Most people with US doctorates in ecology work in jobs related to the discipline, and the highest mean salary across all employment sectors — academia, industry, government and non-profit — is US$84,900, according to the first fine-scale national profile of ecology careers, published on 21 December in Ecosphere. Using 2013 data from the US National Science Foundation, the authors found that 9,984 people earned a US PhD in ecology between 1968 and 2011 (S. E. Hampton and S. G. Labou Ecosphere 8, e02031; 2017). Of the 91% with jobs related to the field, 66.1% work at US academic institutions and about 15% in municipal, state or federal government positions. Almost 12% work for businesses or are self-employed, and 7.5% work for non-profit organizations. Government ecologists earn a mean of $84,900 and spend about 82% of their time in research and development (R&D) — the highest level for R&D across all ecology-related jobs. Those in academia earn a mean of $62,530; those who are self-employed or at businesses earn a mean of $82,873; and those in the non-profit sector earn a mean of $74,722.
Nature 553, 537 (2018)