Microbiologist Salary

Average Microbiologists in the United States make around $49K per year. In the world of Microbiologists, overall income ranges from $33K near the bottom to $73K at the top; this can include more than $5K from bonuses and more than $20K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Microbiologists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Women make up a slight majority of Microbiologists (56 percent) survey respondents. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$35,490 - $75,031
(Median)
$35K
$49K
$75K
MEDIAN: $49,304
10%
50%
90%

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$14.49 - $29.79
(Median)
$14
$19
$30
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$35,490 - $75,031  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,108  
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $19,866  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$33,286 - $72,815  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 699
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$14.49 - $29.79  
   
Overtime
$21.21 - $39.28  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,108  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $19,866  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$33,286 - $72,815  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 391
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Job Description for Microbiologist

Microbiologists study the biology of microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and algae; examples of microbiologists include bacteriologists, virologists, immunologists and clinical microbiologists. They often work in research and development, although they may also instruct students in microbiology if they hold a position at colleges and universities. Their duties include conducting research projects to examine microorganisms, preparing samples for testing (such as through plating, swabbing and/or incubation), recording their findings accurately, and writing reports and research papers on their findings. Microbiologists also supervise biological technicians and other laboratory workers, as well as stay up to date on research and developments within their field.

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Microbiologist Tasks

  • Supervise laboratory staff, including schedules and tasks.
  • Perform assays and determinations of organisms and substrates for identification and to determine interactions.
  • Study and document growth, physiology, morphology, and general characteristics of microorganisms.
  • Write technical reports to communicate findings and procedures.

Common Career Paths for Microbiologist


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Microbiologists who move on to become Quality Assurance Managers may enjoy significant pay raises, as Quality Assurance Managers get paid an average of $69K per year. It is not uncommon for a Microbiologist to continue on to become a Biologist or a Medical Technologist.

Microbiologist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Microbiologist


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Microbiology, Research Analysis, Aseptic Processing, and Data Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like environmental monitoring. It is not unusual for someone who knows Molecular Biology to be familiar with Quality Assurance / Quality Control as well.

Pay by Experience Level for Microbiologist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Microbiologists, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $42K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $52K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $60K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $68K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $47,231

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Microbiologists in Boston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 32 percent above the national average. Microbiologists will also find cushy salaries in New York (+23 percent), Atlanta (+12 percent), Minneapolis (+12 percent), and Denver (+12 percent). Falling short of the national average by 19 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Columbus. Madison and Dallas are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 18 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively.

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Experience Affects Microbiologist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 43%



National Average
$47,000


Skills That Affect Microbiologist Salaries

Microbiology
up arrow 9%

Research Analysis
up arrow 3%

Aseptic Processing
up arrow 3%

Data Analysis
up arrow 2%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 1%

Molecular Biology
up arrow 1%

PCR Analysis
up arrow 1%

National Average
$47,000

environmental monitoring
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 172 votes.

Gender

Female
56 %
Male
44 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 78%
medical benefits
Vision: 64%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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