Career Trends for Clinical Microbiologist Jobs

Clinical microbiologist careers are very much on the upswing. There are literally thousands of jobs online, and the range of jobs is also expanding. The emphasis is also changing, with some formerly minor roles becoming major emerging areas in employment markets.

Career Options for Clinical Microbiologists

There are a range of sectors in which clinical microbiologists are very much in demand: 

  • Bioinformatics
  • Food technology
  • Research
  • Environmental studies
  • Immunology

This sudden big demand is really catching up with developments in the profession. In the past, the role of clinical microbiologists was seriously restricted by limited testing capabilities and relatively primitive technologies. Most of the modern testing regimes are comparatively new and can do thousands of tests, whereas the old technology could manage only a handful.

The effect of the new capabilities is driving the massive increase in both jobs and the amount of work being done. These capabilities are also expanding the clinical microbiologist’s career options exponentially. Some fields of study, like virology, epidemiology and immunology, were almost exotic in previous generations. Now they’re big science studies, with big budgets, and are in real need of clinical microbiologists with advanced training.

You can actually see how the demand is affecting both the number and types of jobs for clinical microbiologists on big US sites like, where the bandwidth of jobs now covers many different industries and roles.

Career Dynamics

Clinical microbiologists' careers are often complex. Career dynamics and career options have also changed considerably in recent years. Doctorate and graduate degrees were the normal basic requirements for clinical microbiologists in the past, but now undergraduate degrees are also coming onstream as the profession expands. This change actually reflects a need for people, but it’s also increasingly an indicator of much better developed job design--good news for clinical microbiologists who want to get into the field early.

There are too many different types of clinical microbiologists to do a complete analysis of career options in the field. However, there is a broad career track that defines the natural progressions for clinical microbiologists.

A typical career track works on a complex continuum of qualifications, preferences and organizational options:

  • Undergraduate: Lab work, internships, “understudy” research roles, early experience in specialist roles
  • Master's-Level: Research assistants, specialization development, advanced internships, higher-rated technical work, organizational roles within senior technical staff, and management roles in industries
  • Doctorate: Research fellows, specialist roles, and in the case of those preparing for doctorates, combinations of research and other work for the doctoral process. High-level positions in industrial science organizations and consultancies.
  • Post-Doctorate: Advanced research, major scientific projects, organizational management, academic options, major programs and projects, and consultancies. Senior scientist level in industry organizations. 

Please note: This is an extremely simplified version of the career dynamics for clinical microbiologists and is not intended to be all-inclusive in terms of career possibilities. Biology as a science frequently includes “customized” career tracks that may include multidisciplinary work and other considerations.