How do I Become a Microscopist?

Patrick Roland

The world around us is made up of billions of organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye. Only with microscope technology are scientists and doctors able to see these tiny elements. If you wish to become a microscopist and view the world close up, you must have a lengthy educational background and specialized training, because microscopists are necessary in a variety of fields. With all of these talents after you become a microscopist, you will be able to help make advances in science, assist in the legal world and conduct important research.

Three paramecia are seen under a microscope.
Three paramecia are seen under a microscope.

Education is the foundation of a long career if you plan to become a microscopist. A background in science is a must, because most jobs operating a microscope require at the very least a bachelor's degree in science, chemistry or physics. For many upper-level positions, a master's degree or doctorate is strongly encouraged. An education in the sciences exposes you to many kinds of microscopes, because they are necessary for certain coursework. Also, understanding scientific principles is a major part of research in many jobs.

A microscopist is a scientist skilled in using the microscope.
A microscopist is a scientist skilled in using the microscope.

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If you want to become a microscopist, you must be able to apply the skills cultivated in school as you focus on this working in this role. Attention to detail is a quality any scientist operating a microscope must have, because you will be looking for tiny clues through your microscope. Patience and concentration are equally important, because microscopists must look at several similar slides of samples and often must determine the difference or deficiency, depending on your specialty. Logical thinking, such as using the scientific method, also helps solve mysteries found under the microscope.

You must choose a specialty early if you plan to become a microscopist. Microscopes are used in the health field, in scientific research and in a variety of chemical laboratories. Depending on your strengths and interests, you will have a wide selection of choices.

Many people who choose to become a microscopist work as an electron microscopist. These people are utilized by healthcare and medical research facilities, because that particular microscope is very powerful. It is often used in researching diseases or medicines.

You also could choose to work with chemicals as a microscopist. An asbestos microscopist, for example, uses this instrument for determining the asbestos content of materials. These results are used by insurance companies, manufacturers, legal teams and more. The applications of this type of work is not limited to asbestos and can involve an unlimited number of possibilities.

A microscopist working.
A microscopist working.

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