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Study Ecology

Does the complex relationship between various organisms, or how various species interact with their environment interest you? If you’re nodding, then studying ecology could lead you to some promising career paths.

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8% expected increase in demand for ecologists this decade

$52,000

$52,000: median annual salary of ecologists

9,400

9,400 openings expected every year for ecologists and environmental scientists

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No gender pay gap

Ecology is the study of the relationships between living organisms and their physical environment. In the field of Ecology, life processes, adaptations, energy flow, cooperation, competition and distribution of organisms are studied. Organisms are considered at the individual, population, community, ecosystem and biosphere level. Some modules that students may study are evolution, ecosystems, population density, food chains, patterns of biodiversity and resource management.

Ecologists map the intricate relationships between living organisms and the environment. They then use this information to positively impact the world. Ecology finds application in a number of arenas, for example, city planning, fisheries, forestry, wetland management, conservation biology and agriculture.
To achieve success in Ecology an individual must possess two fundamental skills: analytical skills and observation skills. Ecologists must be able to carefully observe nature to capture and identify the relationships between organisms and their environment. Similarly, ecologists must be able to analyse their data to draw conclusions.

If you believe that you possess these two skills, then you’re a good fit for Ecology. Additionally, ecologists must also be proficient in articulating themselves to explain their findings to both general audiences and the academia.
An associate degree for junior level posts like laboratory assistant or field technician in Ecology typically suffices. If you’re not quite ready yet to commit to Ecology, then an associate degree, 2 years in duration, can provide you with a broad knowledge of the various aspects of the field.

Whereas a bachelor’s degree not only gives you a comprehensive understanding of Ecology but also the quantitative approach needed to excel in it. A bachelor’s degree in Ecology typically is 3-4 years in duration and costs on average $31,976 per year.

A master’s degree in Ecology allows students to secure leadership roles while also specialising in a sub-field of Ecology. The average annual cost of a master’s in Ecology is $24,453.

Another option to consider if you’re aiming for teaching or research roles is a PhD degree, which can be 3-5 years in duration. It allows for independent research and further training in the research methodology in the field of Ecology.
Employment opportunities for ecologists are forecasted to increase by 8% this decade. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics more than 9,400 job openings are expected every year over the decade for ecologists and environmental scientists. This is probably due to the emerging global conscience of human impact on other species and the environment. Ecologists are predicted to be in high demand in the future as humans try to better understand their impact on other living beings and minimise environmental damage.
Ecology graduates have a host of career paths available to them. Some of them are mentioned below.

Restoration Ecologist


Restoration ecologists attempt to restore ecosystems that have been adversely impacted by human activities such as poaching or deforestation. They identify the cause of the harm to the ecosystem, enforce protocols that will prevent it from reoccurring and devise strategies to help restore the ecosystem.

Field Ecologist


As the name suggests, field ecologists work in the field to collect data about living organisms and their interactions with their environment. They conduct site assessments, collect specimens, compile data and prepare technical reports.

Environmental Consultant


In this role, you try to mitigate environmental degradation by offering consultancy services. Environmental consultants have in-depth knowledge of environmental regulations and help bring their clients in line with those regulations. You may be hired by corporations or governments trying to reduce their carbon footprint, air pollution or water pollution. You offer corporations and governments advice that make their enterprises eco-friendlier.

Park Naturalist


A park naturalist has extensive knowledge about ecology. They guide park visitors through the park while educating them about the plants and animals present there. They not only share fun tidbits about the plant life and animals in the park but also emphasise that conserving nature is important.

Top Ecology courses

Top Universities to study Ecology

The University of New England

The University of New England

uni-location Australia

Monash University

Monash University

THE ranking: 57

uni-location Australia

The University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales

THE ranking: 70

uni-location Australia

University of Wollongong

University of Wollongong

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Australia

The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland

THE ranking: 54

uni-location Australia

La Trobe University

La Trobe University

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Australia

The University of Newcastle

The University of Newcastle

THE ranking: 251

uni-location Australia

Flinders University

Flinders University

THE ranking: 251

uni-location Australia

The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne

THE ranking: 33

uni-location Australia

The Australian National University

The Australian National University

THE ranking: 54

uni-location Australia

The University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ)

The University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ)

THE ranking: 401

uni-location Australia

University of Tasmania (UTAS)

University of Tasmania (UTAS)

THE ranking: 301

uni-location Australia

Griffith University

Griffith University

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Australia

Trent University

Trent University

uni-location Canada

Laurentian University

Laurentian University

uni-location Canada

Bishop's University

Bishop's University

uni-location Canada

Brock University

Brock University

uni-location Canada

University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Canada

Carleton University

Carleton University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location Canada

Concordia University

Concordia University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location Canada

Langara College

Langara College

uni-location Canada

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Memorial University of Newfoundland

THE ranking: 601

uni-location Canada

Niagara College

Niagara College

uni-location Canada

Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University

uni-location Canada

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Canada

University of Calgary

University of Calgary

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Canada

University of Northern British Columbia

University of Northern British Columbia

THE ranking: 801

uni-location Canada

University of Guelph

University of Guelph

THE ranking: 501

uni-location Canada

University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

THE ranking: 37

uni-location Canada

University of Alberta

University of Alberta

THE ranking: 125

uni-location Canada

University of Ottawa

University of Ottawa

THE ranking: 162

uni-location Canada

University of Saskatchewan

University of Saskatchewan

THE ranking: 501

uni-location Canada

University of Victoria

University of Victoria

THE ranking: 301

uni-location Canada

Western University

Western University

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Canada

University of Toronto

University of Toronto

THE ranking: 18

uni-location Canada

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

uni-location Canada

Lincoln University

Lincoln University

THE ranking: 501

uni-location New Zealand

The University of Waikato

The University of Waikato

THE ranking: 401

uni-location New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington

THE ranking: 501

uni-location New Zealand

Massey University

Massey University

uni-location New Zealand

University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury

THE ranking: 501

uni-location New Zealand

The University of Otago

The University of Otago

THE ranking: 201

uni-location New Zealand

Royal Holloway, University of London

Royal Holloway, University of London

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United Kingdom

The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland

THE ranking: 137

uni-location New Zealand

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Essex

University of Essex

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United Kingdom

Newcastle University

Newcastle University

THE ranking: 146

uni-location United Kingdom

Middlesex University

Middlesex University

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United Kingdom

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool John Moores University

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Manchester

University of Manchester

THE ranking: 50

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Exeter

University of Exeter

THE ranking: 143

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow

THE ranking: 86

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Bristol

University of Bristol

THE ranking: 92

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield

THE ranking: 110

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Southampton

University of Southampton

THE ranking: 124

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

THE ranking: 30

uni-location United Kingdom

Lancaster University

Lancaster University

THE ranking: 122

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Stirling

University of Stirling

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United Kingdom

University of East Anglia

University of East Anglia

THE ranking: 182

uni-location United Kingdom

University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United Kingdom

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Reading

University of Reading

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool

THE ranking: 178

uni-location United Kingdom

University of York

University of York

THE ranking: 169

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

THE ranking: 141

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Roehampton

University of Roehampton

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Hull

University of Hull

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United Kingdom

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Sussex

University of Sussex

THE ranking: 151

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Leeds

University of Leeds

THE ranking: 127

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Lincoln

University of Lincoln

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen

THE ranking: 158

uni-location United Kingdom

Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University

THE ranking: 1001

uni-location United Kingdom

Queen's University Belfast

Queen's University Belfast

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United Kingdom

Coast Mountain College

Coast Mountain College

uni-location Canada

University of Lethbridge

University of Lethbridge

THE ranking: 1201

uni-location Canada

University of Galway

University of Galway

THE ranking: 351

uni-location Ireland

University College Cork

University College Cork

THE ranking: 251

uni-location Ireland

University of Brighton

University of Brighton

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United Kingdom

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United Kingdom

Lancaster University ISC - Study Group UK

Lancaster University ISC - Study Group UK

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Sheffield International College - Study Group UK

University of Sheffield International College - Study Group UK

uni-location United Kingdom

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