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Microbiologist CV Writing Tip's

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Microbiologist CV Writing Service

Microbiologist CV Writing Service

If you’re a logical thinker with an enquiring mind, and you’re strong in biological sciences, this job could be ideal for you.

Microbiologists study the biology of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae, mainly in laboratories. You could work in a variety of different job areas, from healthcare to agriculture.

In this job you’ll need to be good at solving problems and working accurately. You’ll need to be a good communicator and work well in a team. You’ll also need to keep up to date with the latest scientific developments.

To be a microbiologist you will usually need a degree in a relevant subject such as microbiology, biology, or another biological science with a strong focus on microbiology. Some employers may also prefer you to have a relevant postgraduate qualification and some work experience.

The work

As a clinical microbiologist in a healthcare setting, you would aim to identify pathogens and diseases to protect the community from the spread of infection. Alternatively, you could work in research and development for the pharmaceutical and food industries, in agriculture, the environment, education and the emerging biotechnology industries.

Your work might involve:

  • monitoring, identifying and helping to control infectious diseases
  • using molecular biology techniques to develop and test new medicines and treatments for disease
  • investigating the potential of micro-organisms to produce antibodies, vaccines, hormones and other biotechnology products
  • assessing the use of microbes for use in food production, crop protection and soil fertility
  • monitoring the quality and safety of manufactured food and medical products
  • using micro-organisms to control pollution and break down toxic substances
  • creating ways to dispose of waste safely.

Your duties would often include presenting the findings of your research, supervising the work of support staff and carrying out administrative work. If you worked as a researcher and lecturer in a university or teaching hospital, you would also be involved in tutoring, mentoring and supervising students.


Hours

You would usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. For some jobs you may need to work an on-call rota.

The majority of your work will take place in a laboratory, and you would wear protective clothing to prevent contamination.

There may be some travel involved in your work, for example, to attend scientific meetings and conferences.


Income

The following figures are for a clinical microbiologist working in the NHS:

Starting salaries can be between £21,200 and £27,500 a year. With experience this can rise to around £35,000. Managers can earn over £40,000.

Salaries may be higher in the private sector.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

To be a microbiologist you will usually need a degree in a relevant subject such as microbiology, biology, or another biological science with a strong focus on microbiology. Some employers may also prefer you to have a relevant postgraduate qualification and some work experience.

To get on to a degree in microbiology you will usually need five GCSEs (A-C) including science, English and maths, plus at least two A levels including biology and preferably chemistry. Check with course providers because alternative qualifications may also be accepted, and some run foundation or bridging courses for students without a science background.

Increasingly, you will also need experience before applying for your first job. You may be able to get this through a work placement as part of a sandwich degree course, or by arranging work experience with companies during the holidays (check the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) and Society for Applied Microbiology (SFAM) for details of summer working schemes). Your university or local NHS Trust may be able to give you further advice about voluntary opportunities.

It is also possible to get into microbiology by working your way up from laboratory technician. This would involve studying part-time for a relevant degree.


Training and development

Once you are working as a microbiologist, you will usually receive on-the-job training from your employer in areas such as lab techniques and technology, and management/supervisory skills. Some employers may also encourage you to study for a postgraduate qualification or membership of a professional body, such as the Society of General Microbiology (this would also help you with professional development).

Working in the NHS, you would start in a trainee clinical scientist post and spend up to three years on a structured training programme working towards an MSc in Microbiology. To qualify as a clinical scientist (specialising in microbiology) you need a further two years’ experience in the lab before you can apply for the Association of Clinical Scientists Certificate of Attainment. Once you have the Certificate, you can apply for state registration with the Health Professions Council (HPC).

See the HPC and Association of Clinical Scientists’ websites for further details of approved courses and state registration, and see the Clinical Scientist job profile for more information on other areas of clinical science.

Skills and knowledge

As a microbiologist you will need to have:

  • the ability to keep up with the latest scientific developments
  • an enquiring mind
  • clear and logical thinking
  • good problem-solving skills
  • high levels of accuracy and attention to detail
  • good teamworking skills
  • the ability to lead a team
  • excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • the ability to work with statistics and relevant computer packages.

Opportunities

In the NHS, you could work in the diagnostic and pathology departments of larger hospitals and medical schools.

You may also find work in universities, industrial research and development, scientific analysis and investigation, medical and technical writing, and government agencies such as the Food Standards Agency or the Health and Safety Executive.

Jobs are advertised in the local and national press, in scientific journals and by specialist recruitment agencies.

Related industry information

Industry summary

The science industry is part of the engineering manufacturing, science and mathematics sector, represented by Semta Sector Skills Council. This sector also includes the following industries: automotive manufacture; electronics and electrical equipment manufacture; mechanical equipment manufacture; metals; and transport equipment manufacture. Across the sector as a whole, the workforce comprises approximately 2 million people, working across around 75,000 companies. UK engineering and science turnover is over £250 billion. British engineering exports amount to 37% of total UK exports of goods and services. The UK is Europe’s top location for investment in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development.

The science industries comprises pharmaceuticals, manufacture of medical and surgical equipment plus science and engineering research and development, so covers a range of disciplines. This research and development work takes place in a variety of establishments, such as university departments, research based employers or other scientific based employers. Overall, it comprises:

  • Research based pharmaceutical companies that discover, develop, market and distribute medication and drugs
  • Research and development in pharmaceutical manufacturing companies
  • Bioscience companies that are a spin-off from university research departments
  • The application of bioscience to produce innovative medicines, therapeutics and medical devices
  • The application of bioscience for the processing and production of materials (i.e. the use of bioscience in engineering industries)
  • Research and experimental development in bioscience.

Bioscience-related companies tend to be located in clusters (e.g. science parks that are sometimes linked with university hospitals). One of the most significant cluster groups is around Cambridge, Oxford and London. There is also a large cluster in the North West, where there is a long established pharmaceutical industry. In Scotland, clusters are centred around Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. In Wales and Northern Ireland, clusters of companies are centred around the main universities.

Key facts:

  • There are an estimated 191,000 people employed in the industry in Great Britain, which includes those involved in research and development with science qualifications, as well as those with other qualifications and job roles that are not science related but are essential to the business.
  • There are an estimated 6,490 companies.
  • The South East and East of England have the largest Science Industry (Bioscience) employment in the UK.
  • 91% of the pharmaceuticals workforce and 88% of the medical devices workforce is full-time.
  • Around 6% of those in science occupations are self-employed.
  • The workforce has a young age profile.
  • Bioscience graduates need to have strengths in chemistry, mathematics and physics, some course are not equipping them with the skills to cope with the cross-disciplinary nature of modern bioscience or the practical aspects of laboratory work.
  • Currently, there are insufficient numbers pursuing technical courses, making it difficult for industry to recruit good quality technicians.

Jobs in the industry range from: analytical chemist/scientist, biochemist, biomedical engineer, biomedical scientist, biologist, biotechnologist, clinical scientist, microbiologist, physicist, research scientist, education lab technician, laboratory technicians, medical laboratory assistant, scientific laboratory technician, process/product design engineer and production engineer.


National and regional data

East Midlands – The science industries in the region employ 8,700 people in around 390 establishments. The healthcare sector is important in the region.

East of England – The science industries in the region employ 30,500 people in around 900 establishments. There is a well-established bioscience industry in the region. Cambridge has:

  • Over 185 biotech companies
  • Around 20% of the world’s Nobel Prize winners in medicine and chemistry
  • 17 of the UK’s publicly quoted biotech companies
  • A quarter of the public biotechnology companies in Europe

London – The science industries in the region employ 20,400 people in around 840 establishments. The following are the key activities of the region: Therapeutics; Contract Research Organisations; Biomedical engineering; Bioinformatics; Bio-nanotechnology; Food, environment and renewable; and Agricultural bioscience.

North East – The science industries in the region employ 7,600 people in around 200 establishments. Healthcare is a leading employer in the region, with over 140,000 people working in biotechnology, healthcare and life science companies, the NHS and associated health organisations. High level medical research is being carried out in the region’s universities and institutes (including the Institute for Ageing & Health, the Life Knowledge Park and many others). There are also strong clinical capabilities within the region’s hospitals.

North West – The science industries in the region employ 17,800 people in around 580 establishments. Several major pharmaceutical companies are located in the region. There is also a rapidly expanding biotechnology community and internationally renowned academic and clinical research strengths. The main types of bio-activity in the region include: Biopharmaceutical manufacture and research; Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; Treatment of infectious diseases; Clinical trials and informatics; and Cancer research and care.

South East – The science industries in the region employ 49,200 people in around 1,260 establishments. The region has the highest concentration of health technologies companies in the UK. World-renowned universities, medical schools and institutes undertaking pioneering health research are located in the region. 30% of the UK’s life sciences research and development activity is carried out in the South East; 9 out of 10 of the world’s leading life sciences companies; and the top 12 global pharmaceutical companies have operations in the South East.

South West – The South West is a major centre of biomedical research with internationally recognised expertise, employing around 15,500 people in 560 companies. Employment in the sector is growing faster than the national average; there was a 48% increase in employment numbers between 1998 and 2004. The following are key areas of bio-activity in the region: Biomedical; and Healthcare.

West Midlands – The science industries in the region employ 5,300 people in around 420 establishments. A further 500 to 600 companies have also had some recent interest or involvement in medical technologies. Almost half of the activity in the West Midlands is manufacturing related and more than a third service oriented. The region is known for:

  • The most advanced ophthalmic surgical centre in the UK, located at The Academy of Life
  • Sciences, Aston University
  • Creation of the first pacemakers and plastic heart valve
  • Development and commercialisation of the first ‘his and her’ home fertility kits
  • Trial and development of the first allergy and herpes vaccines
  • Concept and development of first ever device to detect skin cancer

Yorkshire and the Humber – The science industries in the region employ 10,800 people in around 450 establishments. Bioscience companies in the region are focused on: entrepreneurial drug discovery and development; tissue engineering and biomaterials; and Plant biotechnology. There are also a number of Contract Research Organisations (CROs). There is a strong presence of pharmaceutical and medical device organisations in the region.

Northern Ireland – The science industries in Northern Ireland employ 3,100 people in around 140 establishments. Northern Ireland’s main focus is on Cancer Biotech and Medical Devices. Other areas of strength are: tissue engineering; diabetes; bioinformatics; clinical trials; neurodegenerative diseases; and infectious diseases.

Scotland – The science industries in Scotland employ 14,300 people in around 480 establishments. Scotland has strengths in most aspects of Bioscience, strong research and development groups and a coordinated policy focus through the Scottish Life Sciences Strategy. Cancer research, Cardiovascular research, Neuroscience, Genomics, Proteomics and bioinformatics, Signal transduction biology, Stem cell research and regenerative technology, Virology, and Immunology are key areas of focus in Scotland.

Wales – The science industries in Wales employ 7,600 people in around 270 establishments. Bioscience enterprise in Wales includes: diagnostics; medical technology; clinical trials and drug development; systems biology; and agricultural biotechnology.

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