Work Tasks

ECOLOGISTS study interactions among all forms of life, and between organisms and their environments. They study effects of population size, pollutants, rainfall, altitude, and temperature on organisms. Some study the lives of certain kinds of organisms, such as microbes, plants, or animals. Others study the whole spectrum of living beings within a certain habitat such as prairies, ponds, or coral reefs. They collect, study, and report data on air, food, soil, and water. Some focus on the interaction among individuals of a single species, or among different species. Ecologists help protect the environment and develop ways of meeting human needs.

Salary, Size & Growth

Entry Requirements

For ECOLOGISTS, a Ph.D. is generally required for college teaching, independent research, and for advancement to administrative positions. A master's degree is sufficient for some jobs in applied research and for jobs in management, inspection, sales, and service. A bachelor's degree is adequate for some non-research jobs. Ecologists need a broad background in biology, including taxonomy, genetics, evolution, plant and animal physiology, morphology, development, biochemistry, and natural history. Computer courses are essential.