Examine microscopic life to develop medical, veterinary, industrial and environmental applications.

As a microbiologist you could be employed in federal, state, territory and local government organisations, including research organisations and hospitals.

You will also find positions in the private sector in a wide range of industries, such as agriculture, food production and pharmaceuticals.


  • develop products, such as antibiotics, detergents or cosmetics, that either combat diseases caused by pathogenic micro-organisms or harness the positive capabilities of micro-organisms
  • identify the microbes that cause illness, examining their susceptibility to antibiotics and giving advice on appropriate treatment
  • prevent and control the spread of harmful microbes
  • advise on public health policies
  • examine natural products for their ability to inhibit the growth of dangerous microbes and apply their findings to the medical and food industries
  • investigate the potential of microbes to improve human and animal health through nutrition
  • develop and improve fermented drinks and foods
  • research the microbiology of plants and use microbes to control pests, weeds and animal diseases
  • study DNA and the use of bacteria to introduce specially engineered genes into an organism in order to fight disease or to change a specific feature of the organism
  • use their knowledge of microbiology to minimise the environmental impact of production and aid the clean-up of existing pollution
  • investigate the ways in which micro-organisms can be used to improve and enhance products that impact on quality of life, such as food and beverages

Source: myFuture


Disclaimer: This page provides study pathway and career options as a guide only. You should contact the Admissions Centre, International Centre or relevant Faculties for full details.

Study pathways

The following study pathway shows the most common and direct route for a UWA student to pursue this career.

  1. Undergraduate

  2. This course is required to pursue this career.

  3. Other relevant majors include:
  4. Postgraduate

    Postgraduate study is not required for this occupation, but may be helpful for career advancement.

    Relevant postgraduate courses include:

  5. Research

    Research study is not required for this occupation, but may be helpful for career advancement.

    Relevant research courses include:

Graduate profile

Darryl D'Souza

Research Assistant, TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health.

I originally planned to do medicine, but I stayed with science in microbiology, my favourite subject at UWA.

I started working at the TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health one month after completing my thesis. I find it particularly rewarding to be involved in a research field where the objective is the treatment of children's ailments, in particular childhood leukaemia and primordial neuroectodermal tumours in children.

My work requires a diverse knowledge of experimental procedures, the ability to work as a team member, and practical and mental skills to achieve fulfilling results in a very competitive and complex field of research. I find the lab skills and fundamentals of immunology and biochemistry that I learnt at UWA invaluable in my career.