Is becoming an entomologist right for me?

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What do entomologists do?
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How to become an Entomologist

Becoming an entomologist typically requires a combination of education, training, and experience. Here are the general steps to becoming an entomologist:

  • Obtain a bachelor's degree: Most entomologists have at least a Bachelor's degree in Zoology, Biology, or a related field. During their undergraduate studies, students may take courses in insect taxonomy, ecology, behavior, and physiology.
  • Pursue advanced education: For some positions in academia, research, or government, a Master's or PhD degree in entomology or a related field may be required. These programs typically involve coursework, research, and a thesis or dissertation.
  • Gain practical experience: Entomologists may gain practical experience through internships, fieldwork, or laboratory work. This can help to develop skills in insect identification, data collection, and analysis.
  • Develop specialized skills: Depending on their area of interest, entomologists may need to develop specialized skills, such as molecular biology, statistics, or geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Network and build professional connections: Networking with other entomologists and attending conferences and workshops can help to build professional connections and learn about new research and career opportunities.
  • Consider certification: Some entomologists choose to obtain certification from professional organizations, such as the Entomological Society of America. This can demonstrate a high level of expertise and dedication to the field.
  • Seek employment: Entomologists may find employment in a variety of settings, including universities, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private industry. Job opportunities may be found through online job boards, professional organizations, or personal networking.

There are several certifications available for entomologists who want to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field. Here are some of the most common certifications for entomologists:

  • Board Certified Entomologist (BCE): The BCE certification is offered by the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and is widely recognized in the entomology profession. To become certified, entomologists must have at least a Bachelor's degree and five years of professional experience in entomology, and must pass a written exam covering various areas of entomology.
  • Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE): The ACE certification is also offered by the ESA and is designed for pest management professionals. To become certified, applicants must have at least seven years of pest management experience and pass a written exam covering pest identification, behavior, control, and safety.
  • Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB): The CWB certification is offered by The Wildlife Society and is designed for professionals who work with wildlife, including entomologists who study insects that interact with wildlife. To become certified, applicants must have a Bachelor's degree in a related field, at least five years of professional experience, and pass a written exam covering wildlife biology and management.
  • Certified Entomological Technician (CET): The CET certification is offered by the ESA and is designed for technicians and assistants who work with entomologists. To become certified, applicants must have at least a high school diploma, two years of professional experience, and pass a written exam covering various areas of entomology.