Ecologists study plants, animals or both to learn how they relate to each other and their environment. Ecologists go to where a plant or animal lives and studies them. Plants are often brought back to a lab for studying.

Working Conditions

Ecologists work in a lab, but also go out to the area in which a plant or animal lives.


Salaries vary greatly, with private sector jobs paying as high as $150,000 or more and government jobs paying up to around $90,000.

Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study

Working as part of a team and independently are good skills for someone entering this field. Good communication skills are also important. Useful classes to take include English, biology, mathematics, and computer science.

Related Jobs

Other biological scientists, such as aquatic geologist, marine biologists, botanists, microbiologists, physiologists, zoologists, agricultural and food scientists, entomologists, foresters and soil conservationists.

Education & Training

A bachelor's degree is sometimes all that is needed for non-research jobs. Most jobs require a master's degree or a Ph.D.

Job Outlook

There will continue to be good opportunities for qualified people. However, some areas of ecological specialties, such as land conservation, will have competition.

Sources for Additional Information

National Wildlife Federation(ESA)
8925 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22184