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People who want to pursue careers in microbiology may anticipate spending many years in college and graduate school. There are, however, some microbiology careers that do not require a long period of schooling, such as a microbiology technician career. A person who wants to pursue this field may do so after completing high school and earning an associate's degree or certificate in the field. In many places, a person who wants to become a microbiology technician may do so after completing just two years of education after high school.
A microbiology technician is a person who performs testing to discover whether or not microbes are present in particular samples. He not only seeks to detect microbes, but also attempts to determine how they interact with other organisms. Often, a microbiology technician does such testing to determine the causes of diseases or to assist in research regarding foods and medications. Sometimes, a microbiology technician also helps identify causes of bacterial or viral diseases.
To become a microbiology technician, a person must first complete high school or earn an equivalency diploma. While many people continue their education after earning equivalent credentials, high school diplomas are often viewed more favorably. Additionally, a person who does attend high school usually has the opportunity to take science and math courses that could prove helpful in college.
After high school, a person who wants to become a microbiology technician usually enrolls in an associate's degree program with the goal of earning a degree in applied microbiology. Alternatively, he may enroll in a hospital or vocational school certificate program designed to prepare individuals for microbiology technician careers. It’s worth noting that some employers may be willing to hire individuals who do not have college degrees or certificates. Instead, these employers hire applicants who have high school diplomas and have taken some science courses or previously worked in a laboratory.
Besides an associate’s degree or certificate, a prospective employer usually considers an applicant's unique abilities and knowledge as well. Employers usually look for new microbiology technicians who have completed science courses and have basic skills in math. Some prefer applicants who have previous experience working in a lab, while others are willing to train prospective applicants. Knowledge of testing equipment and procedures is desirable as well. In some places, microbiology technicians have to be licensed before they can begin work.
Once an individual has completed the steps required to become a microbiology technician, he may begin to look for a job. Agricultural, pharmaceutical, and medical companies may be interested in hiring microbiology technicians. Some food-development companies may hire them as well.