You should feel proud about getting an ecology degree (or even just thinking about it). After all, the job is an important one. With more than 89,000 ecologists already in the world today, projections say there will be at least 11.1% more by the year 2026. So, are you ready to get your credentials and start making money as an eco pro? If so, listen up.
What is an ecology degree?
With this credential, you study the connection between the world around you and the wildlife that lives within it. You also research things like life processes and population. And if you go to the right school, you might even get into the fundamentals of movement, migration, and energy distribution.
A degree in ecology means that you’re an official ecologist. In other words, you’ll be responsible for interacting with various species and analyzing the results. Your job description will include lots of experimentation and hands-on fieldwork.
What classes do I have to take for an ecology degree?
To graduate and start earning a salary, you must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program at an accredited school. Part of that step is attending and passing the following classes:
Talk to an admission counselor for more specific information about which classes you need to take for the career you want because some of those classes may change.
The 3 best schools for eco majors
Here are 3 top colleges for eco majors in America:
- Harvard University – It’s rated #1 for Ecology/Environmental Studies by US News. The campus enrolls over 20,000 students every year but has one of the highest tuitions in the country.
- The University of California Berkeley – This one hosts nearly 40,000 students annually and has reasonable tuition. However, its science labs aren’t nearly as advanced as they could be.
- The University of Minnesota – It’s an extremely affordable school to earn your ecology degree and they accept almost 50,000 applications a year. But, their programs often borrow material from ivy league schools because of their somewhat lacking facilities.
Remember, you boost your chances of getting paid more when you go to a good school. So, choose wisely and always do your homework.
Employers with the highest salaries for an ecology degree
Many grads go on to become environmental consultants, natural resource managers, and even DNR officers. But instead of looking at individual careers, try to focus on businesses that are hiring for your degree. There are many different companies and agencies that like to hire fresh-faced eco majors, so maybe start with one of those. Here are a few sources to get you started:
- National Park Service
- United States Department of the Interior
- Bureau of Land Management
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Contact these agencies directly for more information on available jobs or visit their website for a detailed job description.
Will my ecology degree make good money?
Your ecology degree salary will vary depending on many factors. Also, the higher you go in school, the more money you can demand from employers. On average, though, eco majors end up making about $51,000 per year to start. Meanwhile, some employers also throw in bonuses like health insurance, company transportation, and pension plans to offset the lower wage.