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Microbiologist Salary

Microbiologists in the United States pull down an average of $49K annually. Cash earnings for Microbiologists — which occasionally include more than $5K from bonuses and more than $20K from profit sharing — stretch from around $32K to approximately $72K. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Microbiologists. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 53 percent. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
$34,870 - $74,487
(Median)
35K
49K
60K
74K
MEDIAN: $48,606
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$13.98 - $27.78
(Median)
14
18
23
28
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
75%
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
$34,870 - $74,487  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,149  
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $20,203  
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).
)
$32,141 - $72,436  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 570
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
$13.98 - $27.78  
   
Overtime
$20.72 - $36.64  
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 - $5,149  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $20,203  
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).
)
$32,141 - $72,436  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 305
United States (change)

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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It's not very common for Microbiologists to move on to become Quality Assurance Managers. Average pay for a Quality Assurance Manager is $68K annually.

Microbiologist Job Listings

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Microbiologists typically list a handful of skills they use on the job. Most notably, facility with environmental monitoring and Molecular Biology are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Many workers who know environmental monitoring also know Quality Assurance / Quality Control.

Pay by Experience Level for Microbiologist

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


Microbiologists who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $41K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $51K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Microbiologists with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $56K. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $69K.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Microbiologist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 50%

Experienced
up arrow 23%

Mid-Career
up arrow 10%

National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Microbiologist Salaries

environmental monitoring
up arrow 22%

Molecular Biology
up arrow 11%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 3%

Research Analysis
up arrow 3%

National Average
$46,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 202 votes.

Gender

Female
53 %
Male
47 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 76%
vision benefits Vision: 60% employee benefits None: 10%