Microbiologists study microscopic forms of life such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

Specialisations: Bacteriologist (Non-medical).

A bachelor degree in science, biomedical science, biological science or medical science majoring in microbiology is needed to work as a Microbiologist. Many Microbiologists complete postgraduate studies.

Tasks

  • Investigates the chemical structure and function of living cells and their isolated components, organs and tissues in humans, animals, plants, and micro-organisms.
  • Examines micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, yeast and their enzymes, and uses the knowledge gained to create and develop new, and improve existing, products, materials and processes.

All Life Scientists

  • $1,794 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Average unemployment Unemployment

Microbiologists

  • 730 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 78% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 41 hours Average full-time
  • 38 years Average age
  • 71% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Microbiologists (in their main job) stayed about the same over 5 years:
from 810 in 2011 to 730 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Microbiologists work in many parts of Australia. Victoria has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Manufacturing; and Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (78%, higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 71% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services31.0
Manufacturing29.9
Health Care and Social Assistance15.9
Education and Training11.0
Other Industries12.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateMicrobiologistsAll Jobs Average
NSW27.631.6
VIC35.625.6
QLD19.820.0
SA5.17.0
WA5.710.8
TAS2.42.0
NT1.41.0
ACT2.31.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketMicrobiologistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.05.0
20-244.4-9.39.3
25-3432.1-22.922.9
35-4431.3-22.022.0
45-5417.7-21.621.6
55-597.1-9.09.0
60-645.2-6.06.0
65 and Over2.1-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationMicrobiologistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate36.4-10.110.1
Bachelor degree57.1-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma3.8-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV0.4-21.121.1
Year 122.3-18.118.1
Year 110.0-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.0-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in science, biomedical science, biological science or medical science majoring in microbiology is needed to work as a Microbiologist. Many Microbiologists complete postgraduate studies.

Membership with the Australian Society for Microbiology may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Life Scientists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Biology

    94% Skill level

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  2. English language

    77% Skill level

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  3. Chemistry

    71% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  4. Education and training

    67% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  5. Mathematics

    64% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-1022.00 - Microbiologists.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic mail

    96% Important

    Use electronic mail.

  2. Being exact or accurate

    95% Important

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  3. Face-to-face discussions

    95% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  4. Indoors, heat controlled

    95% Important

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  5. Wear common protective or safety equipment

    92% Important

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-1022.00 - Microbiologists.

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