Ecology & Systematics Biology
Types of Degrees Ecology & Systematics Biology Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many ecology, evolution and systematics biology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Ecology & Systematics Biology Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to ecology and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Ecology Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Skills for Ecology Majors
When studying ecology, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Abilities for Ecology Majors
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a ecology student include the following:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
What Can You Do With a Ecology & Systematics Biology Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with ecology:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Biological Science Professors||15.1%||$82,550|
|Clinical Research Coordinators||9.9%||$123,860|
|Health Specialties Professors||25.9%||$97,370|
|Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists||13.4%||$84,810|
|Molecular and Cellular Biologists||8.0%||$79,590|
|Natural Sciences Managers||9.9%||$123,860|
|Water Resource Specialists||9.9%||$123,860|
|Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists||7.7%||$63,420|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Ecology & Systematics Biology?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of ecology majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||111|
|Hispanic or Latino||194|
Students from other countries are interested in Ecology, too. About 16.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
How Much Do Ecology & Systematics Biology Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that ecology, evolution and systematics biology students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $53,500 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $44,900 (25th percentile) and $56,150 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a ecology degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Ecology majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $75,690 to $97,340 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Ecology & Systematics Biology
Some degrees associated with ecology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to ecology have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||0.3%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.0%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||1.0%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||1.5%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||1.8%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||1.4%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.0%|
Online Ecology & Systematics Biology Programs
In 2018-2019, 349 schools offered a ecology program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||7||1|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||5||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||149||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Ecology & Systematics Biology Worth It?
The median salary for a ecology grad is $89,150 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 123% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $985,000 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Ecology & Systematics Biology
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to ecology.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology||14,004|
|Neurobiology & Neurosciences||9,504|
|Physiology & Pathology Sciences||7,844|
|Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences||5,671|
|Microbiological Sciences & Immunology||4,469|
|Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other)||3,646|
|Biomathematics & Bioinformatics||2,404|
|Pharmacology & Toxicology||1,148|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Ernst Haeckel under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.