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Microbiology

students working in the lab

Learn About the Importance of Microorganisms

Microbiologists study extremely small living organisms and infectious particles that can only be seen with a microscope. They perform experiments to find answers to a wide range of questions, such as how to keep foods from spoiling, what microbe can be safely used to clean pollution, which microbes help humans and which don’t, and many other questions that only microbiology can solve.

LASC does not currently offer a degree or certificate in Microbiology, but you can learn the essential elements of this continually-expanding science through our introductory and general microbiology courses. Studying microbiology can help you prepare for a career in teaching, biology, healthcare, and other sciences, as you will understand the principles behind the important role microorganisms have in our world, and how to perform experiments with them.

Careers in Microbiology

Microbiologists not only work in healthcare and medicine, but also in food production, environmental science, and general research experimenting with viruses, protozoa, bacteria, and fungi to find solutions to common and uncommon problems.

Here are a few professions and their salaries that you could have with a career in microbiology: 

Career information below taken from bls.gov November 2019. Go to bls.gov for most current career information.

Study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $89,150/year $42.86/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 3% increase
(slower than average)
640

Research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of agricultural establishments and products.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $67,390/year $32.40/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 3% increase
(slower than average)
390

Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians collect data on and analyze many types of work environments and work procedures.

National data

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree or higher $69, 370/year $33.35/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None to less than a year 6% increase
(as fast as average)
117,900

Courses offered in Microbiology at LASC 

LASC offers many degrees that incorporate our Microbiology courses, which include Biology, Liberal Arts degree in Natural Science, Nursing, and Nutrition & Dietetics. Taking our microbiology courses can also help you meet general, IGETC, and CSU-GE requirements. Go to LASC’s current Course Catalog for specific course information:

1 Introductory Microbiology (5) UC:CSU 

IGETC Area 5B, 5C 
CSUGE Area B2, B3 
Prerequisite: Chemistry 51 and (Biology 20 or Physiology 1) 
Recommendation: English 21 Lecture: 3 hours; 
Lab: 6 hours 

This course utilizes the theoretical approach to the study of microorganisms and offers the student a comprehensive knowledge of the fundamentals of microbiology. It includes an introduction to the history of microbiology; classifications and identification of microorganisms; physiology and biology (nutrition, metabolism, growth, variability, etc.) of microorganisms; microbiology of air, water, soil, food, sewage; industrial and medical microbiology. Laboratory experiments using appropriate techniques and methods of handling and investigating microorganisms are introduced in order to reinforce the lectures.

20 General Microbiology (4) 

Prerequisite: Biology 3 or Biology 5 and Chemistry 51 
Recommendation: English 21 
Lecture: 3 hours; Lab: 3 hours 

This is a comprehensive course for nursing and allied health majors. It covers fundamental principles and laboratory techniques related to systematics, morphology, physiology, genetics, ecology and evolution of microorganisms. Microbial classification, metabolism, genetics, and the roles of microorganisms as pathogens. Immunology and methods of controlling microbial growth are explored. Laboratory techniques emphasize microbiological techniques, concepts, and applications, including current molecular diagnostic methods in microbial genetics and immunology. Medical applications include basic concepts of microbial growth and control, epidemiology, immune response and a survey of important human diseases.

 

Learn More about Microbiology

If you would like to have a career in microbiology, talk with your counselor about the biology and chemistry courses you can take at LASC to prepare you to transfer to a four-year college or university with a microbiology program. You can also find out more at our Transfer Center.