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A collage of different bacteria viewed under a microscope.

A bacteriologist is a microbiologist, or similarly trained professional, in bacteriology— a subdivision of microbiology that studies bacteria, typically pathogenic ones.[1] Bacteriologists are interested in studying and learning about bacteria, as well as using their skills in clinical settings. This includes investigating properties of bacteria such as morphology, ecology, genetics and biochemistry, phylogenetics, genomics and many other areas related to bacteria like disease diagnostic testing.[2] Alongside human and animal healthcare providers, they may carry out various functions as medical scientists, veterinary scientists, pathologists, or diagnostic technicians in locations like clinics, blood banks, hospitals, laboratories and animal hospitals.[2][3][4] Bacteriologists working in public health or biomedical research help develop vaccines for public use as well as public health guidelines for restaurants and businesses.[5]


Because bacteriology is a sub-field of microbiology, most careers in bacteriology require an undergraduate degree in microbiology or a closely related field.[6] Graduate degrees in microbiology or disciplines like it are common for bacteriologists because graduate degree programs provide more in-depth and specific education on topics related to bacteriology. They also often include research and lab experience. Graduate studies also provide opportunities for practical experience in applying bacteriological concepts to a work environment.[7] If someone wants to pursue independent research, work for a company involved in bacteriology, or work in a university bacteria research facility, they will typically have to complete a PhD in bacteriology or a closely related field.[2][6]

Bacteriologist specializations[edit]

Noted bacteriologists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition of "bacteriologist" from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus". Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  2. ^ a b c "Bacteriologist: Job Description, Duties and Salary". Best Accredited Colleges. 2021-10-20. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  3. ^ "Laboratory of Bacteriology | NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases". National Institutes of Health NIAID Website. 2022-05-19. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  4. ^ "American College of Veterinary Microbiologists | About". www.acvm.us. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  5. ^ "Vaccines Working Group". National Institutes of Health (NIH). 2020-09-03. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  6. ^ a b "How To Become a Microbiologist in 6 Steps". Indeed Career Guide. 2021-12-09 [2020-11-05; originally published]. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  7. ^ "What Is a Bacteriologist? (With Job Duties and Key Skills)". Indeed Career Guide. 2021-09-15. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  8. ^ Coico, Richard (2005-10-15). "Gram Staining". Current Protocols in Microbiology. Appendix 3 (1): Appendix 3C. doi:10.1002/9780471729259.mca03cs00. ISSN 1934-8525. PMID 18770544. S2CID 32452815.