Careers and Academics in Ecosystem Science


Many would argue that the best part of working as an ecosystem scientist is working outdoors in some of the most beautiful settings on earth. Yet, there are also many other options with some ecosystem scientists shaping policy in government, developing databases and models on their computer, or teaching the next generation of scientists. Ecosystem scientists work for the Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, state resource and environmental departments, environmental and restoration consulting firms, and universities. We invite you to speak with any of our members about your interests and potential career opportunities.

Ecosystem Science Jobs and Salaries
Position Mean Entry-Level Salary (Payscale) Mean Annual Wage (BLS) Top 10 Percent (BLS)
Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary   $102,270 $171,410
Biological Technicians $33,493 $56,540 $80,330
Conservation Scientists   $73,160 $105,460
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians $48,595 $57,470 $85,010
Environmental Scientists and Specialists $48,263 $86,710 $133,660
Foresters $42,091 $70,680 $98,590
Wildlife Biologists $49,347 $75,740 $110,590

Figures from, accessed June 2024.

Figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dated May 2023.


Ecosystem science is an interdisciplinary field and thus, one could pursue any number of different degrees. Our researchers currently come from a variety of different colleges and departments at Michigan Technological University and recommend you start with their sites to learn more. If you are investigating majors and graduate degree options, we suggest reviewing our Members and Current Projects pages to find topics of interests and then reach out to the relevant ESC member.