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Is there an option of being a microbiologist without working in the clinical area?

I have a bachelor's degree in agronomy, but my biggest dream is to become a microbiologist. The issue is that I wouldn´t say I like the hospital environment or being around clinical samples. So, my doubt is there other areas of microbiology that I can study and work on without being in the healthcare area?

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Adegboye’s Answer

Hi,
I love this question, as a Microbiologist myself, I personally love the medical environment and I’m presently working as an Embryologist, and I love it, the field of Microbiology has different areas in which a graduate could settle in, the food industry, drug industry, Environmental, Medical and industrial industry.
As a Food microbiologist you can work as a quality assurance officer and test materials use by the food industry before been processed and after processing before been bagged for export or sent into the market.
Drug industry, needs Microbiologist in carrying out culturing of drugs for bacteria and fungi check for assurance purposes and for contamination check, also for researchs.
You can be an Environmentalist and help in the conservative of the ecosystem and waste management.
You can also be into sales and marketing of science related products
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ERNST’s Answer

Hello Tamara

I think you are already on top of the ladder, at this crucial time the world is going through a food crisis and we need food to survive .
if I were you , I would not discredit my agronomy experience , instead I would build it up by completing microbiology to the picture . It is indisputable there's a correlation between good food , agriculture and microbiology. I would advise you to explore further.

Thanks,
Ernst
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Kimanu’s Answer

Did you ever consider joining the EPA? It would give you a wonderful opportunity to work abroad outdoors and still work in your field of interest.
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Jennifer’s Answer

Depending on your skill set and other interests you could get into the environmental arena, government/legislative/lobbying/grant writing, research, writing and or editing educational materials (online/texts) or even inspection (food facilities/agriculture). While I guess this is still healthcare related - you can train/install instrumentation used in laboratories (if your interest is in computer software/hardware). While I work for in healthcare industry currently, I am working with a company building/writing software for clinical microbiology. Most of the people I am working with have a scientific background/some even microbiology.
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Suzanne’s Answer

Yes, there are definitely non-clinical microbiology jobs. For example, you can work in university research labs. One example at the university where I retired from is that they are currently looking for a research associate to work with how water-borne pathogens are detected. (The lab studies the coronavirus which causes Covid and how surveillance for that virus in sewer systems can be used for microbial source tracking).

In addition to water microbiology, there are also other environmental, food and agricultural microbiology jobs.
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Ismael’s Answer

Hi there Tamara!
It is very much possible. I have worked in two microbiology laboratories both of which were not clinical laboratories.
The first one was a quality control laboratory. Testing whether food, water, detergents and other substances are free from bacteria.
The other laboratory involved culturing bacteria which are dangerous to crop pests. These are generally known as entomopathogens.
As you can see both laboratories were not in clinical setups.
When it comes to agronomy, you can use microbiology to check for bacteria in soil and their implications. You can also use it to see how certain bacteria affect plants. Anything that deals with bacteria and other microorganisms and finding out about them will involve microbiology. Don't feel limited.
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