Ecologist Salary and Job Description

Before we go delve into discussing an Ecologist salary, it is important to learn more about the job description of an Ecologist

Who is an Ecologist?

Ecologists are scientist that studies the interaction of living organisms in an environment.

Scope and Nature of Ecology

Ecology involves the study of ecosystems. It focuses on how living organisms interact with each other and the environment they live in.

Since there are a vast number of living organisms on earth, ecologists tend to focus, analyze and have in-depth knowledge of the distribution and avalanche of these organisms in their ecosystem.

Ecology shares a close relationship with several courses which include climatology, biology, biochemistry, evolution, molecular biology, biodiversity, physiology, geology and on.

For Ecologists to have better knowledge and also specialize in this field, ecology has been divided into four categories. They are;

  • Community Ecology:

Community ecology deals with the processes causing interactions between organisms and their environment and the results of these interactions.

This also entails studying ecology on the level of heterospecific interactions (which involves the relationship between organisms of different species)

Examples of such relationships include parasitism, competition, predation, pollination, etc.

  • Ecosystem Ecology:

This involves the consideration of biotic and abiotic components of the environment.

It focuses on an internal organization of how food and nutrients circulate in the ecosystem.

  • Population Ecology

This focuses on the number of living organisms in an area at a particular time. A population area may have natural boundaries like rivers, deserts, mountains while artificial boundaries may include roads, mowed grasses.

  • Organismal Ecology

Ecologists at this level focus on how organisms adapt to their environment and enable them to live in such habitat. Adaptations could be physiological, morphological and behavioral.

Relevant Terms in Ecology


Group of organisms of the same species living in the same area at a particular time.


This is the population of different species living in the same area, interacting with one another.


Group of an organism that is related by genes

Others include;

  • Biotic components/ factors
  • Abiotic components/ factors
  • Ecological Niche
  • Food chain and Food web

Skills and Educational Requirement Needed in Becoming an Ecologist

To be employable as an Ecologists, you must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology. Also, a doctoral degree is necessary if you want to focus on research work and lecturing

You must also have skills that can match the post you want to occupy in any organization.

As an Ecologist, you must be interested in field research. You must learn to be passionate about organisms, the natural environment and so on.

Important skills to possess include;

  • Good analytical skills
  • Computational ability
  • Taxonomic skills
  •  You must have self-drive, focus, and a distinctive communication ability

Career Opportunities in Ecology

  • Zookeeper
  • Field Biologist
  • Park Naturalist
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • Wildlife Conservator/ Rehabilitator
  • Environmental consultant

Ecologist Salary Structure

An Ecologist salary varies from state to state in the United States.

The table below gives you an overview of Ecologists’ salary in some of the states in the United States

State Hourly Wage ($) Annual Salary ($)
New York 31.71 63, 875
Massachusetts 30. 42 63, 270
Washington 30.21 63, 828
New Hampshire 29.25 60, 844
Hawaii 29.23 60, 791
Maryland 28.20  58, 656
Connecticut 28.16 58, 577
New Dakota 27.99 58, 214
Alaska 27.99 58, 214
Wyoming 27.99 58, 214
Montana 27.99 58, 214
Nevada 27.99 58, 214
Idaho 27.99  58, 214
Vermont 27.77 57, 768
Nebraska 27.68  57, 575
California 27.67 57, 563
Rhoda island 27.56 57, 325
Virginia 27.40 56, 990
South Dakota 26.99 55, 723
Kentucky 26.79 55, 663
New Jersey 26.76 55, 465
West Virginia 26.67 55, 219
Pennsylvania 26.55 55, 106
Arizona 26.49 54, 964
South Carolina 26.43 54, 917
Minnesota 26.40 54, 722
Tennessee 26.31 54, 698
Oregon 26.30 54, 682
Colorado 26.29 54, 5927
Delaware 26.25 54, 154
Ohio 26.28 54, 460
Wisconsin 26.04 54, 154
Utah 25.996 53, 006
Indiana 25.82 53, 697
Oklahoma 25.77 53, 612


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