A job in ecology offers a truly enlightening chance to study the environment through the eyes of one with a higher understanding of nature. Ecologists combine studies in biology and earth sciences, and working as an ecology researcher or engineer in the field can be very rewarding. The work is deeply entrenched in evolutionary biology and genetics, requiring a high level of understanding in the foundations of scientific theory as well as other advanced principles.
Ecologists examine life processes and interactions between different species. They also examine the movement of materials from one ecosystem to another, constantly discovering nature's methods for survival. Numerous other career paths span the field of ecology and ecological engineering, including teaching and assistant director positions.
Ecology Job Education Requirements
Entry-level ecology jobs generally require a bachelor's degree in an environment-related area of study such as biology, environmental science, or chemistry. Advancement is oftentimes dependent on the acquisition of a master's degree. A doctorate opens the door for advanced research and teaching opportunities in academia. Aspiring ecologists should find an internship during college that allows them to conduct work in the field.
Ecology Job Market
Ecologists are blessed with the freedom to travel to beautiful and fragile locales to conduct their studies. It's a job for those who want to brave the environment and see new places. Lead ecologists conduct trips alongside a crew where they will spend any given amount of time in isolated conditions to make discoveries.
More common jobs in the field of ecology include wetland management, natural resource management, city planning, community health, biomass production, and more. There are also an abundance of jobs in the education sector, particularly at the collegiate level. Jobs in ecology are growing faster than other job markets with a projected 15 percent increase between 2012 and 2022. There are currently over 90,000 ecologists in the United States.
Ecology Job Salary Information
Demand for ecologists is estimated to raise approximately 19 percent between 2010 and 2020. As the concern for the environment grows, the demand for ecologists will only increase. As it stands, teams of ecologists paired with environmental engineers are some of our best resources for discovering new and sustainable materials and creating green technologies. This makes environmental workers a precious commodity going forward.
The lowest projected salary for an ecologist in the United States is $38,000. The median salary is approximately $63,000, with top-earners making six figures according to the BLS.gov. It only takes a bachelor's degree to become an ecologist, but many positions require a master's degree or a doctorate.