Virology is the field of medicine that studies the behavior and the reaction of viruses. Virology is only a smaller branch of the larger field of microbiology, and it also studies the diseases triggered by certain viruses. Most of the time, virologists work in laboratories where they use high-end medical equipment, although in some cases they can work as physicians or even as professors in universities and colleges, where they teach future virologists. The median yearly salary of a virologist in the United States of America is of around $66,000 a year, although in some cases these professionals can make more than $200,000 a year, depending on the work environment and level of expertise.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
One of the highest paying states for virologists at the moment is Maryland, where these professionals make around $96,000. The District of Columbia pays them with more than $95,000, Georgia offers them around $89,000 a year while Virginia pays them with around $82,000, California with $79,000 and the state of Idaho with approximately $77,000 a year.
Virologist Job Description
As mentioned above, it is the duty of the virologist to closely study viruses and their effect on humans, animals and insects. These professionals typically work in the field of teaching or researching, and they work is extremely important for understanding viruses and how they work. It often happens that virologists are also published authors who choose to publish their findings, so that they will help the future students. Some of them choose to take their career even further and specialize in additional fields such as pharmacy or even law.
At the time being, there are several notable fields of virology such as virotherapy, viral replication, viral oncology, viral pathology and such. Some of them strictly study viruses and the way they behave while others are trying to develop new medications. Some of the most commonly studied viruses by virologists are HIV, hepatitis, herpes or rubella. These professionals can work in additional fields too, like disinfections, operating theatres, food preparation and such.
How To Become A Virologist?
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Becoming a virologist can take up to ten years of study and practice, and the first step towards becoming one is to get your Bachelor’s Degree in the field. The background plays a crucial role for the career of every virologist these days, and most of them are undergraduates in fields like chemistry or biology. Throughout the training, the coursework will encompass fields like physics, maths, biochemistry, biology or social science.
After that, it is important to sit for the Medical College Admission Test or the MCAT, and then to enroll in a specialized doctoral program. There are several different Ph.D programs in fields like immunology or virology, and the doctoral program typically takes around four to six years to complete. Throughout the doctoral training program, you will get a deeper insight into more complex fields of virology such as the structure of viruses and bacteria, the biology of the cell, immunology and cancer biology, eukaryotic genetics and so on. There are many different research areas in which one can choose to specialize, from pediatric viral infections to environmental virology and parasitology. During the medical school, you will be studying a variety of topics related to medicine such as biochemistry, pharmacology and anatomy, while the last couple of years of med school will focus mainly on practical experience.
Those who want to complete their training as virologists should know that they can complete the postdoctoral research training in internal medicine or paediatrics. Their research training, commonly referred to as a fellowship, typically takes three to five years to complete and it must be done after graduating from the doctoral program and completing your medical residency.
If you have an MD degree and you want to work as a clinical virologist in the United States of America, you will need to earn your license. You can do this after completing the residency requirements, when you need to pass the USMLE test (The United States Medical Licensing Examination). The exact requirements vary from state to state.
Virologist Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
In Canada, the median yearly salary of a virologist is of Cad$86,000, in Australia of around Au$25,000 while in the United Kingdom it ranges between 24,000 and 33,000.
Verdict On Virologist Salary
Virologists have the chance to advance in their career, and the salary is usually directly proportional to their expertise.