Nothing makes you look smarter than a job where you have to look at slides and small specimens through an instrument designed to magnify particles that are too small for the naked eye. The study of objects through a microscope even has a special name: microscopy. Looking at larvae under the microscope in your freshman biology class is just the tip of the iceberg for microscope uses. An abundance of careers that utilize microscopes are available.
Botany centers on the study of plant development, interaction and structure. This is a wide scientific field that covers a lot of ground (no pun intended). Botanists work in ecology, studying how plants interact with different organisms and environments. They might also work in the field discovering new plant species or performing experiments on plants. Others work in labs, studying the structure of plant cells under microscopes. Although botanists work with plants, the fruits of their labor often benefit mankind. Botanists discover new medications, foods and building materials through their research and work with plants.
Crime Scene Investigation
Not all work with microscopes involves reviewing slides of cells and capturing minute data. Some microscopic work helps to catch criminals. Forensic scientists use special advanced microscopes to study crime scene evidence. This evidence includes fibers, hair samples, paint chips or other trace elements found at crime scenes. The forensic scientists work to identify where foreign fibers and elements found at a crime scene may have originated. Scientists perform comparisons and analysis to help the police identify a suspected criminal. They also can help rule out potential suspects by looking at DNA and blood samples.
Having a love of microscopic material is practically a job requirement for a lab technician. You can find laboratory technicians working in hospitals, doctors' offices or private diagnostic labs. When a doctor sends a blood sample to the lab, the technician analyzes it and provides the results. Lab technicians use microscopes and other lab equipment to identify the presence of viruses, cell abnormalities or to do a blood analysis. In a hospital setting, the work can be very demanding, with tight deadlines and variable work hours. Private labs that analyze samples for multiple practices typically offer more conventional work hours and less stress.
Surgical pathologists are the unsung heroes of the hospital. They analyze tissue samples under a microscope to determine the presence of cancer of other diseases. When a patient undergoes a biopsy, the pathologist makes the determination of cancer. Pathologists also work on the deceased, helping to discover the cause of death. Their findings help uncover whether or not someone died of natural causes or foul play. Training to be a pathologist is intense, since they are essentially doctors and must undergo the same educational program. Unlike primary care physicians, pathologists spend more time with their microscopes than with patients.
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images