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The ecology sector includes biodiversity, mitigation and consultancy roles e.g. Ecological Clerk of Works and advice provision also fieldwork such as bat surveys and EIA.  Ecological roles can be found in all habitat types, from open moorland or ancient woodland to coastal and marine settings looking at everything from natterjack toads to lichens to the impact of a potential windfarm development.

Provision of ecological consultancy is a growing area and one in which you can be a generalist covering whole ecosystems to specialists looking specifically at one, usually protected, species e.g. Great Crested Newts or bats. Developments, both large e.g. HS2 and the York Potash Woodsmith mine, and small e.g. house extensions / barn conversions, are being created every day many of which require site surveys for planning applications meaning this is a field with plenty of opportunities.  

Occasionally there are also pure research opportunities which sometimes can be combined with further study such as gaining your PhD.


Jobs and employment

Typical jobs include Ecologist and Ecological Clerk of Works, Field Worker, Researcher, Environmental Management Consultant,  the National Careers Service has role profiles of these and many more.

See current vacancies advertised with CJS here.


To gain the experience required volunteering is frequently a good start.

See current volunteering opportunities advertised with CJS here.


Skills, training and CPD.

There are many different skills and qualifications required to work in the ecology field however a degree in ecology or closely related subject is usually required.


If you're thinking of a career in ecology there are details of longer courses, from foundation certifications to more specialised Masters Degrees on the Training Directory here.

There is a range of Distance Learning courses in a range of subjects such as statistics for ecologists, field techniques for surveying and habitat restoration see these here.


Information and in depth articles

Must read article: Interview Skills, Contract Ecology Ltd

Making the leap into self-employment, Ecology on Demand

Citizen Science: A Speedy Way to Support Wildlife and your Career?, OPAL

Wildlife Trust Trainee scheme proves valuable to the future careers of biological recorders & biodiversity alike, Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Volunteer Photographers with WWT

Must read article: So you want to work in ecology and environmental management? CIEEM

Bat's are hibernating - we are not, Bat Conservation Trust

Why Bats Matter, published Bat Conservation Trust

Developing biodiversity skills for the future, FSC

Working and volunteering in amphibian research, British Herpetological Society

The Bass Rock, Scottish Seabird Centre

Studland's underwater meadows, Dorset Wildlife Trust

Whale and dolphin-watching around the UK - how you can get involved!, Sea Watch Foundation

Steart Marshes, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Do you need readily accessible evidence of the benefits of investments that improve the environment?, Natural England

The catchment wide approach to Invasive non-native species, Medway Valley Countryside Partnership


Useful organisations

British Ecological Society

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Managers 


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