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Average Salary: $50,520

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,109,000

Granted, it takes a special sort of someone to be happier as a proctologist. (Source)

Ecologists typically don't go into ecology for the money. If that were the goal, they'd be happier as medical doctors—maybe even proctologists.

Still, everyone needs to make a living. For ecologists, that means an average of about $52,600 and an eventual salary cap of about $82,000 at the upper limit (source). 

Income also depends on where the ecologist works. State government salaries tend to hover around the average, while private industry jobs might bring that annual take-home up by about $10,000. Just some factors to take into consideration.