Microbiologist Salary in South Africa

Microbes will be part of our world forever. However, we can not see them with our naked eye, which makes some people intrigued to study them in depth. This can only happen if you opt for microbiology for your higher studies.

Monthly Salary Range:R 107800 – R 321500
Average Monthly Salary:R 214650
Description:A microbiologist is a scientist who studies microbes and their life processes. Furthermore, they study their characteristics, growth, interaction with the environment, and the impact of microbes on human life.
Minimum Qualification:Bachelor’s degree in Science

If you plan to study microbiology to study microorganisms better, you must have thought about career opportunities and the microbiologist’s salary, right? Everyone wants to excel in a rewarding field, so if you are curious about a microbiologist’s salary, do not worry; I have you covered.

Microbiologist Salary

A microbiologist is a scientist who studies microbes and their life processes. Furthermore, they learn their characteristics, growth, interaction with the environment, and the impact of microbes on human life.

The job of a microbiologist does not seem easy. So, what do you think of how much microbiologists would earn in the real world?

There is no need to overthink because we have done all the research, so continue reading, and we will tell you everything in detail. What benefits will this degree give you, and what will your salary be? Be patient and read this article attentively.

  • The average salary of a microbiologist in the US is $79,260 annually. The highest and lowest microbiologist salaries range from $47,630 to $136,780.
  • In contrast, the average salary of a microbiologist in South Africa is R 161,702 annually. Microbiologist’s starting salary in South Africa is R 107 800. The highest salaries can exceed R 321 500 in South Africa.

The difference in microbiologists’ salaries in both countries is enormous, which means the wages of microbiologists are not fixed and depend on various factors. These include your designation, where you work, seniority level, and how many years you have spent in this field.

Factors Affecting Microbiologist Salary Range

Salary varies by factors such as your education, certificate, experience in the field, or any additional skill. Microbiologist salaries also vary by living area. In which department and organization are you working, i.e., government or private organization, and in which area are you providing your services?

Microbiologist Salary in the US Vs. South Africa

If you want to work as a microbiologist, know that a microbiologist’s salary can be affected by how experienced you are, your qualifications and certificates, service area, and location. Here is a microbiologist salary comparison in the US and South Africa.

  • Top-level microbiologists get the maximum percentile, and their average salary in the US is $65.76 per hour or $136,780 per year. Meanwhile, the top-level microbiologist salary in South Africa is R 200 per hour or R 390 000 per year.
  • Senior-level microbiologists earn up to the 75th percentile, and their average hourly salary is $52.89 or $110,010 per year. The wages of senior-level microbiologists in South Africa are R 20 000.
  • Mid-level microbiologists get the 50th percentile, and their average hourly salary is $38.11 or $79,260 per year. Mid-level microbiologists in South Africa get a monthly salary of R 14,000. Junior-level microbiologists get in the 25th percentile, and their average hourly wage is $28.78 or $59,860 per year. In South Africa, junior-level microbiologists get R 10 000 per month.
  • Starting-level microbiologists get the 10th percentile, and their average hourly salary is $22.90 or $47,630 per year.
Also Check:  Dentist Salary in South Africa

Microbiologist Salary by US States

Microbiologists’ salary depends on where they work. That’s why microbiologist gets different salaries even in one state. In North California, the average microbiologist salary is $78,990, and in South California, the salary is $62,260.

The average salary of microbiologists in different states of the US is different from each other. I am listing a few states of America with microbiologist salaries below. This is to show you how an area can impact the salary of a microbiologist.

StateMicrobiologist Salary
New Jersey$79,440
New York$77,440
New Mexico$47,960
District of Columbia$109,500

Aim of Microbiology and Microbiologist

Microbiologists aim to get important information by studying microbes in detail. They then use that knowledge to develop preventive and diagnostic drugs to ensure the safety and welfare of mankind.

Where Do Microbiologists Work?

Microbiologists work in different areas of the field depending on their specialization and specifications. Mainly, they provide their services in the following:

  • Hospitals
  • Universities/colleges
  • Food Industries
  • Private Organizations
  • Government Departments

What Do Microbiologists Do?

Microbiologist works in specific areas according to their qualification, specialization, and experience of the work. Here is a brief description of the typical workstation where a microbiologist can work:

Research Laboratories

Microbiologists work in the laboratories to study the microbes. This helps in ensuring public health, environmental development, and medical application.

Clinical Laboratories

Microbiologists work in the clinical laboratories of the pathology department of the hospital. Microbiologists who work in laboratories study and examine the samples of different people sent in by doctors.

They run the tests on the sample to check for any microbe that is making the person sick. This helps the doctors in prescribing the treatment by looking at the results.

In the labs, microbiologists also handle the contagious microbes. By studying their characteristics, life cycles, and how they behave in different environments, they make vaccines and antibiotics for new diseases.

Microbiologists also use the microbe for the welfare of mankind. You must be wondering how, aren’t you? They do it by introducing new antibiotics, vaccines, and medicines that can be used to treat ill people.

Environmental Studies

Microbiologists use and study different microbes, which will be helpful for the environment. Microbiologists are explorers as they discover new things in the world of microbes by exploring them deeply.

We can use microbes to clean up pollution thanks to microbiologists’ dedication and new findings. Microbiologists use environmentally friendly microbes for development purposes.

Also Check:  Chartered Accountant Salary in South Africa

Food Industries

In food industries, microbiologists work with the government as food inspection officers or in private organizations. They check the stored grocery or other food items to ensure that the particular item is free of any pathogens or contagious microbes. Once the food is marked as safe for public health, the vendors distribute the food items to the sellers.

Educational Institutes

Microbiologists also work in universities or colleges as professors. They acknowledge the findings and research work of students about microbes in detail, such as their life cycle and characteristics, how they behave with their environment, etc.

Microbiologist professors also help students conduct different lab practices where they have to research specific species of microbe to get their desired product from the microbe. Later, they use that product for various purposes, either for human or environmental development.


Biosafety professionals make sure that everything is handled with care. They train clinical laboratory professionals according to the policies approved by the government.

To ensure that the microbiologist does not get injured or harmed by the microbe, ensure that the microbe and other contagious agents do not go outside the lab. Biosafety professionals do this by putting safety policies and consulting the lab design for the clinical laboratory professionals. They work in hospitals, colleges, the private sector, or the government.


Which field in microbiology has the highest salary?

The medical scientist in Microbiology gets the highest salary.

What is the salary for a Ph.D. in Microbiology in the USA?

The average salary of a Ph.D. microbiologist in the USA is $206,000.

Which fields of Microbiology have more scope?

The most demanding fields of microbiology are Food microbiology, Medicine, health care, and environmental science.

What are the biggest problems in microbiology?

The biggest problem in microbiology is manufacturing new drugs for the prevention of disease and diagnostic purposes. Manufacturing the drug is not possible without studying the antigen, its structure, and its chemical reaction towards the drug.

Is microbiology risky?

Yes, microbiologists deal with microorganisms and sometimes harmful microorganisms. The chemicals and species involved in the research can be hazardous for humans. This is why workers should use protective gear to protect themselves from infectious diseases and allergic reactions.


The world of microbiology is fascinating for many people, but many are more interested in finding out microbiologist’s salary. For all those curious folks, we shared everything about microbiologist salaries in this article, from what microbiologists earn in the US to South Africa, including how salaries vary according to different factors.

Microbiologist salary depends upon where you live, work experience in the field, any additional degree or certification, etc. The microbiologist aims to use microbes for environmental development and human welfare, answering the underlying questions in diagnosing the disease and running laboratory tests to help suggest the patient’s treatment to the doctor. I must say microbiology is undoubtedly an exciting field.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.