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Entomologists study the classification, biodiversity, life cycles and ecology of insects and other arthropods, and plan and implement surveys and pest management programs.

  • Avg. Salary $84,973.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.86
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 2,600
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Biological Scientist, Insect Biologist, Invertebrate Biologist, Research Scientist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Entomologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
NOC code: 2121.1

Interest in synthesizing information to conduct ecological and environmental impact studies and to prepare reports, and to develop new practices in biological research


Interest in precision working with instruments and equipment to conduct experiments in plant and animal growth, heredity and breeding


Interest in consulting to advise on issues related to biological processes and research and the development of new products; may supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 21, 2016

Entomologists investigate the biology, roles and management of: 

  • insect pests 
  • beneficial insects such as plant pollinators, insect parasites and insect predators
  • other insects and arthropods (for example, spiders and mites).

Duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another but, in general, entomologists:

  • study insect physiology, distribution and habitat and recommend methods of preventing the importation and spread of harmful insects
  • investigate and evaluate the role of insect pests in forests, agriculture, human health and the environment
  • study the evolution of insects and classify them using taxonomic, molecular and other techniques
  • discover and describe new species of insects
  • monitor insect biodiversity as part of ongoing efforts to preserve ecological integrity in natural landscapes
  • conduct research into the impact and control of insect pest problems
  • develop biological methods of controlling harmful insects (for example, using pathogens, predators, parasites or genetic methods) and implement pest management programs
  • develop methods of controlling weeds with herbivorous insects and mites 
  • conduct field and laboratory tests of pesticides to evaluate their effect on different species of insects under different conditions
  • preserve and maintain museum collections
  • prepare and provide information to help the public identify insects and other arthropods
  • co-ordinate public awareness and education programs.

Entomologists usually specialize in particular fields of study such as applied agriculture and forest entomology, apiculture (bee culture), classification and evolution, insect ecology, insect physiology or insecticide toxicology. They often work with other scientists on joint projects such as developing crops resistant to insects, or containing animal and plant diseases caused by arthropods transmitting infectious organisms (for example, mosquitoes spreading West Nile Virus, bark beetles spreading Dutch elm disease fungus and ticks carrying bacteria that cause Lyme disease).

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 21, 2016

Entomologists may work more than a standard 40-hour week, particularly if they are involved in research studies. They work indoors conducting experiments in laboratories, greenhouses, controlled environment chambers and museums as well as outdoors conducting field research. They may spend considerable time on data preparation and basic analysis. Fieldwork can be strenuous and may require living in a remote location for extended periods of time. Safety precautions are required to avoid injury when handling poisonous or allergenic insects, arthropods that are a vector for disease agents and toxic chemicals. Precautions are also required when faced with other hazards while working outdoors (for example, dangerous wildlife, rough terrain or adverse weather conditions). Frequent travel may also be required to attend conferences.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 21, 2016

Entomologists need the following characteristics:

  • a keen interest in invertebrate biology
  • the intellect, curiosity, creativity, patience and perseverance required to pursue answers to complex research questions
  • a good eye for detail and good dexterity (for working with insects under a microscope)
  • the ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • the ability to work long hours and do physical labour
  • the ability to communicate effectively with their colleagues and the general public.

They should enjoy synthesizing information, conducting research, preparing reports, performing tasks requiring precision and supervising research projects.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2016

The minimum academic requirement is a 4-year bachelor's degree in the biological sciences or agriculture. Research positions in universities, government and industrial organizations require a graduate degree: a master's (M.Sc.) or doctoral (PhD) degree.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Ambrose University

Concordia University of Edmonton

St. Mary's University

The King's University

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2016


Biologists study living organisms and apply their scientific knowledge in various fields.


Professional Biologist is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself a Professional Biologist, you must be a registered member of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB). At present, you can call yourself a "biologist" if you are not a registered member of ASPB.

What You Need

Membership requires: (1) at least 3 years of acceptable work experience, (2) a bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree in biological sciences from an approved educational institute, or equivalent and (3) 2 letters from professional referees (preferably, at least 1 from a Professional Biologist). For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the ASPB website or contact the ASPB.

Working in Alberta

Biologists who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered biologists in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated biologists, see Biologist Registration Process on the website.

Contact Details

Alberta Society of Professional Biologists
370, 105 12 Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2G 1A1
Phone: 403-264-1273

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 21, 2016

Entomologists are employed by municipal, provincial and federal governments, post-secondary schools, environmental consulting companies and museums. For example, entomologists employed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency work to prevent the spread of invasive invertebrates. Pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing companies and large pest control companies also hire entomologists to conduct research and demonstrate new products for people in the agriculture, forestry and medical communities. A few entomologists are independent consultants who provide insect identification services, advise clients on insect control or conduct environmental impact assessments.

Many entomologists may begin their career as research assistants to studies conducted in post-secondary schools while still completing their undergraduate degree. Graduates of bachelor's degree programs may be hired for technical positions in research programs, entry-level government jobs such as forest health survey coordinator, customer service positions in pest control companies, or junior positions in environmental consulting companies. A PhD generally is required for independent research, administrative work or teaching at the post-secondary level.

Entomologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2121: Biologists and related scientists. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 21, 2016

Entomologists' salaries vary considerably depending on their qualifications and research responsibilities.

Biologists and related scientists
NOC code: 2121

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.50 $54.74 $33.14 $31.25
Overall $27.99 $68.42 $45.86 $43.04
Top $33.00 $106.05 $61.02 $56.29

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


2015 Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Agriculture and Related Technologies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 21, 2016

Alberta Society of Professional Biologists website:

Entomological Society of Alberta website:

Entomological Society of Canada website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 09, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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