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Working as an Ecologist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an ecologist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $25.4 an hour? That's $52,827 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Ecologist Do

There are certain skills that many ecologists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed emotional stamina and stability, observation skills and outdoor skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an ecologist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.8% of ecologists included data collection, while 9.3% of resumes included gps, and 6.8% of resumes included wildlife. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the ecologist job title. But what industry to start with? Most ecologists actually find jobs in the professional and construction industries.

How To Become an Ecologist

If you're interested in becoming an ecologist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.2% of ecologists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 37.1% of ecologists have master's degrees. Even though most ecologists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an ecologist. When we researched the most common majors for an ecologist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on ecologist resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an ecologist. In fact, many ecologist jobs require experience in a role such as research assistant. Meanwhile, many ecologists also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or biologist.

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Average Salary$52,827
Job Growth Rate5%

Ecologist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Ecologist

Top Careers After Ecologist

Biologist
10.2 %

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Ecologist

Ecologists in America make an average salary of $52,827 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $78,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Salary
$52,827

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Portland, OR
Salary Range55k - 85k$69k$69,174
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range50k - 85k$66k$65,785
Denver, CO
Salary Range49k - 79k$63k$62,571
Henderson, KY
Salary Range45k - 79k$60k$60,415
Reno, NV
Salary Range46k - 77k$60k$60,085
Silver Spring, MD
Salary Range45k - 78k$60k$59,790
$38k
$85k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Regional Ecologist
Regional Ecologist
State of Indiana
State of Indiana
12/06/2020
12/06/2020
$42,69212/06/2020
$42,692
Supervisory Ecologist
Supervisory Ecologist
International Association for Great Lakes Research
International Association for Great Lakes Research
11/22/2020
11/22/2020
$107,80711/22/2020
$107,807
Ecologist
Ecologist
National Older Worker Career Center
National Older Worker Career Center
09/04/2020
09/04/2020
$135,65509/04/2020
$135,655
Ecologist
Ecologist
State of Arkansas
State of Arkansas
08/23/2020
08/23/2020
$40,34008/23/2020
$40,340
Ecologist
Ecologist
National Older Worker Career Center
National Older Worker Career Center
08/23/2020
08/23/2020
$135,65508/23/2020
$135,655
See More Recent Salaries

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Ecologist Demographics

Gender

male

62.1 %

female

34.1 %

unknown

3.8 %

Ethnicity

White

75.7 %

Asian

10.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0 %

French

8.0 %

Russian

8.0 %
See More Demographics

Ecologist Education

Degrees

Bachelors

43.2 %

Masters

37.1 %

Doctorate

10.8 %

Top Colleges for Ecologists

1. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,402
Enrollment
30,698

2. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

8. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

9. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

10. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,101
Enrollment
23,708
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Ecologist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.8% of ecologists listed data collection on their resume, but soft skills such as emotional stamina and stability and observation skills are important as well.

Best States For an Ecologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an ecologist. The best states for people in this position are Pennsylvania, Alaska, Oregon, and New Jersey. Ecologists make the most in Pennsylvania with an average salary of $72,571. Whereas in Alaska and Oregon, they would average $70,808 and $69,456, respectively. While ecologists would only make an average of $67,196 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Ecologist Jobs:
3
Highest 10% Earn:
$99,000
Location Quotient:
7.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. West Virginia

Total Ecologist Jobs:
3
Highest 10% Earn:
$107,000
Location Quotient:
3.13
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Ecologist Jobs:
4
Highest 10% Earn:
$104,000
Location Quotient:
1.38
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Ecologist Employers

1. National Park Service
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$46,620
Ecologists Hired: 
6+
2. The Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$47,647
Ecologists Hired: 
4+
3. United States Department of Agriculture
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$26,282
Ecologists Hired: 
3+
4. Washington State Employees Credit Union
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$52,099
Ecologists Hired: 
3+
5. ENERCON
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$62,608
Ecologists Hired: 
3+
6. Marek Brothers Systems
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$48,008
Ecologists Hired: 
2+