How to Become a Parasitologist

Organisms that exist from plants or animals are parasites. Plants and animals play host to parasites, such as bacteria, viruses, worms, insects or other living organisms. Parasitic organisms thrive throughout the world, affecting all aspects of life. It is due to parasitology work that immunologists are able to develop vaccines against parasites for humans and animals. Due to this diversity, many career options exist for those who want to become a parasitologist.


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    Understand the dynamic nature of parasites and its effect upon parasitology careers.
    • In addition to the evolving relationships between parasites and hosts, new parasites are always forming. This results in a constant need for parasitologists.
    • Continuing education is very important to parasitologists due to the always changing parasitology field.
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    Evaluate your own desire to find the answers to scientific questions. Such curiosity fuels the careers of parasitologists.
    • Aim for a broad scientific education in high school, including biology and chemistry.
    • Computer science, math and communication skills are also helpful to the parasitologist.
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    Aim for at least a Bachelor of Science degree in biology for a career in parasitology.
    • Don't neglect studies in immunology, anatomy and physiology, zoology and botany.
    • Parasitologists are some of the most widely trained scientists available, because parasites involve so many sciences.
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    Gain research experience in the lab or field study while pursuing a Master of Science in Biology degree.
    • Masters level parasitologists can study how parasitic organisms affect human health, wildlife and animal care and fisheries.
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    Be aware that many research parasitologists hold doctoral degrees.
    • Advanced degrees in parasitology should include computer technology, which is important in analyzing parasites.
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    Research the types of careers for parasitologists:
    • Ecological and Systematic Parasitology.
    • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Parasites.
    • Immunoparasitology.
    • Medical Parasitology.
    • Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Veterinary Parasitology.
    • Wildlife and Fisheries Parasitology.
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    Recognize that the largest employers of parasitologists are the government and universities.
    • Public health agencies depend on parasitologists as well, particularly immunologists who develop vaccines.
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    Contact the American Society of Parasitologists for more information about parasitology careers.

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Categories: Occupations