Careers in Microbiology
Because of the importance of microorganisms to humans and science, microbiologists are needed in a variety of private concerns and governmental agencies. Microbiology students who would like to further their education may wish to apply for advanced degree work in a professional school or in graduate school. An outline of the various alternatives is submitted below:
Opportunities in Private Concerns:
The major industrial and research concerns employing microbiologists in the Seattle area are biotechnology companies, food processing industries (including dairies and fish processors), private biological and chemical laboratories and hospitals.
The Department has a list of companies/biotechnology firms for individuals interested in knowing where published job opportunities might exist in the State of Washington. To obtain a list, please contact the Program Coordinator in Room G-315. Job announcements and other items of interest to undergraduates may be found on the bulletin board in the G-wing hallway.
You may also wish to consult The Career Opportunities section of Biotechnology & Medical Technology Online.
Nationally, microbiologists are employed by pharmaceutical and drug companies, breweries, cheese manufacturers, canneries, medical laboratories and so forth.
Students who are seeking employment with a corporation should contact the Center for Career Services, 301 Loew Hall. The Center has group classes on resume writing and interviewing techniques at the beginning of each quarter. We encourage you to take advantage of this free service. Also, it would also be wise to contact individual companies that might interest you. Personal contact is often extremely helpful in finding positions.
There are also private placement companies that charge fees for helping people to find employment.
State of Washington
The State of Washington employs microbiologists in the Department of Health and the Department of Ecology. Students interested in state positions should contact the Washington State Department of Personnel. There is a Seattle office at 312 - 1st Avenue North, Seattle, 98109.
State educational institutions employ microbiologists as research technologists (these positions are funded largely by federal grant and contract monies) or as clinical technologists in university hospitals. For information on these positions contact the personnel office of each institution.
The federal government employs microbiologists in many of its departments. In Washington State most microbiologists working for the federal government are employed in the Department of Health and Human Services (in the Food and Drug Administration and Public Health Service) and the Environmental Protection Agency. Persons seeking federal employment should contact the Civil Service Commission at 915 - 2nd Avenue in Seattle (Phone: 442-4365).
Graduate and Professional School Opportunities:
Schools offering advanced training programs in microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, genetics, and/or molecular biology are attractive to many microbiology graduates.
Students seeking advanced degrees should write directly to the schools or departments of interest for information and application deadlines. Students should consult their advisor and other faculty for additional information about graduate school. Brochures and catalogs on many graduate programs are available in the Advising office. Another valuable source of information is Peterson's Guide to Graduate Programs in the Biological, Agricultural and Health Sciences,which is available online and in the Health Sciences Library. Also, many schools have their program information on the Web. Most universities require that students take the Graduate Record Examination early enough to permit sufficient time for the scores to be available at the time the student is evaluated. (For our Department the GRE must be taken by October.) For information about the GRE examination contact the Office of Educational Assessment, 453 Schmitz Hall, 543-1170, (email@example.com).
Work Experience - If you are entertaining graduate school it is very important that you gain laboratory exposure by working in a laboratory and preferably working on a research project. This experience will prove valuable not only in your application to graduate school, but in future employment.
Students may continue their education by pursuing a health professional career (Medicine, dentistry, Public Health and Community Medicine, or Veterinary Medicine, etc.). Students should contact the schools directly to obtain the most recent admission information and course requirements. Many programs require an entrance exam ( MCAT, DAT, GRE). It is highly recommended that students interested in premedical or predental programs contact a counselor in the Undergraduate Advising Center for information.