Entomology is the science of insects and related organisms.  Entomologists protect human and animal health, food, and property, and natural environments by better understanding the biology and ecology of insects.  Entomologists work as scientists, educators, technicians, consultants, and specialists in urban, agricultural, and natural environments to prevent the spread of disease, feed the world, promote biodiversity, protect the environment, solve crimes, strengthen biosecurity, and teach science.  Careers and interests in entomology are as diverse as the insects they work on.


Where Entomologists Work?

Job Opportunities for Entomologists with a Bachelor of Science Degree


Students graduating with a degree in entomology can look forward to a wide variety of career opportunities. Purdue undergraduates with entomology degrees have found employment 100% of the time in the past five years. 


Career Opportunities


  • Basic life sciences (e.g., biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, genomics, neurobiology and physiology, behavior, ecology, systematics and evolutionary biology)
  • Pest management (e.g., crop and livestock, forest, turf, urban and industrial, public health)
  • Environmental and ecosystem sciences (e.g., aquatics, biodiversity, ecology, conservation biology, toxicology)
  • Regulatory sciences (e.g., risk management, compliance and regulatory specialists)
  • Education (e.g., teachers, science educators [including zoos, museums and nature centers], extension specialists)
  • Specialties (e.g., apiculture, forensic science, illustration)


Private Industry

Seed Industry: Evaluate new lines of corn, soybeans, and other crops for susceptibility to major insect pests (both field and laboratory research). Insect rearing expertise is often needed to supply the insect pests for research.
Employers: Pioneer HiBred, Syngenta, Mycogen Seeds, and others.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level.


Agrochemical Industry: Evaluate new crop protection chemicals against insect pests, as well as insects that are important pests of human health, veterinary health, forestry, household, turf grass, and other horticultural plants. Expertise in rearing insects is often needed for product testing.
Employers: Large multi-national corporations like Dow AgroSciences, Du Pont, Bayer Crop Protection, BASF, Monsanto as well as smaller companies who specialize in insect repellents and specialty markets like S.C. Johnson and EcoSmart.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level.


Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Industries: These industries are looking for life science graduates with education and experience in a range of modern molecular technology skills.
Employers: Large multi-national corporations like Genetech, Amgen, and Novo Nordisk, as well as smaller companies such as Promega, Medimmune, Biogen Idec, and Lexicon Genetics.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level.


Food Industry: Insect pests of stored products are a major problem in the food and feed industries. Conduct pest management programs that include monitoring insect pests in their crops, both pre-harvest and post-harvest.
Employers: Green Giant, Quaker Oats, Del Monte, and others.
Requirement: Entomology and/or horticulture at the B.S. and M.S. level.


Crop Consultants: Independent source of pest management services for corporate producers, cooperatives, and individual producers to help growers minimize losses to insects, weeds, or diseases.
Employers: Private crop consultant, Advanced Crop Management, and others.
Requirement: B.S. in Entomology, Weed Science or Plant Pathology.


Urban Pest Control: Control of insect problems is crucial to many types of institutions, including hospitals, schools, universities, hotels, nursing homes, and other governmental and private organizations. Urban pest control is commonly carried out by private pest control operators.
Employers: Ecolab, Terminix, Orkin, and many small private companies.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level.


Federal and State

Military: The Military employs and trains entomologists to protect troops from attack by insect pests, especially ones transmitting infectious diseases. Military facilities, vehicles, foods, and uniforms also need protection from insect pests.
Employers: Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level; often degree is completed while serving.


Federal Research Laboratories: Government research utilizes B.S. and M.S. technicians to help carry out important agricultural, environmental, and health research projects. At the federal level, research labs are present around the U.S. conducting a variety of entomology-based studies.
Employers: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Geological Survey.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level.


State Departments of Agriculture: State agencies that have responsibility for oversight of agriculture and land stewardship employ entomologists to monitor for newly introduced species as well as train and educate pesticide applicators.


State Departments of Natural Resources: Departments of Natural Resources are often concerned with invasive species including insects and other invertebrates. They also focus on protection of natural resources such as forests, lakes, and rivers, as well as the plants and wildlife that live there.

State, County, and City Departments of Health: Public health pests are of concern to governmental agencies that are responsible for protecting people and companion animals. Entomologists in these positions are often charged with making decisions about whether to spray, when to spray, and which chemical to spray as they evaluate potential public health threats.

Extension Services: Extension Services in many states provide information and services to their stakeholders. Some provide identification of insects, especially those impacting their environment or livelihood, pest management recommendations, and pesticide applicator training.


Federal and State Regulatory Agencies: Entomologists are involved in registration and/or enforcement of regulations, many of which involve insect pests or pesticides. Training and research towards pest management is also conducted domestic and internationally. Quarantine and inspection services also employ entomologists. At the state level, entomologists inspect shipments of nursery stock, produce, livestock, pets, etc. that enter the state.
Employers: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level.


Forensic Science: There is an increasing demand for professionals trained in the discipline and techniques of forensic science for traditional crime investigation and in the emerging area of terrorism and homeland security.
Employers: Federal and state criminal justice system.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level.


Academic Institutions: Education and training of students in entomology and related biological and agricultural sciences requires personnel trained in these fields.
Employers: universities, colleges, community colleges, as well as primary and secondary educational institutions benefit from teachers who are well versed in entomological sciences.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level.


Non-Governmental Organizations

Zoos, Botanical Gardens, Butterfly Houses, Nature Centers: The recent popularity and proliferation of insect exhibits has created a demand for entomologists at every level trained in insect husbandry, as well as interpretation/presentation and appreciation of insects.
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S. and M.S. level.



Medicine, Veterinary Sciences, Dentistry: Students with a degree in entomology and an interest in professional training generally have the latitude to take the courses required for medical, veterinary, and dental schools.
Employers: Health care organizations, private practice
Requirement: Entomology at the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. level. 


Contents of this page was taken from: http://www.ent.iastate.edu/dept/careers/




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