.

The information will ultimately be invaluable in your decision to advance your career as a microbiologist and carve a niche for yourself in your chosen profession.

Being a microbiologist is fast becoming a great profession and a source of good income, adding to the fact that you are a degree holder in the field of microbiology.

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10 Places to Work as a Microbiologist and their Duties
Places to Work as a Microbiologist – Photo Source:

Microbiology is now studied as a course in a lot of universities in Nigeria and parents are now beginning to give their wards consent to study the course.

Before now, so many people have turned down the opportunity of being a microbiologist when offered the course to study in school.

Fear of not gaining employment after the stressful four to five years in the university, or pressure mounted on them to either be a lawyer or a doctor. How funny, who then take charge of other things if everyone was a doctor or a lawyer?

Today, the acceptance of microbiology as a course has highly grown as students now choose it as a course to study, not like those days when you get relegated to study a course you chose as a second choice because either the quota for the course has closed or you were not able to meet the cutoff point of your first choice.

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Microbiology is actually a great course to study in school and people have made remarkable success in the field. This post will be focusing on what microbiology is, the places a microbiology can work and the duties of a microbiologist.

Read Also: Where To Work As A Microbiologist In Nigeria


Microbiology is the scientific study of microorganisms. The organisms exist both unicellular (having a single cell), multi-cellular (cell colony), and acellular (lacking cells).

Microbiology is made up of numerous sub-disciplines including Virology, Bacteriology, Mycology, and Parasitology.

Bacteriology is the branch of microbiology that deals with the study of Bacteria, Virology is the aspect of microbiology that deals with the study of a virus, Mycology is the study of fungi and parasitology is the study of parasites.

Microbiology has been under hypothesis for many years back before it was finally discovered. The existence of small and microscopic life was postulated by Jainism which was basically relied on Mahavira’s teachings in the 6th century BCE.

Microorganisms are extremely small organisms that can only be seen or viewed with the aid of a microscope, they exist in single form as unicellular cells and also in a colony as multi-cellular cells.

Microorganisms have economic importance, meaning they have both advantage and disadvantage. They are useful in scientific discoveries, drug production (especially antibiotics), food production; these are examples of the usefulness and advantages of microorganisms.

The disadvantages of microorganisms also include food spoilage, pathogenicity (ability to cause diseases), and disease outbreak.

The importance of microorganisms to man cannot be overemphasized, they are needed for petroleum production, fermentation of food, enzyme production, sewage treatment, antibiotics production, and many biologically active compounds.

They are also very important in biological warfare and combating terrorism i.e. bioterrorism.  Microorganisms are also very important in agricultural production as some soil microbes’ activities in the soil help to add nutrient to the soil.

They act as normal flora in the human body as they make up the micro biodata especially the gut flora. They help in taking measures to control diseases through antibiotics production and hygienic measures.

10 Places to Work as a Microbiologist and Duties

As a microbiologist, you have chances of working in different and various organizations, from private to government sector.

Apart from working and earning, you also have a great chance of making new discoveries and finding a possible way of improving products and putting an end to a disease outbreak.  The ten places a microbiologist can work are listed below:

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1. Hospitals

In a hospital laboratory, especially the pathology laboratory, diseases are identified by their cause, effect and ways of preventing and treating them.

Microorganisms have the ability to form a symbiotic relationship with bigger organisms usually referred to as the host, some microorganisms have the ability to live within a host and cause a disease to the host, the microorganisms which are referred to as pathogens can cause a disease to the host through their activities within the body.

Clinical signs and symptoms are not enough to ascertain that an organism or a person is suffering from a particular infectious disease, there is a need to identify the microorganism (bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi) responsible for the ailment and the particular antibiotics that can be used through a culture and sensitivity test before treatment can commence.

These tests are best carried out by a certified medical microbiologist. The medical microbiologist studies the type of microorganism, modes of transmission, modes of infection and growth.

With all these processes the microbiologist can easily provide information that can help the doctor commence treatment.

2. Food and Dairies Industries

The activity of various microorganisms causes fermentation. Microorganisms are used in fermentation processes to produce yoghurt, cheese, and other dairy product.

When microorganis

ms are cultured they can produce flavor with pleasant aromas and isolates undesired organisms by inhibiting them. They are also used in other food productions like leavening of bread. The application of these microorganisms is best done by a microbiologist, they are needed to work here.

3. Brewery

Microorganisms convert sugar to alcohol in beer and wine production.  They are used in the production of wine through their fermentation process, during fermentation simple sugars converts to complex sugars and the end product of the process becoming alcohol. The fermentation process is done by a microbiologist in breweries for commercial purposes.

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4. Petroleum Industry

Degradation of hydrocarbon or petroleum products can occur through the activities of microorganisms. Petroleum microbiologist has the ability to use microorganism to metabolize and alter crude or refined oil. They help in the bioremediation of oil spill cleanup.

Hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms are found almost everywhere, so in oil spillage environments like the soil and water, the microorganism helps to degrade the most compounds in petroleum oil.

A microbiologist helps in bioremediation of oil-contaminated soil, marine waters and oily sludge, this process can be done with the help of a microbiologist.

5. Pharmaceutical Industry

Antibiotics are one of the leading drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. A microbiologist contributes to the development of a pharmaceutical industry through the development of antibiotics.

The actions of microorganisms referred to as metabolism are the original ways antibiotics were produced.  Vaccines are typical products of microorganisms and they have contributed immensely to the production of drugs.  Vaccines for bacterial disease prevention are products of a large number of bacteria.

The quality control of a pharmaceutical laboratory is also being contributed to by a microbiologist.  Microbiologist helps to prevent contamination of oral drugs, intravenous and intramuscular injections, eye drops and various types of drug.

6. Water Production Industry

Wastewater treatment depends solely on microorganisms to oxidize organic matter, this method is very important for the production of water.

Industries producing water are expected to produce clean and germ-free water for human consumption to prevent diseases like typhoid fever and cholera, therefore a microbiologist is needed to get this done.

One can get the waterborne disease by drinking water already contaminated by microorganisms.  Bacteria and Protozoa are the major pathogens of water diseases, and there is every need to get rid of them before drinking the water. The purification of water in industries is the sole responsibilities of microbiologists.

7. Research Institutes

Research Institutes are meant and built for scientific research; they are establishment founded mainly to carry out researches for the purpose of getting new discoveries.

Research Institutes, especially medical research institutes require the services of a microbiologist, they help in carrying out a broad-spectrum investigation on communicable diseases with respect to the study of bacteria (bacteriology), virus (virology) and fungi (mycology).

8. Schools

A graduate of microbiology should be able to teach basic biology or biological science in secondary schools. The main courses in microbiology in higher institution of learning are also done by qualified teachers in microbiology.

As a graduate of microbiology, you have a chance in working and teaching in schools. Apart from taking students through teaching sessions, you can also work in school laboratories.

9. Regulation Agencies

Enforcement agencies especially government agencies that regulates the nature of drugs, food and water consumed by the general public from the company that produced them can require the services of a microbiology to carry out tests on the samples, to know if some of these products are actually safe for the public to consume or they pose health threat on them. The microbiologist is employed to work in the laboratory.

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10. Agricultural Industry

The chemical fertilizer has done more harm than good to humans, plants and animal life. For more careful and safer use, biofertilizers containing living microorganisms can be used.

They work by colonizing the rhizospheres or the interior of the plant and promote growth by increasing the supply or availability of primary nutrients to the host plant.

The biofertilizers work very effectively, and the industry producing them definitely needs to employ a microbiologist.

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Chinwendu Angel

Chinwendu Angel is an Educationist an a Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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