Discover your career path

Bacteriologist

Know all there is to know about bacteria.

What does a Bacteriologist do?

The job of a Bacteriologist centers on bugs, but not the ones with wings and antennae. Instead, Bacteriologists focus on bugs that make people or animals sick, and can only be seen with the help of a microscope.

Bacteria are everywhere in the world. On a tiny patch of human skin alone, there are millions of them. Some of them are good, helping with things like digestion, but others are bad, making people sick. As a Bacteriologist, you work to understand everything about the different forms of bacteria.

You study things like what they look like, where they live, what kind of conditions they thrive in, and how they reproduce. The information you gather can then be used for a wide range of things. You might help prevent diseases, create a new medicine, or test the amount of toxins in food.

This position can be found in hospitals, laboratories, food companies, and government agencies. You can collaborate with other researchers, Biologists, Veterinarians, or Doctors. You work to understand the way bacteria spread and cause illness. You also study how this spread can be stopped, and how to alter bad bacteria so they become a good thing.

Wherever you work, you tend to spend most of your time in a lab. You take samples, which can come from a patient (either animal or human), water, or soil. You then isolate strains of bacteria from those samples, study them, and conduct experiments. After that, you write reports on your findings, and keep close records so your experiments can be repeated or improved on.