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Graduate Ecologist? Where does your adventure start?

You have a passion for your natural environment, its conservation and ecology. You have your degree. Your ambition is to have a fulfilling and successful career. Now it’s time to put these attributes to good use. The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) explains why a career in Ecology could be perfect for you.

“There is no typical day”.

That’s what a current Graduate Ecologist has to say about their chosen career. If you can imagine one day surveying great crested newts in Hampshire and the next day checking bat roosts in deepest Devon, you should be looking at a career in Ecology. Graduate Ecologists are employed, for example, to undertake survey work and after years of studying this offers you an opportunity to refine your survey skills in the field.

Graduate Ecologists find employment in a whole range of sectors: local authorities, government agencies, central governments, NGOs, environmental and engineering consultancies, academia and industry. A career in Ecology could take you anywhere.

There are general qualities, such as self-motivation, teamwork, computer literacy and communicating and negotiating skills, which are necessary for most areas of work as an Ecologist, but special qualities are needed for success in ecological work.

These extra skills include:

• a fascination with animals and plants;

• a thorough knowledge of the functioning of natural systems;

• good academic qualifications in biological or environmental subjects;

• expertise in one or more groups of living organisms;

• an understanding of the relevant legislative framework;

• the ability to infect others with enthusiasm about the natural world;

• enjoyment of fieldwork;

• the staying power needed to complete tedious and sometimes uncomfortable tasks in the field or laboratory; and

• an objective approach to conservation issues.

Becoming a member of CIEEM

Becoming a member of CIEEM will open the doors for you to start your career – it shows employers you’re passionate about the sector, and that you are working towards a goal by planning Continuing Professional Development using an increasingly recognised framework. CIEEM also offers their members career advice and guidance when they need it, as well as reduced training and conference rates. In addition, you also have the chance to network with professionals in the sector, offering you fantastic opportunities to utilise the connections you make.

CIEEM has more information on careers in Ecology for graduates at www.cieem.net/students.careers or you can contact them direct by enquiries@cieem.net