What to expect from a career in the Ecosystem Industry

Managing and restoring our ecosystems is crucial because we depend on them to live – they provide us with food and water. Trying to limit the harmful effect we have on our environment is important now and will only become more important if we continue to consume our resources and pollute at an alarming rate. Ecosystem programs at Ontario colleges provide students with the necessary skills to make a difference in ecosystem preservation.

If you want to help save our ecosystems and natural resources in careers like ecosystem management or restoration, here’s what you need to know.

Ecosystem Courses

Ecosystem programs at Ontario colleges consist of courses that provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the health and conservation of our environment. Students will gain critical thinking, research and planning skills that can be applied to ecological sites with varying problems or needs.

Programs and courses are typically divided into two areas:

  • Ecosystem Restoration. Courses focus on analyzing damaged ecosystems and identifying methods to restore them. Wildlife re-introduction and the importance of species biodiversity are emphasized.
  • Ecosystem Management. Courses in soil and water testing, assessing landscapes, forest measurement and more will teach students how to interpret the state of an ecosystem.

Students will learn to use equipment and apply techniques to collect and analyze data from aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The information gathered will then be used to guide either a restoration or management project. Students in these programs will gain firsthand experience out in the field.

General Ecosystem Program Requirements

Ontario college ecosystem programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including grade 12 English and grade 12 math credits. Some programs may also require a grade 11 or 12 science credit.

For programs that are offered at the post-graduate level, applicants must have a university degree, college diploma or a significant mix of post-secondary education and work experience. There may be additional, non-academic requirements, so check program details carefully.

Ecosystem Jobs and Salaries

The environmental industry is booming – people with the ability to help direct preservation and restoration projects are in high demand, and will continue to be as our resources are increasingly depleted.

Ecosystem program graduates will find jobs in areas such as government, conservation and parks authorities and environmental groups. Common positions include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Landscape restoration technicians
  • Watershed planning technicians
  • Habitat biologists
  • Environmental consultants
  • Urban forest managers

The average starting salary for ecosystem management and restoration positions is in the low- to mid- $30,000 range.

Ontario Colleges Offering Ecosystem Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of ecosystem programs at Ontario colleges.

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