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Microbiologist Salary

For Microbiologists, yearly average wages total $49K annually. With some bonuses approaching $5K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $20K, overall incomes of Microbiologists spread between $33K and $72K depending on individual performance. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 55 percent. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$35,645 - $74,156
(Median)
$36K
$49K
$74K
MEDIAN: $48,657
10%
50%
90%

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$14.30 - $28.79
(Median)
$14
$19
$29
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$35,645 - $74,156  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,216  
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).
)
$32,779 - $72,240  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 594
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$14.30 - $28.79  
   
Overtime
$20.88 - $36.72  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,216  
   
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).
)
$32,779 - $72,240  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 303

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Job Description for Microbiologist

Microbiologist study the microorganisms that surround us. They focus on bacteria, viruses, algae, and even fungi. They research the ways that microorganisms affect us and how we might even be able to use them. A microbiologist not only has the task of tracking down microorganisms but they must also monitor and identify what type is being observed, their interaction(s), and more. They are also always thinking of new techniques that may aid in the prevention of disease spreading. A microbiologist researches new medications that are currently in clinical trials. Some microbiologists even develop new medicines and vaccines that have to then be registered. When working in a lab, they grow microbial cultures that are then used by the agriculture department as well as the food and beverage department for testing purposes. Many microbiologists travel frequently to collect samples from all types of environments. They must also perform and be trained in safety procedures to prevent contamination. A microbiologist can also be the supervisor in a lab; in these cases, they therefore must maintain and oversee a team of staff members who will assist them in reporting findings on computer and maintaining accurate records.


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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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 $68K per year.

Microbiologist Job Listings

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Survey results show that Microbiologists typically report just a few professional skills. Most notably, skills in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. Environmental monitoring and Quality Assurance / Quality Control are also commonly seen together.

Pay by Experience Level for Microbiologist

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


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $41K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $51K. On average, Microbiologists make $58K following one to two decades on the job. Microbiologists who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $68K.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Microbiologist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 46%

Experienced
up arrow 26%

Mid-Career
up arrow 9%

National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Microbiologist Salaries

Molecular Biology
up arrow 20%

Microbiology
up arrow 16%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 3%

Research Analysis
up arrow 1%

National Average
$46,000

environmental monitoring
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 194 votes.

Gender

Female
55 %
Male
45 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 77%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 10%