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Microbiologists are being effectively absorbed into the labor market. As a group they have a considerably lower unemployment rate (1.2%) than the national average. This is also applicable to medical and clinical microbiologists. Certification of microbiologists by nationally recognized certifying organizations is standardized for those with bachelor's or master's degrees. For those with doctorate degrees there are inconsistencies of postdoctoral training requirements and of reciprocal recognition of the two major certifying organizations. Bilateral reciprocal recognition of board-certified doctoral-level microbiologists is vital for meeting manpower needs. Improved and equitable certification could be achieved by maintaining an adequate number of funded, approved training programs in medical and clinical microbiology and augmenting them with uniform continuing medical education programs designed to meet the requirements for periodic recertification.