An entomologist is an individual who specializes in the study of insects. They can look at insects' relationships with other animals, their environment, and interactions with humans. Entomologists study insects like beetles, flies, and butterflies as well as arthropods, which includes spiders and scorpions. Most entomologists will focus their research on a particular species or family of insects. There are a range of topics an entomologist can specialize in; some primary specialties are Agricultural, Veterinary, Medical, Taxonomic, Forensic, Forest, and Structural entomologists.
A day on the job for an entomologist can vary day to day. Most days an entomologist will be out in the field collecting samples. This can be in remote areas or in more urban areas. Once an entomologist has collected the samples needed for their research they will need to analyze it in the lab. Many days for an entomologist will be in the lab where they will go through their data, prepare reports, and eventually publish their findings.
For a person to be successful in an entomologist role, they will need to be comfortable working in a variety of environments and working with all types of insects. They will need to have great observation, communication, and critical thinking skills.
To have success at being an entomologist, an individual will need an advanced degree. Masters and PhDs are required to have senior research positions and college teaching positions. Many individuals will take classes in insect biology, genetics, parasitology, ecology, chemistry, and biology. There is also certification available through the Entomological Society of America where an individual can be board certified or associate certified. Most of the training to become an entomologist will happen through internships and summer work.
The expected job growth of zoologists and wildlife biologists is projected to grow 5% from 2012 to 2022. This is slightly below the average compared to other occupations. Many of the new entomologist jobs will be in biotechnology and environmental fields. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for an entomologist is $72,397 or $35 per hour.