Careers in Entomology: Job Options and Requirements

Programs in entomology typically cover the life cycle and behavior of bugs. Find out about the requirements of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for entomology graduates.

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Careers in entomology involve working with insects in some form or another. Popular job titles include entomologists (a form of zoology), forensic technicians and pest control workers.

Essential Information

There are many career possibilities in entomology, including pest control, scientific research and law enforcement. Entomology can be studied in bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For an entry-level career in entomology, one can earn a degree in entomology or a related science. However, obtaining an advanced degree in entomology is required for those seeking positions in education or advanced research.

Career Entomology Research Pest Control Worker Forensic Entomologist
Education Requirements Graduate Degree High School Diploma or Equivalent Bachelor's/Master's Degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 4% (for all zoologists and wildlife biologists)* -1%* 27% (for all forensic science technicians)*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $64,230(for all zoologists and wildlife biologists)* $34,080* $60,090 (for all forensic science technicians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Students interested in entomology can find a variety of career options. Students with a high school diploma can receive job training and work as a pest control technician. Students with an academic degree can pursue a career as a researcher or assist law enforcement with a career as a forensic entomologist.

Pest Control Worker

High School graduates with an interest in entomology can work in insect control, finding new ways to keep insects out of homes, schools and other public areas. They may work with chemicals or repellents in pest management. Pest control specialists can work for themselves as consultants or for agribusiness companies or the federal government. Pest control can include working to control insects in food, seeds and crops to protect and monitor the overall well-being of agricultural products. Pest control workers receive on-the-job training and must be state licensed.

Pest control workers earned a mean annual salary of $34,080 as of May 2015, and their employment outlook predicted a 1% decrease from 2014 until 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

Scientific Research

Entomologists with advanced degrees can work as scientific researchers for universities or businesses. Research might be based on how insects spread disease or how bugs infest houses. Researchers might study why some insects help crops, while others harm food supplies. Entomology researchers present and publish their findings in scientific journals.

The BLS expected wildlife biologists and zoologists, which includes entomologists, to see a 4% increase in employment between 2014 and 2024. Their mean annual salary was $64,230 as of May 2015.

Law Enforcement

The FBI hires entomologists to help investigate crimes. Forensic entomologists study bugs at crime scenes to help determine the cause and time of a death, as well as the possibility that a body was moved after death. Many forensic entomologists are researchers who work as consultants for coroners, lawyers and medical examiners.

While the BLS doesn't specifically have data for forensic entomologists, the general category of forensic science technicians earned a mean annual salary of $60,090 as of 2015. They could see employment increase by 27% between 2014 and 2024, the BLS expected.

Entomology is the study of insects. Careers in entomology involve studying, understanding and, in the case of pest control professionals, exterminating certain insects.

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