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Average Salary: $50,520

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,109,000

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.

Ecologists pull down an average salary of around $70k a year, with the low end nudging $40k and the top a smidgen over $100k.

Income, or lack thereof, also depends on where the ecologist works. State government salaries were in the mid-$50,000s. If they go into private industry and toil with architects and engineers, the salaries rise to the mid-$60,000s.