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Environment

Ecologist Green Job

Ecologists study the relationship between plants, animals and the environment.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £42,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 41 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends;

2.4%
Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Ecologist jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As an ecologist you might:

  • analyse data on plants, animals and environmental conditions
  • research the impact of activities like building houses and farming on land and waterways
  • create and manage wildlife conservation areas and restoration projects
  • advise landowners and local authorities on ecological legal matters
  • raise awareness of ecological issues in local communities and promote involvement in schemes

Green job

As an ecologist, you can restore woodlands and peatlands to help tackle climate change. This can have a positive impact on the environment.

Find out more about green careers

Working environment

You could work in the countryside, at a university, in an office or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You can get into this job through a university course or an apprenticeship.

University

You'll need a degree or postgraduate qualification in a subject like:

  • ecology
  • ecology and environmental sustainability
  • conservation, marine or plant biology
  • environmental science
  • zoology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information
Apprenticeship

You might be able to start by applying for an Ecologist Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship.

This usually takes around 3 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a degree in a relevant subject
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

Volunteering is a great way to get practical experience and skills, meet new people and develop useful contacts. This might improve your chances of finding work.

You can find volunteering opportunities with:

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You may need a driving licence to visit fieldwork sites.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the British Ecological Society, which offers mentoring from experienced ecologists, research news, and education and job search support.

Further information

You can find more details about careers in ecology through the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and Green Jobs for Nature.

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You could work for:local authorities; conservation organisations; government or scientific bodies; universities

With experience, you could:become a senior ecologist, leading a team of researchers; be employed as a consultant on sustainable development projects; act as an adviser on biodiversity policy; work in conservation education or scientific journalism

You'll find more job specialisms at Green Jobs for Nature.

How does this job help to address the impacts of climate change and protect wildlife and nature in the West of England?

Ecologists are needed to work with the local authority, businesses and residents to help protect and enhance the biodiversity and natural environments of the West of England, including key priority habitats such as woodland, wetland and grasslands.

There are several different routes you can take to get into working as an Ecologist which you can explore further in the 'Routes into this job' section above. 

Click here for an explanation of the different course and apprenticeship levels.


Examples of post-16 courses you could study at local schools or colleges

  • Biology, Geography or Environmental Science A-levels
  • Level 2-3 Countryside Management at Bridgwater and Taunton College

Click here to find a local provider

Apprenticeships you may be able to take with local employers

  • Level 2-4 Countryside Management  
  • Level 7 Ecologist (degree apprenticeship) 

Click here to search for a local apprenticeship

Examples of post-18 courses you could study at local higher education providers

Click here to search for other university courses


Local employers 

  • The Environment Agency
  • Amey
  • RSK Biocensus

For more local employment opportunities see the 'Live job vacancies by region' section above.

Volunteering is a great way to build experience in ecology and may improve your chances of finding paid work. You can also build up contacts within conservation, which will be useful when looking for jobs. You can find local volunteering opportunities with: Bristol Avon Rivers Trust and Avon Wildlife Trust.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • science skills
  • maths knowledge for surveying and reporting
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent written communication skills
  • knowledge of wildlife and habitat regulations
  • persistence and determination
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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