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Entomologist

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

  • Avg. Salary $84,998.00
  • Avg. Wage $41.93
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Biological Scientist, Insect Biologist, Invertebrate Biologist, Research Scientist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Biologists (2121.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Biologists and Related Scientists (C021) 
  • 2011 NOC: Biologists and related scientists (2121) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

18%
18%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Entomologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Biologists
INNOVATIVE

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

OBJECTIVE

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

DIRECTIVE

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

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Entomologists investigate the biology, roles and management of:

  • Insect pests
  • Parasites and predators of insects
  • Beneficial insects including plant pollinators
  • Other insects and non-marine arthropods such as spiders and mites

Responsibilities vary from one position to another. But in general, entomologists study insect physiology, ecology, distribution, and habitat and recommend ways to prevent the importation and spread of harmful insects. They also:

  • Conduct research into the impact and control of insect pest problems
  • Investigate and evaluate the roles of insects in forestry, agriculture, human health, and the environment
  • Study the evolution of insects and classify them using taxonomic, molecular, and other techniques
  • Conduct experiments in plant and arthropod growth
  • Discover and describe new species of insects
  • Monitor insect biodiversity as part of ongoing efforts to preserve ecological integrity in natural landscapes
  • Develop biological methods of controlling harmful insects (for example, using pathogens, predators, parasites, or genetic methods) and implement pest management programs
  • Develop methods for controlling weeds with herbivorous insects and mites
  • Conduct field and laboratory tests of pesticides to evaluate their effect on various insect species 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 apiculture (bee husbandry), agriculture, or forest entomology. Some specialize in classification and evolution, insect ecology and physiology, or insecticide toxicology. Entomologists often collaborate with other scientists on projects. A team may work on developing crops resistant to insects or on combatting animal and plant diseases caused by arthropods that transmit infectious organisms. They may, for example, focus on mosquitoes spreading West Nile virus, bark beetles spreading Dutch elm disease fungus, or ticks carrying bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Entomologists may put in more than a standard 40-hour week and may work weekends, particularly if they are doing research. They may travel a lot to attend conferences.

Entomologists carry out investigations in laboratories, greenhouses, fields and controlled-environment chambers. They may spend considerable time preparing and analyzing data. The work may be tedious.

Entomologists also do field research. Fieldwork can be strenuous and involve physical labour. It can mean living in a remote location for long periods. Safety is important when faced with hazards such as dangerous wildlife, rough terrain or adverse weather conditions.

Entomologists play an important role in the safe handling of poisonous and allergenic insects and arthropods that carry disease and toxic chemicals.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Entomologists need:

  • Flexibility
  • Curiosity, creativity, patience, and perseverance
  • An interest in invertebrate biology
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Data management skills
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical stamina
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team

Entomologists should enjoy:

  • Doing precise work with instruments and equipment
  • Synthesizing information, conducting research, and preparing reports
  • Supervising research projects
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

The minimum academic requirement is a 4-year bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences or agriculture. Research positions in universities, government and industry usually call for 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

King's University, The

St. Mary'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 31, 2019

Certification is not required for this occupation. However, it is required for entomologists who are also professional biologists.

Biologist

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

Legislation

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 learn about certification for internationally educated biologists, see Biologist Registration Process.

Contact Details

Alberta Society of Professional Biologists
370, 105 12 Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2G 1A1
Phone: 403-264-1273
Email: pbiol@aspb.ab.ca
Website: www.aspb.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Entomologists are employed by government departments, 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 hire entomologists to do research and demonstrate new products for people in the agriculture, forestry, and medical communities. Some entomologists are independent consultants who offer insect identification services, advise clients on insect control or carry out environmental impact assessments.

Many students work in post-secondary schools or government research centres as research assistants while completing their undergraduate degree. Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs may be hired for technical positions in research programs or work in government jobs, such as forest health survey coordinator. They also find work in customer service in pest control companies or as juniors in environmental consulting companies. Those with a PhD may do independent research, administrative work or teach 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 [pdf] in this occupation is 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • 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 31, 2019

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

Biologists and related scientists

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
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $25.72 $48.08 $30.69 $25.72
Overall $31.46 $63.82 $41.93 $37.73
Top $41.28 $64.10 $54.40 $55.21

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

49%
49%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

18%
18%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

8%
8%

Vacancy Rate

3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Agriculture and Related Technologies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Alberta Society of Professional Biologists website: www.aspb.ab.ca

Entomological Society of Alberta website: www.entsocalberta.ca

Entomological Society of Canada website: esc-sec.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. 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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