How to Become an Microbiologist | Courses | Eligibility | Fees | Jobs
Microbiology is one of the fastest growing branches of science today. Every year more and more students are opting for this programme and there is also a lot of demand for qualified microbiologists in different industries. Microbiologists are responsible for studying infectious agents, organisms, and such particles which are microscopic in nature. These particles can impact our food, climate change, and even green technologies for a safer future.
If you are interested in pursuing this branch of science, here are some tips on how to become a microbiologist after 12th:
Tips To Become Microbiologist After 12th
Qualifications Required to Become a Microbiologist
To become a professional microbiologist you need to start with an undergraduate microbiology course such as a B.Sc. in Microbiology, followed by a M.Sc. in Microbiology as the postgraduate level. Pursue these microbiology courses from a reputed science university to attract opportunities from leading private and public companies.
If you wish to further fortify your knowledge in microbiology, you can pursue a PhD or an M.Phil qualification after completing your Master’s in the area. These qualifications can help you obtain lucrative job opportunities in microbiology.
Eligibility to Apply for Microbiology Courses
At an undergraduate level you can apply for a B.Sc. in Microbiology, which is one of the best microbiology courses. To apply for this programme you need to have passed 12th (10+2) in science stream with minimum 50% aggregate marks. After obtaining a B.Sc. degree you can pursue a M.Sc. in Microbiology at the postgraduate level. To pursue this programme you need to have a B.Sc. degree in Microbiology, Botany, or Zoology.
You can apply for PhD or M.Phil programmes after a postgraduate degree in Microbiology with minimum 50% aggregate marks. Some top microbiology colleges even conduct independent entrance exams for PhD applicants.
The academic fees for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in microbiology can vary from college. Various components come into play, including whether you are applying to a government or private university, how reputed the university is, the infrastructure of the university, etc. The fees for undergraduate courses can range from INR 20,000/- to INR 2.5 lakhs, and for postgraduate courses it can range from INR 50,000/- to INR 3 lakhs.
The course curriculum of microbiology courses include a vast number of subjects such as Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Plant Morphology and Anatomy, Introduction to Microbiology, Basic Techniques to Microbiology, Environmental Studies, Physical and Analytical Chemistry, Ecology and Evolution, Medical Microbiology, Bacterial Philosophy and Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology, Genetics and Molecular Biology and Immunology, Biostatistics, Industrial Microbiology, Enzymology and Metabolism, Instrumentation and Molecular Biophysics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbial Diversity and Taxonomy and instrumentation and Molecular Biophysics, Genetic Engineering, and Microbial Technology, to name a few.
The course work will also include intense laboratory sessions for hands-on training, workshops, industrial training, and internships for added skill building. The best colleges for B.Sc. in microbiology also focus on extracurricular activities and inter-college competitions for the overall development of students.
Job Opportunities as a Microbiologist
There are a number of diverse jobs open to qualified and skilled microbiologists in different arenas. They can be hired as Biomedical Scientists, Research Assistants, Food Technologists, Pharmacologists, Clinical and Veterinary Microbiologists, Industrial Microbiologists, and Environmental Microbiologists, to name a few job roles.
Employment Sector and Recruiting Companies
Skilled microbiologists are hired by companies dealing with agriculture, food and beverage, chemicals, environmental agencies, private hospitals, research institutes, universities, pharmaceutical companies, and research laboratories.
Top companies in India that hire qualified microbiologists are Pfizer, Indian Hotel Company, Mascot International, Piramal Group, Sun Pharma, Fortis Hospitals, Apollo Hospitals, Lakshmi Life Sciences, and others.
A microbiologist with the right qualifications can begin their career with an average annual salary of INR 1.5 lakhs, rise up to INR 3 lakhs at the mid level, and go beyond INR 8 lakhs at a senior level.
Of course the annual salary depends on the branch of microbiology that the candidate has specialised in; for example, a microbiologist can make over INR 8 lakhs at a senior level, and an industrial microbiologist can make over INR 5 lakhs at the senior level. However, these figures are just an average estimate; your salary will depend on your expertise and the company which hires you.
Microbiology is a highly competitive industry, and just like any competitive industry it requires professionals to be well-qualified, trained, and highly skilled to attract the right opportunities. If you are comfortable working in labs and behind the scenes in research departments then microbiology will prove to be the right career for you. The field has a lot of scope and can open a number of global opportunities for you if you study at one of the best colleges for microbiology courses in India.