How to become a specialist in Microbiology

If you love science, Microbiology could be a great career for you. Microbiology jobs offer interesting careers with a range of different employment opportunities. If you decide that this is the career for you then make sure you study a relevant qualification and get experience in the laboratory. Microbiology jobs in South Africa can be found in a variety of different settings. You can browse jobs, register your CV and apply for Microbiologist jobs on Job Mail. Here is some helpful information on Microbiology so that you can make an informed decision about your career.


What is Microbiology?

Microbiologists are scientists who specialise in microbiology. Typically professionals in this field will have completed a tertiary education. You can become a Microbiologist through completing a degree at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the University of Pretoria or Stellenbosch University. Applicable degrees include biology or biomedical science. Other relevant degrees are applied biology and microbiology. Relevant experience is helpful when you are applying for jobs. If you are just starting out you can volunteer for lab work to further develop your skills. Participating in research projects will also boost your CV and increase your chances of being hired.

Although the function of a Microbiologist isn’t widely known, they play a vital role in understanding the microscopic elements of our world. Research, which is conducted by microbiologists, helps to prevent illness. It is also vital for ensuring that water is safe to drink. They research the causes of illnesses and make use of microbes’ capabilities of producing medicines. Microbes’ are also responsible for creating other functional products such as food ingredients and industrial enzymes.


The field of Microbiology is vast so you will need to specialise in the area that interests you most. The diversity of microorganisms means that it is not feasible for Microbiologists to study every species. This results in scientists picking a research area that is most rewarding to them. Your skills and capabilities will also influence the field that you choose. Bacteriologists study bacteria while food microbiologists focus on the microorganisms that cause sickness and spoilage. Industrial microbiologists analyse microorganisms which create profitable products and they typically find employment in the field of biotechnology. Medical microbiologists play a role in diagnosing patients who are suffering from microbial diseases. They also help to treat these patients. Mycologists work with fungi while Protozoologists analyse protests. Virologists focus on viruses. Before you make your decision research the different fields to find out which one interests you most. Once you have a better idea of the different options, you can choose an area to specialise in. Your area of specialisation will also influence your work environment.

On the job as a Microbiologist

Various microbiology jobs can be found in a number of industries, including the food industry as well as water treatment plants. They are also hired in the agricultural and biotechnology sectors. Their services play a role in museums and energy development plants. Research and medical institutions require the services of Microbiologists. Employment is also available at universities, pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturers. Government agencies also hire Microbiologists. Work environments vary from laboratories to natural settings.


As a Microbiologist you will be responsible for planning and conducting trials. You will also need to analyse the development of micro-organisms. Part of this position involves growing microbe cultures as well as collecting samples. Microbiologists have to record and review data so that they can write reports. It is essential that they adhere to regulations so that they can compile accurate reports. In order to perform their duties Microbiologists need to make sure that they are aware of the latest developments in the scientific community. Managing laboratories and upholding safety guidelines are other duties that are associated with this position.

To succeed as a Microbiologist you will need to be decisive, independent and patient. It is also important to pay attention to detail. This job requires IT, analytical and numerical capabilities. The ability to work in a team and communicate well is also required.

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The South African Society for Microbiology supports Microbiologists and you gain useful information from this organization. They aim to contribute to local microbiological sciences. This non-profit professional association consists of microbiologists who work in a range of different settings. To become a member of SASM you will need to meet the minimum requirements of a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. An equivalent tertiary education or a degree in a related field is also accepted. Student membership options are also available.


Now that you have an overview of what Microbiology is all about you can decide if it is the right career for you. Browse Job Mail to find Microbiology jobs in your area. Register your CV today and apply for great career opportunities listed online – fast, super easy and extremely convenient.

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