Ecologist

Ecologists study the relationship between plants, animals and the environment.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends

How to become an ecologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You'll need a degree or postgraduate qualification in a subject like:

  • ecology
  • conservation biology
  • zoology
  • marine biology
  • environmental science
  • ecology and environmental sustainability

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Volunteering and experience

Volunteering is a great way to get experience and may improve your chances of finding work. You can also build up contacts within conservation, which will be useful when looking for jobs.

You can find volunteering opportunities with:

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the British Ecological Society, which offers mentoring from experienced ecologists, research news, and education and job search support.

Further information

You can find more details about careers in ecology through the British Ecological Society and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to read English
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • carrying out fieldwork - surveying and recording information on plants, animals, environmental conditions and biodiversity
  • researching the impact of human activity, like housing and intensive agriculture, on the environment
  • building computer models to predict the effects of development or climate change monitoring pollution
  • managing wildlife conservation areas, woodland and meadows

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory, in the environment, at a university or in an office.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could apply for Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) or Chartered Ecologist (CEcol) status. 

You could then progress to senior ecologist, leading a team of researchers, developing biodiversity plans or acting as a consultant on sustainable development projects.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an ecologist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Ecology and Conservation An Intro

  • Provider: Plymouth Adult and Community Learning
  • Start date: 05 June 2019
  • Location: Devon

Animal Management and Wildlife Ecology

  • Provider: Wirral Met College
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Birkenhead

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No