How to Become a Bacteriologist?

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Bacteriologist

Bacteriology is a branch of biology that is focused on the study of different bacterias. Bacteriologists are the scientists who study these bacterias in your body, on the surface, below the earth and in food. According to nature.com, the scope of the bacteriology field is immense because it is not restricted to one field and is needed in various areas of study such as medicine, pharmacy, diary, industry, clinical research, water industry, agriculture, chemical technology and nanotechnology. 

Who is a Bacteriologist?

As the name suggests, a Bacteriologist is a scientist who studies bacteria. They study the growth, development, features and biological structure of various types of bacterias. A Bacteriologist mainly deals with the prognosis, diagnosis and disease surveillance in the world of bacteria. They lead the research and laboratory tests of bacterias and their nature. Based on their test, treatments are developed. A Bacteriologist is a scientist and not a doctor who tends to the bacterial diseases of the general public. Since COVID-19, the word ‘virus’ and ‘virologist’ have become popular. However, a virologist shouldn’t be confused with a Bacteriologist. The former only deals with the research of bacteria and diseases caused by them. 

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Eligibility

There is no special bachelors, masters or doctorate degree in the field of bacteriology. This is because a student has to pursue a degree in microbiology to become a Bacteriologist.  Bacteriology is a subdivision of microbiology. 

  • 10+2 education with biology, physics and chemistry;
  • An undergraduate bachelor’s degree in biology, microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology or relevant sciences;
  • A master’s degree in the same field as the bachelor’s degree;
  • PhD or doctorate in microbiology.

The nature of these qualifications depends upon the changing trends in the industry of your choice. For example, if you are associated with the healthcare industry, your area of focus would be clinical research on the bacterias present in the human body.

Skill

Research and experimentation in laboratories form the nucleus in bacteriology. The field of microbiology involves a great deal of patience. Some other skills pertinent for a Bacteriologist are as follows:

  • Critical thinking 
  • Analytical skills
  • Laboratory training
  • Microbial knowledge
  • Computer skills
  • Research skills
  • Written communication (for research papers)
  • Leadership qualities (Bacteriologists often work in teams)

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Job Responsibilities

The job role of a Bacteriologist depends upon the industry the Bacteriologist works in. The industry areas are healthcare, water research, educational institute, food and beverage industry, etc. Here are some key responsibilities of a Bacteriologist:

  • Discovering and culturing bacterias in a lab or controlled environment
  • Conducting lab experiments on the same
  • Writing research papers on the experimental project
  • Presenting it to the stakeholders like co-workers, company management or the general public
  • Leading the team of Bacteriologists and maintaining a healthy working environment

If a Bacteriologist works in the private sector, their stakeholders will be the company board and if they work in the public sector, the policymakers become their stakeholders.

How to Become a Bacteriologist?

There are many instances where students don’t know at what age or grade should they start working towards a career. Professions like Bacteriologists require you to take the science stream in high school. Here’s a step-wise guide to becoming a Bacteriologist:

 Step 1: Choose Biology

To become a Bacteriologist, you have to start preparing for related subjects from high school itself. After passing 10th, make sure you take biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics as your core subjects. 

Step 2: Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology

The ideal bachelor’s degree to pursue in your journey of becoming a Bacteriologist is B.Sc in Microbiology. Now, colleges in India take student applications in two ways. Either the college accepts students on the basis of merit or via an entrance exam. In case of an entrance exam, make sure you pass the minimum cutoff to be admitted to the degree program.

Step 3: Internship in the Final Year

Internships in the final year are an important part of your journey to become a microbiologist. This will also help you understand what kind of job profile suits you. A GPA of 7.5 is considered best if you want to pursue masters. 

Step 4: Master’s Degree in Microbiology

You will require a minimum of 50% on your bachelor’s degree to be able to pursue a master’s. To be a Bacteriologist, a common entrance exam like IPU CET, DUEE, JNUEE, etc 

After you are admitted to the master’s program, your course will be divided into various sciences like bacteriology. A lot of lab research and experiments will be involved in your master’s program. 

Step 5: Final Step

After a difficult master’s degree, you have graduated as a microbiologist and specifically a Bacteriologist. You can always go for a doctorate after a master’s to initiate your thesis and become highly qualified in the field of bacteriology.

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BSc in Microbiology

After your 12th grade, you have to pursue a bachelor’s in microbiology to become a Bacteriologist. It is a 3-year program. You will be admitted to a bachelor’s program either based on merit or your science subjects scores in the 12th. 

Name Bachelor’s in Microbiology
Type Undergraduate 
Duration 3 years
Eligibility Minimum 55% in 12th grade or entrance exam
Average tuition fee (3 years) Rs. 1.50-3.60 lakhs

MSc in Microbiology

A master’s degree adds quality to your CV if you want to specialise as a Bacteriologist. A minimum of 55% in your bachelor’s degree is essential for applying to master’s colleges. It is a 2-year postgraduate program that will teach you bacteriology specific research and lab tests. In India, some reputed universities ask you to take an aptitude test as well.

Name  Master’s in Microbiology
Type Postgraduate 
Duration 2 years
Eligibility  Minimum 55% in bachelor’s degree and passing the aptitude test
Average tuition fee Rs 2-4 lakhs
Job opportunities  Bacteriologist, virologist, research analyst, immunologist, etc

PhD in Microbiology(Bacteriology) 

To earn the special badge of being a doctor in Microbiology (bacteriology), you have to have a minimum work experience of 5 years in the same field. Thesis and research on your doctorate topic will consume your 3-5 years. In India, you have to again pass the university-specific entrance exams like UGC-NET, GATE, CSIR(JRF), etc to be accepted in the university’s PhD program. 

Name  Master’s in Microbiology
Type Postgraduate 
Duration 3-5 years
Eligibility  Minimum 55% in master’s degree, passing the entrance exam and personal interview
Average tuition fee Rs 50,000-1,00,000 per year
Job opportunities  microbiologist, Bacteriologist, virologist, epidemiologist, biological technicians, etc

Best Universities for Bacteriologist Courses Abroad

Bacteriologists have been in demand since the pandemic in 2019. The medical research and biotechnology sector is estimated to reach $150 billion in India by the end of 2025 according to IBEF. Universities globally offer 32 areas of research to Bacteriologists namely probiotics, antibiotics, prebiotics, bacterial enzymology, etc. 

  • Harvard University, USA
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • University of California- San Francisco, USA
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • Cornell University, USA
  • University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • University of Washington, USA
  • Imperial College London, UK
  • Duke University, USA 
  • Stanford University, USA

Wondering how you can be a part of these top-ranked universities? Attend the Uniconnect Virtual Fair by Leverage Edu and get a chance to directly apply to your dream university with us. Register Now!

Best Universities for Bacteriologist Courses in India

  • Madras Christian College, Chennai
  • Fergusson College, Pune
  • St. Xaviers College, Mumbai
  • Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru
  • Ethiraj College of Women, Chennai
  • Ruia College, Mumbai
  • Jai Hind College, Mumbai
  • Kishinchand Chellaram College, Chennai

Top Recruiters

Bacteriologists earn a minimum starting salary of 6 lakhs INR given their advanced knowledge of the same. Companies that majorly employ Bacteriologists globally are:- 

  • Cipla
  • Apollo
  • Bisleri
  • Brittania
  • Dr Reddy’s 
  • Lupin
  • Sun Pharma
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • GSK 

Are you ready to build your career as Bacteriologist? The first step is selecting your dream university. Contact our Leverage Edu experts to start your study abroad journey. Call us at 1800 57 2000 and book your free 30-minute counselling session today.

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