Reference.com defines industrial microbiology as "the use of microorganisms in the manufacture of food or industrial products." Industrial microbiology is responsible for the production of many foods humans enjoy, including chocolate, cheese, sausage, butter and pickles. In addition, these microbiologists work in waste treatment, pharmaceuticals and the production of polymers such as plastics.
According to the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, this industry applies scientific principles using bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa and viruses as well plant or animal cells in the creation of useful processes and products. Some individuals in this industry work to detect microbes in foods or prevent the deterioration of cosmetics. Others are developing strains of bacteria that help to release petroleum trapped in rocks for mining. Their work extends to environmental concerns as some develop microbes to help with certain recycling processes.
Entry level industrial microbiologist jobs require a B.S. degree in microbiology, biotechnology or biology with a minor in a complementary science, according to the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. Project managers in this field generally possess an advanced degree. The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology advises that individuals who enjoy having a variety of responsibilities and solving challenging problems should consider an industrial microbiology career.