Microbiologists in the United States take home approximately $51K per year on average. Residence and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Women make up a slight majority of Microbiologists (58 percent) survey respondents. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$36,743 - $79,662
$37K
$51K
$80K
MEDIAN: $50,878
10%
50%
90%

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$14.47 - $29.80
$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$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$36,743 - $79,662  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,977  
Profit Sharing
$1,200  
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).
)
$33,416 - $76,415  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 583
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
$14.47 - $29.80  
   
Overtime
$20.35 - $40.83  
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 - $6,977  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,200  
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).
)
$33,416 - $76,415  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 318

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Microbiologist


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Advancing into a Quality Assurance Manager role seems to be a popular career move for Microbiologists, and folks who currently work in the latter position report a notably larger median income of $69K per year. The most common career progression for Microbiologists leads to becoming a Medical Technologist, where average pay is $52K annually. However, many Microbiologists also opt to become Biologists. Typically, a Biologist brings home $47K.

Microbiologist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Microbiologist


Survey results suggest that Microbiologists put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in Microbiology, GMP Compliance, Molecular Biology, and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include environmental monitoring and Data Analysis. Those proficient in Data Analysis are, more often than not, also skilled in Molecular Biology.

Pay by Experience Level for Microbiologist

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


Microbiologists generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $44K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $55K. Microbiologists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $64K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $66K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $48,834

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

Home to some of the best pay for Microbiologists, Los Angeles offers exceptional salaries, 44 percent above the national average. Microbiologists will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+30 percent), New York (+20 percent), Cincinnati (+13 percent), and Denver (+12 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Microbiologists is geography, with workers in Columbus earning a whopping 30 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Madison (22 percent less) and St. Louis (10 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Microbiologist

Gender

Female
58 %
Male
42 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 94 votes.
Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
45%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
7%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Microbiologist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 35%



National Average
$49,000


Skills That Affect Microbiologist Salaries

Microbiology
up arrow 5%

Research Analysis
up arrow 1%

Molecular Biology
up arrow 1%

GMP Compliance
up arrow 1%

National Average
$49,000

PCR Analysis
up arrow 1%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 2%

Aseptic Processing
up arrow 2%

Data Analysis
up arrow 4%

environmental monitoring
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 94 votes.

Gender

Female
58 %
Male
42 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
45%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 85%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
vision benefits
Vision: 62%
dental benefits
None: 13%
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