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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.

9,400

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

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8% expected increase in demand for ecologists this decade

$52,000

$52,000: median annual salary of ecologists

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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

  • At University of Nottingham
    uni-location

    Nottingham , United Kingdom

    THE world university rank: 141

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Ph.D.

    turn-around

    Entry score

    6.5

    Fees

    Total course fee

    PHP 4,945,815 ? GBP  79,500 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

  • At University of Stirling
    uni-location

    Stirling , United Kingdom

    THE world university rank: 301

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Ph.D.

    turn-around

    Entry score

    6.5

    Fees

    Total course fee

    PHP 3,807,344 ? GBP  61,200 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

  • At University of Chicago
    uni-location

    Springfield , United States

    THE world university rank: 10

    school-outline-white

    Course qualification

    Ph.D.

    turn-around

    Entry score

    7.0

    Fees

    Total course fee

    PHP 8,490,966 ? USD  167,688 Program fees are indicative only. Speak to your IDP study counsellor to get up-to-date course prices.

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

The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney

THE ranking: 58

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

The University of Southern Queensland

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

Humboldt State University (California State University, CSU)

Humboldt State University (California State University, CSU)

uni-location United States

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

University of Tampa

University of Tampa

uni-location United States

Duquesne University

Duquesne University

uni-location United States

Harvard University

Harvard University

THE ranking: 2

uni-location United States

Kent State University

Kent State University

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Loyola University of Chicago

Loyola University of Chicago

uni-location United States

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

Princeton University

Princeton University

THE ranking: 7

uni-location United States

Tufts University

Tufts University

THE ranking: 172

uni-location United States

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Yale University

Yale University

THE ranking: 9

uni-location United States

Indiana State University

Indiana State University

uni-location United States

Washington State University

Washington State University

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

THE ranking: 13

uni-location United States

North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University

uni-location United States

University of North Texas

University of North Texas

uni-location United States

University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh

THE ranking: 140

uni-location United States

Lehigh University

Lehigh University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Alabama in Huntsville

University of Alabama in Huntsville

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

Emory University

Emory University

THE ranking: 82

uni-location United States

Utah State University

Utah State University

uni-location United States

University of Texas - El Paso

University of Texas - El Paso

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

George Washington University

George Washington University

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United States

University of California, Riverside

University of California, Riverside

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

Michigan State University

Michigan State University

THE ranking: 93

uni-location United States

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Boston University

Boston University

THE ranking: 62

uni-location United States

Texas A and M University - College Station

Texas A and M University - College Station

THE ranking: 193

uni-location United States

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

THE ranking: 48

uni-location United States

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

THE ranking: 45

uni-location United States

Rice University

Rice University

THE ranking: 136

uni-location United States

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University

uni-location United States

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

uni-location United States

University of Houston

University of Houston

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Washington

University of Washington

THE ranking: 29

uni-location United States

University of Utah

University of Utah

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

University of San Francisco

University of San Francisco

uni-location United States

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

uni-location United States

Drexel University

Drexel University

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

Idaho State University

Idaho State University

uni-location United States

DePaul University

DePaul University

uni-location United States

Illinois State University

Illinois State University

uni-location United States

Montana State University

Montana State University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

Iowa State University

Iowa State University

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

University of Toledo

University of Toledo

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Maryland - College Park

University of Maryland - College Park

THE ranking: 93

uni-location United States

Purdue University - West Lafayette

Purdue University - West Lafayette

THE ranking: 105

uni-location United States

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

uni-location United States

Brown University

Brown University

THE ranking: 64

uni-location United States

SUNY Stony Brook University

SUNY Stony Brook University

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

University of California - Santa Cruz

University of California - Santa Cruz

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United States

University of Alabama

University of Alabama

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

uni-location United States

University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno

uni-location United States

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Los Angeles

THE ranking: 20

uni-location United States

University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Miami

University of Miami

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United States

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

Hofstra University

Hofstra University

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

THE ranking: 10

uni-location United States

Temple University

Temple University

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

University of Colorado - Boulder

University of Colorado - Boulder

THE ranking: 158

uni-location United States

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University

THE ranking: 126

uni-location United States

Columbia University

Columbia University

THE ranking: 11

uni-location United States

University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

James Madison University - International Study Center (StudyGroup)

James Madison University - International Study Center (StudyGroup)

uni-location United States

Florida A and M University

Florida A and M University

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Cornell University

Cornell University

THE ranking: 22

uni-location United States

Howard University

Howard University

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

Fordham University

Fordham University

uni-location United States

Indiana University - Bloomington

Indiana University - Bloomington

THE ranking: 167

uni-location United States

Marquette University

Marquette University

THE ranking: 801

uni-location United States

Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University

uni-location United States

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

THE ranking: 13

uni-location United States

Northwestern University

Northwestern University

THE ranking: 24

uni-location United States

North Carolina State University - Raleigh

North Carolina State University - Raleigh

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

New York University

New York University

THE ranking: 26

uni-location United States

Ohio State University - Columbus

Ohio State University - Columbus

THE ranking: 85

uni-location United States

Pennsylvania State University - University Park

Pennsylvania State University - University Park

THE ranking: 119

uni-location United States

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

University of California - San Diego

University of California - San Diego

THE ranking: 34

uni-location United States

South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University

uni-location United States

University of California - Davis

University of California - Davis

THE ranking: 67

uni-location United States

University of California - Berkeley

University of California - Berkeley

THE ranking: 8

uni-location United States

University of California - Santa Barbara

University of California - Santa Barbara

THE ranking: 68

uni-location United States

University of California - Irvine

University of California - Irvine

THE ranking: 96

uni-location United States

University of Idaho

University of Idaho

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Denver

University of Denver

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati

uni-location United States

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

University of Georgia

University of Georgia

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

University of Florida

University of Florida

THE ranking: 154

uni-location United States

University of Maine

University of Maine

uni-location United States

University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

University of Montana

University of Montana

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

THE ranking: 114

uni-location United States

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

THE ranking: 183

uni-location United States

University of Rochester

University of Rochester

THE ranking: 142

uni-location United States

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

THE ranking: 52

uni-location United States

University of Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma

uni-location United States

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

THE ranking: 24

uni-location United States

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University

THE ranking: 113

uni-location United States

University of Texas - Austin

University of Texas - Austin

THE ranking: 47

uni-location United States

University of Wisconsin - Madison

University of Wisconsin - Madison

THE ranking: 58

uni-location United States

California State University - San Marcos

California State University - San Marcos

uni-location United States

Auburn University - Shorelight

Auburn University - Shorelight

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of South Carolina - Shorelight

University of South Carolina - Shorelight

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

California State University - Chico

California State University - Chico

uni-location United States

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University

uni-location United States

California State University - East Bay

California State University - East Bay

uni-location United States

California State University - Fullerton

California State University - Fullerton

uni-location United States

California State University - Northridge

California State University - Northridge

uni-location United States

San Diego State University

San Diego State University

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University

uni-location United States

Minnesota State University - Mankato

Minnesota State University - Mankato

uni-location United States

Tulane University

Tulane University

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

Central Washington University

Central Washington University

uni-location United States

Montclair State University

Montclair State University

uni-location United States

University of Houston - Clear Lake

University of Houston - Clear Lake

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United States

University of Central Missouri

University of Central Missouri

uni-location United States

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fairleigh Dickinson University

uni-location United States

University of New Haven

University of New Haven

uni-location United States

Adelphi University - Shorelight

Adelphi University - Shorelight

uni-location United States

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi - International Study Center (StudyGroup)

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi - International Study Center (StudyGroup)

uni-location United States

The University of Illinois at Chicago - Shorelight

The University of Illinois at Chicago - Shorelight

THE ranking: 301

uni-location United States

University of North Carolina - Wilmington

University of North Carolina - Wilmington

THE ranking: 1201

uni-location United States

Peralta Community College District

Peralta Community College District

uni-location United States

Coast Mountain College

Coast Mountain College

uni-location Canada

University of Utah - Shorelight

University of Utah - Shorelight

THE ranking: 251

uni-location United States

Western Washington University - International Study Center (StudyGroup)

Western Washington University - International Study Center (StudyGroup)

uni-location United States

University of Lethbridge

University of Lethbridge

THE ranking: 1201

uni-location Canada

National University of Ireland, Galway

National University of Ireland, Galway

THE ranking: 351

uni-location Ireland

University College Cork

University College Cork

THE ranking: 251

uni-location Ireland

Arizona State University - Kaplan International

Arizona State University - Kaplan International

THE ranking: 132

uni-location United States

California State University, Sacramento

California State University, Sacramento

uni-location United States

Hofstra University - INTO USA

Hofstra University - INTO USA

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United States

Illinois State University - INTO USA

Illinois State University - INTO USA

uni-location United States

Colorado State University - INTO USA

Colorado State University - INTO USA

THE ranking: 351

uni-location United States

University of South Florida - INTO USA

University of South Florida - INTO USA

THE ranking: 201

uni-location United States

Oregon State University - INTO USA

Oregon State University - INTO USA

uni-location United States

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University

uni-location United States

University of Brighton

University of Brighton

THE ranking: 601

uni-location United Kingdom

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

uni-location United States

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University

THE ranking: 501

uni-location United Kingdom

University of Connecticut - Kaplan International

University of Connecticut - Kaplan International

THE ranking: 401

uni-location United States

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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