What Is An Entomologist?

Entomologists study insects (and related animals), their habits and habitats. They also study the relationship and interactions between insects and humans.

What Do Entomologists Do?

  • Look for insects that prey on other insects in an effort to reduce the use of chemical pesticides, part of a process known as Integrated Pest Management
  • Collect and study insects in the field
  • Agricultural pest management
  • Catalog and identify different species of insects
  • Use insects found in decomposing material to provide evidence in legal investigations
  • Study the impacts of current and potential invasive alien species
  • Mitigate human health issues such as mosquito populations in urban areas

Where Do Entomologists Work?

Entomologists work in a variety of natural/agricultural resource and research institutions. Public sector employment in entomology is often related to agricultural pest management and research. These positions are found at government run experiment stations and university cooperative extensions. Natural resources and environmental protection agencies hire entomologists at both the state and national levels. Private insect management consulting firms are another employment option for entomologists.

Entomologists are employed and highly valuable at universities. Insects are such a vital part of the Earth’s biota that those people who study them are essential to a university’s natural resources and agricultural curriculum. Universities will typically have entomologists conduct research and teach.


The minimum degree for a career in entomology is a Bachelor of Science. With this degree opportunities include field technician work and lab assistant work. A four year degree in entomology provides an excellent core of knowledge if one plans to pursue a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in any natural resource or agricultural discipline. A Master’s degree in entomology provides opportunities to conduct research, work in agriculture/human health, and work with private consulting companies.

A Ph.D. in entomology opens opportunities to conduct independent research as well as to research and teach at the University level. A Ph.D. is also marketable to government research agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Many universities offer a minor in entomology. This is a valuable option for people with a strong interest in natural resources management or agriculture and would like to make themselves more marketable in their specific profession.

For more information visit: The Entomological Society of America