Microbiologist Vs Pharmacist

So you are confused between microbiology and pharmacy career fields, right? If yes, this post is for you. Here we have compared various aspects of microbiologist and pharmacist job positions so that you can figure out which one is the best for you.

When it comes to selecting a career field, it is essential to know about various factors like the job description, duties, responsibilities, education requirements, qualifications, salary, etc. Knowing these factors will help you understand whether a particular job position is ideal for you or not.



Microbiologists are into laboratory analysis and monitoring of microbial cultures. As a microbiologist, you will be responsible for investigating the growth, structure development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and algae.

Microbiologists research microorganisms to understand how they affect our lives and how we can exploit them. They are also required to maintain knowledge on various testing methods and also perform all manual operations on various supplies.

Duties & Responsibilities

Here are the duties and responsibilities of microbiologists:

  • Supervise and perform tests on various microbiological activities on a regular basis
  • Maintain knowledge on various research methods
  • Perform laboratory analysis on all materials after appropriate sterilization.
  • Monitor all physiological and morphological characteristics and identify microorganisms.
  • Collecting samples from different locations
  • Recording, analyzing, and interpreting data
  • Writing research papers, reports, and reviews

Education requirements & qualifications

In order to become a microbiologist, you need to have a relevant degree in a subject such as a biology, applied biology, microbial science, microbiology, biological science, or biomedical science. This is the first and essential requirement to become a microbiologist.

Some companies require candidates to have a master’s degree. After getting a bachelor’s degree, you can do an integrated master’s degree, such as MBiolSci, MBiol, or MSc. Pursuing a master’s degree can be a good idea when you want to continue the postgraduate study.

If you want to work within the NHS, you will need to complete a scientist training programme (STP) after the degree.


The salary of a microbiologist will vary depending on the factors like location, experience, skills, education, etc. According to salary reports by Indeed, the average salary of a microbiologist is $65,259 per year in the United States.


Here are the skills required to become a microbiologist:

  • Attention to detail
  • IT skills
  • Numerical skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Team Working skills
  • Communication skills
  • Patience


Pharmacists are the healthcare professionals responsible for dispensing medications. It’s not just about dispensing medicines. As a pharmacist, one of the crucial responsibilities will be to ensure patients’ safety. When dispensing medicines, the pharmacist needs to make sure medications dispensed are safe for patients.

Your duties and responsibilities as a pharmacist may vary slightly based on the pharmacy type you work in. There are different types of pharmacies – compounding pharmacy, ambulatory care pharmacy, retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, consulting pharmacy, etc.

Duties & Responsibilities

Here are the essential duties and responsibilities of pharmacists:

  • Preparing medications after reviewing and interpreting patients’ orders
  • Dispensing medications by compounding, packaging, and labeling pharmaceuticals
  • Develop hospital staff
  • Comply with state and federal drug laws
  • Manage staff
  • Maintain a safe and clean work environment

Education requirements & qualifications

To become a pharmacist, you need to meet several educational requirements and qualifications. As compared to a microbiologist, becoming a pharmacist is going to take more time. First of all, you need to get a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). It will take six years to get this degree.

After getting the PharmD degree, you need to get the licensure. Without the license, you won’t be considered a registered pharmacist. You must pass NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination) by the North Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Apart from this, most states also require candidates to pass MPJE (Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam).


Salary is another crucial aspect candidates consider before choosing a particular career field. As compared to microbiologists, pharmacists make more money. However, becoming a pharmacist takes more time than becoming a microbiologist. Your salary as a pharmacist may vary based on factors like location, experience, skills, pharmacy type, etc. The average salary of pharmacists in the United States ranges between $129,958 and $146,907.


Here are the skills you need to have as a pharmacist:

  • Analyzing information
  • Communication
  • Administering medications
  • Focus on quality
  • Attention to detail
  • Productivity
  • FDA health regulations
  • Attention to detail

Microbiologist Or Pharmacist

We didn’t want you to only take our word for it on choosing your career path. After all it will be one of the biggest decisions you make in your life. So we scoured the internet to get responses from current or past Microbiologist and Pharmacist for their take. This information was curated from forums, websites and sub reddits. The only thing that has been changed is any spelling or grammar where needed.

Real People

1. PuddlesTheMonkey “Talk to both Pharmacist and Microbiologists” – You should definitely speak to some pharmacists & microbiologists to see what they do. That might help you! Both of these degrees have quite a lot of possibilities in terms of career paths. For example with pharmacy you could end up working in a chemists, working in a hospital, doing academic research, working regulating medicines, working for big pharma…. there’s lots of different options

2. Rajani Shettigar “Not one is better than the other” – There is no comparison between Pharmacy and BSc (Micro). BSc ( Micro) is graduation in Science with Microbiology as specialization, whereas Pharmacy ( B. Pharm) is a para-medical course that puts the graduate on frontline of patient care due to intensive knowledge of medicines with job opportunities in bulk drug synthesis, manufacturing, Quality control, Research and development, regulatory affairs , clinical research and much more…..

3. Tapas “PharmD better” – B.Pharm is better tham Bsc (microbiology). B.Pharm is equivalent to Msc. With Bsc microbiology mostly chemist job are offered in industry. But with B Pharm you may get managerial job also depending upon your quality.

4. Pavan Kalyan “More upside to PharmD” – Normally bsc in micro will not have that much goals in that field…but the pharmacy have the wide range of the scopes and it can help in developing a research and development and also it will help to join in manufacturing department in industries. So I suggest to go for pharmacy rather than taking microbiology

5. Dr Sharad Gore “Pharmacy” – It depends upon your interest area.But in general pharmacy is more preferable. Choice depends upon your interest as both faculty are good.

6. MRSA “Microbiology” – I think Microbiology. You can be a public health microbiologist or CLS and make a good living. You can’t do much with a pharmacology bachelors; perhaps a lab tech or research associate for a pharmaceutical/biotechnology company. In fact, I don’t think many schools offer a pharmacology BS.

Nevertheless, it is your decision. It would be foolish for my opinion to influence yours. Talk with some of your college advisers and do research on your own.

Final Thoughts

Microbiologists are responsible for laboratory analysis and monitoring of microbial cultures. They investigate the growth, structure development, and other features of microorganisms. Talking about pharmacists, they dispense medications and review dispensed medications. Pharmacists may need to communicate with prescribers or physicians to ensure the safety of patients by confirming the prescription and dosage.

Here we have seen duties, responsibilities, salary, education requirements, qualifications, and skills of microbiologists and pharmacists. Knowing about these factors would give you an idea about which career field is right for you.


Danielle Winner

Hello my name is Danielle Winner. Welcome to my site on Pharmacy School and tips and tricks to hopefully help you get in. It's not easy but hopefully you can learn to not make mistakes that students (myself included) make. Good luck on your journey. I graduated from Albany School of Pharmacy in May 2010 and have had a few different jobs across the east coast of the U.S.

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