Career as Ecologist

Stream : Life Science & Environment
Sub Stream : Environmental science


An ecologist finds ways to use resources efficiently and manage them responsibly, identifies ecological hazards and works to eliminate them, and studies the environment in general. Ecologists conduct research into the preservation and reclamation of natural resources, help business and industry to be ecologically responsible and work for government agencies, which inspect and regulate environmental standards.



  • Ecologists are specialist scientists who survey ecosystems and assess the diversity, profusion and behaviour of the different organisms within them.
  • As an ecologist, you will spend a large amount of your time out in the field, conducting scientific investigations, classifying plants, animals and other organisms, and recording the data that you accumulate.
  • Once you have conducted surveys using state-of-the art equipment, such as geographical information systems (GIS), you will spend your time in a laboratory or office analysing, evaluating and unravelling the data that you have collected.
  • You will then be tasked with presenting the data in a concise and accessible manner. You will use the reports you write to influence environmental policy and offer expert advice to engineers, architects, town planners and members of the public.
  • Part of your role might also involve educating local communities about environmental issues and ecosystems in their area. 



While looking for a job, we search about the responsibilities, scope, qualification etc required for a particular. But we often forget the most important factors  i.e career interest, Aptitude and personality, needed to be considered, while applying for a job. 

Some of the basic aptitude, personality and interest required to succeed in this career are-






  • An interest in preserving and protecting the environment is important, along with a natural curiosity and a desire to solve problems.


  • This job requires good investigative, analytical, and information collecting skills




  • enthusiasm for undertaking fieldwork in sometimes harsh conditions




  • a sense of professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm for the work




  • creativity and problem solving skill



-Someone who wants to become an ecologist should have a strong science background, especially in subjects such as botany, biology, zoology and forestry.

-Majority of the Ecologist positions require at least a bachelors degree in science, and it is often beneficial to have a master's degree.

-A Ph.D is necessary for those who wish to teach in colleges and universities and often for those who conduct research.

-Depending on the area of specialization, an Ecologist may have an educational background in subjects as diverse as economics, climatology, mathematical modeling, geology, forestry, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science etc.

-It is also important to have good computer and math skills.

Some specializations are :-

Urban Ecologist- Urban ecology is a recent field of study compared to ecology as a whole. Urban ecologist study ecosystems that include humans living in cities and urbanizing landscapes. To be more specific, they study the relation of living organisms with each other and their surroundings in the context of the proposed urban environment.

Forest Ecologist-Studying and classifying the different species of plants, animals and insects in the forest is one of their major tasks. They will also study the impact of humans and global warming on the forest soil and climate.

Marine Ecologist-this branch of ecology deals with aquatic life and the impact it has on the environment that we live in. Marine ecologists will study the aquatic life forms like fish, plants, etc and study the impact on their environment. They will also work in zoos, and aquariums to help preserve and protect marine life forms.

Restoration Ecologist- They work in areas where there has been ecological damage like deforestation and try to revive the environment by planting trees and at times removing non native weeds. Restoration ecologists will work on projects dealing with reviving the environment with introducing measures like re-vegetation.

Wildlife Ecologist- Wildlife ecologist study animals, especially animal populations, and seeks to identify ways in which those populations can be helped. The main objective of an ecologist working in this setting is to promote healthy animal conservation.

Environmental Biologist- Environmental biologists study a specific environment and the organisms and wildlife that inhabit it. An environmental biologist aids in the protection and survival of wildlife within the ecosystem, ensuring against endangerment and assessing the impact of human activity on the environment.



Course/ Degree

Institute in Ecology/ Environment science

  • Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment    
  • The Global Open University, Nagaland    
  • Asutosh College, Kolkata    
  • Anugrah Narayan College, Patna    
  • Netaji Mahavidyalaya
  • Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management - EIILM


B.A in Environmental studies


Master of Arts (Ecology, Environment and Sustainable Development)

  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences in  Ecology & Environment science


  • Assam University,Silchar
  • Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management - EIILM University
  • Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment, New Delhi
  • Pondicherry University




Admission to the course at some institutes is offered solely on the basis of the candidate’s class XII score.

However, some institutes conduct entrance examinations for admission. Selection in such cases is based on the candidate’s 10+2 score and the aggregate score in the relevant entrance exam.

Given here is a list of some entrance exams conducted in the country.

  • JNU entrance exam
  • Delhi University entrance exam
  • Anna University entrance exam
  • Banaras Hindu University entrance exam,
  • BIT entrance exam
  • CUSAT entrance exam
  • TANCET entrance exam


Ecologists can be found in varied jobs in most sectors of the economy. They explore a wide variety of fields like- 

  • government agencies
  • environmental trusts
  • conservation charities
  • research institutes.
  • CSIR,
  • universities,
  • Agricultural Research Institutes,
  • agriculture departments,
  • department of environmental affairs,
  • forestry department,
  • departments of Nature Conservation,
  • national parks, museums
  • and many more.
  • Private organisations, with a special interest in nature conservation may also employ ecologists.
  • Conservation bodies employ ecologists to manage nature reserves, ranging from ancient woodlands to gravel pits.


Like most jobs, the ecologist salary depends on the location, education and experience of the individual. Ecologist earn more while working in independent research and university positions. They also have other benefits like pension plans, health benefits and paid leaves.

Starting salary for an ecologist in India with a masters degree can be approximately Rs. 8,000- 12,000/-. In UK Starting salaries vary considerably from about £13,000 to £20,000 depending on the employer and your own skills and experience.

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