Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
4d ago

Pay for microbiologists depends on their qualifications and experience.

  • Microbiologists with Bachelor's degrees working at technician level usually earn around $35,000 to $55,000 a year.
  • Those with Master's degrees usually earn around $55,000 to $75,000.
  • Senior microbiologists who have PhDs usually earn $76,000 to $94,000.
  • With more responsibility and experience, pay could rise to about $130,000 or more.
  • Source : NZBIO, 2016.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Microbiologists may do some or all of the following :

  • analyse and / or perform tests and experiments on micro-organisms
  • identify and characterise micro-organisms, including those that cause disease
  • develop and use micro-organisms for the production of fuels and chemicals
  • develop micro-organisms and the products of their growth for use in vaccines and medicines
  • grow micro-organisms to use in food such as yoghurt and cheese
  • identify micro-organisms that may pollute food, water and the environment
  • find ways for micro-organisms to help humans
  • prepare reports and papers, and present results
  • provide technical guidance to assistants.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Microbiologists need to have :

  • knowledge of molecular biology and genetics, biochemistry and chemistry
  • practical skills for performing experiments and operating scientific equipment
  • knowledge of laboratory hazards and proper safety procedures
  • skill in analysing and interpreting research results and other information
  • problem-solving skills
  • presentation skills
  • writing skills, for reports or grant proposals
  • maths and computer skills.
  • Microbiologists :

  • typically work regular business hours, but for some projects may need to work evenings and weekends
  • work in laboratories and offices, but also work in the field collecting samples or performing field trials
  • may travel locally and overseas to attend workshops and conferences.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a microbiologist you need to have a Bachelor of Science, majoring in microbiology, biotechnology, biochemistry or molecular biology.

    A postgraduate qualification, such as a Master's degree or Doctorate, is usually required for those wanting to enter research-based positions.

    Secondary education

    A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. NCEA Level 3 in biology, maths, chemistry and physics are recommended.

    Personal requirements

    Microbiologists need to be :

  • patient, persistent and inquiring
  • analytical, accurate and careful
  • innovative
  • able to communicate complex ideas simply.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for microbiologists includes laboratory work, or medical laboratory experience if working in a medical setting.

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