An entomologist is a specialist, primarily one that studies insects. In their work these scientists could perform many different tasks including studying and categorizing different bugs, working on pest eradication, or using knowledge of insects to help solve crimes. The path to become an entomologist isn’t always completely clear-cut because not all universities offer entomology programs. Yet these colleges may have classes that allow students to specialize in this area and there are a few colleges with more extensive studies in this subject or an entomology school.
Knowledge of science is vital to become an entomologist and people in high school should plan to get strong grades in math and the sciences. It’s not a bad idea to take Advanced Placement science courses to pick up college credits and to allow for beginning college science studies at a more advanced level. Another helpful thing at this level of study is to try to volunteer at a zoo or natural history museum that features an entomology section. Getting to shadow real entomologists is fantastic because it allows people to find out if the work is really appealing and students can get advice from scientists on how to best pursue this career.
Consideration of studies available at particular colleges is also of value. Students may major in life sciences, zoology, biology or sometimes agriculture. There are few colleges offering an undergraduate entomology degree, though this can change over time. Those wishing to become an entomologist shouldn’t be dismayed by the lack of degrees at the undergraduate level. There aren’t many jobs for people who earn a bachelor’s degree in entomology and it’s assumed most people will take graduate level work. As in high school, focus on getting strong grades in science courses is of most importance, and getting to take a few entomology electives is vital.
The student who wants to become an entomologist generally must proceed to graduate school and there are fortunately more schools offering straight entomology programs or other programs with opportunity to specialize in entomology. These may be either master’s degree or doctoral programs. While there is work for people with a master’s in entomology, there is a lot more work for those who have a doctorate. It’s highly recommended people study to the terminal degree level to have the most options.
In many countries there are entomological societies, which could certify, along with degrees, that a person has become an entomologist. Some of these societies are less formal and open to any amateur participants. It might be necessary to have a society association in order to claim this title as a scientist, though not always. Additional studies could be necessary for certain types of entomology, such as that practiced in the field of forensics.