How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Bacteriologist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $76,230
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 3.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Bacteriologists is a scientist that studies various types of bacteria.  The investigate and research the growth, structure, development, and characteristics of these bacteria.  They also study the effects of the disease on living organisms and the effects of antibiotics on the microorganisms.

Recommended Schools

What is a Bacteriologist?

The following responsibilities are common for Bacteriologists:

  • Isolates and maintains cultures of bacteria in a lab or controlled environment
  • Uses equipment like electron microscopes, gas chromatographs and other high tech equipment
  • Studies the growth, structure, development and characteristics of bacteria to determine how they affect human, animal and plant health
  • Examines bacteria cultures to identify and classify microorganisms in specimens
  • Observes the process  of microorganisms and how they reproduce in living organisms

A Day In The Life

Bacteriology is the study of bacterial microorganisms and their effects on living organisms.


Typical Work Schedule

Most of this job will be a full-time position spent mostly in a research office or laboratory.  They closely monitor the development, growth and characteristics of these bacteria.

Most of these professionals specialize in different fields.  Those that work in the food industry test bacterial organisms for the levels of toxins and contamination present in the food.  They are responsible for ensuring the safety of all the food that is produced and eaten.  They are also responsible for running a clean, safe and efficient laboratory for experimentation.

Pharmaceutical bacteriologists monitor medications, bacterial microorganisms and the health of the patient to determine the effects the medication has on both the bacteria and patient.  They begin by first applying the antibiotic to the bacterial culture.  They then observe, under a microscope, the effects of the antibiotic on the microorganism.  They continue this observation for en extended period of time and then write reports to disclose the success of the medications.

They collect different samples from plants, humans, water, among other things to test for bacteria.  They also study controlled bacterial cultivations or cultures of bacteria along with its positive or negative effects on its environment or host.

Projected Job Growth

Typical Employers 

This position can be found in hospitals, laboratories, food companies and government agencies.  They can also work with other engineers and doctors as c consultants.


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How To Become a Bacteriologist

Bacteriologists require a bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a related field.  Coursework to study would include mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics and earth science.  With the Bachelor’s of Science degree individuals can pursue careers as lab technicians or research assistants.

Bacteriologist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Bacteriologist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Bacteriologist's can make an average annual salary of $76,230, or $37 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $48,980 or $24 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #162 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Bacteriologists

  • 19.6%   Doctorate
  • 32%   Masters
  • 43.8%   Bachelors
  • 2.2%   Associates
  • 2.1%   College
  • 0.2%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Bacteriologist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 800 jobs for a total of 23,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 3.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #497 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Bacteriologists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 5,400 400 0%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 4,700 --- ---
Federal government, excluding postal service 2,600 -200 0%

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