Microbiologists study microorganisms with the intention of understanding how they might affect us and the environment to attempt to find ways of bettering our lives. You’ll focus on studying microorganisms at a cellular or molecular level, which includes viruses, fungi and bacteria. As you can imagine, most microbiologists work at hospitals and laboratory-based settings. But don’t worry if that doesn’t sound perfect for you, you can also work in education or even agriculture.  

There are different types of microbiologists, so depending on the area of specialisation you decide to work in, your career route will differ. Some of these areas will be in medicine, environments, research and development and healthcare.  

On a day-to-day basis, you’ll be identifying microorganisms, collecting samples and generally going over relevant research. Clinical microbiologists have starting salaries of £32,306 and working for one of the biggest employers, the NHS, you can earn salaries up to £108,075. 


Position in career Associated Salary (UK) 
Trainee Clinical Scientist  To become a microbiologist, you must firstly hold a relevant degree in biology or a similar subject and apply for a Scientist Training Programme (STP). This will give you a Certificate of Attainment and allow you to register as a clinical scientist in the Health & Care Professions Council.  £32,306 
Qualified Microbiologist  Part of being qualified with the Health & Care Professions Council will include completing a master’s in microbiology clinical science. Don’t worry if you don’t have a degree, you can also work your way up as a laboratory technician or apprenticeship and gain plenty of experience. This means that there is more than one route to becoming a microbiologist, so make sure you find the one that fits you. £47,057 – £45,839 
Principal/ Consultant Scientist Consultants in any area of work will require many years of experience to be able to carry the added responsibilities of the role. You can reach this position once you have the necessary training and experience.    £47,126 – £108,075 


  1. NHS  
  2. UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) 
  3. Shellworks 
  4. NHS Trust 
  5. Quorn Foods 
  6. Globe Locums 
  7. Your World Healthcare 
  8. Ethypharm Group 
  9. Medacs Healthcare 
  10. CK Science 

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

Back to top