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Career as Ornithologist

Career as a Ornithologist

About Ornithologist

The career as an ornithologist deals with the professional study of birds. Ornithologists understand the physical structure, behaviour, origin, diseases and evolution of bird species. The job role of an Ornithologist is not specific. Some may work in laboratories as researchers while others may work as ecologists. Many of the Ornithologists collaborate with agencies, NGOs and leaders to generate awareness on the protection of bird species and the role that they play in maintaining balance in nature.

Ornithologists are experts with specialisation in a particular bird group or generics. They study bird populations and explore the wildlife for analysis. Some even connect with the public to help them realise the importance of every species on the planet.

Eligibility to become Ornithologist

To find out the answer to 'How toBecome an Ornithologist?' a candidate needs to take certain decisions and opt for studies in a relevant discipline to choose this career. The minimum qualifications to become an Ornithologist is given below:

  • The candidate must hold a bachelors’ degree in Biology/ Zoology/ Animal Science etc.
  • Those who wish to work as a researcher or scientist must hold a PhD degree

Career Path

  • Candidates who want to make a career as an Ornithologist must take up internships and projects that would relate to the study of birds during the study of course or after the compilation of course.
  • Extra skills and experience will help a candidate apply for the job role with some advantage.
  • After the competition of the course, they can apply for job roles in various organisations for the relevant job post.


Types of Job Roles Ornithologist

There is no specific job role of an Ornithologist. They can choose to work for different profiles. Some of the job roles they can choose are explained here: 

Bird Biologist 

Bird Biologists are professionals who study the behaviour and importance of birds for the environment. They understand the mechanism that governs the functioning of biological processes a species under the bird kingdom. 

They are associated with fundamental research to explore the behaviour of birds.  They test and validate information based on results


An Ecologist explores the relationship between birds and the environment. They understand how the species interacts with the biodiversity and their coexistence with other species. 

Most ecologists spread awareness about the consequences of changes in the environment on the bird species like their shelter, food and breeding.  

Nature Educator 

A nature educator aims to educate the public about nature, environmental issues and the importance of all types of species on earth including birds.

They visit schools, nature reserves, NGOs and workplaces to raise awareness of environmental issues, sustainability life and measures to protect various species on earth.  

Bird Geneticist

A Geneticist studies the genetic characteristics of birds through test and experiments. They explore the composition of the genetic material of birds to analyse the evolution of species.

They also perform experiments to identify diseases associated with birds. 

Bird Conservationist

A Bird Conservation is a person who works for the protection and preservation of the birds' species. They work on the ground as conservation workers to preserve birds and also collect them for study. They play a significant role in protecting the built heritage and place of existence fo wildlife.

    Employment Sector/Industry for Ornithologist

    The sectors where an Ornithologist can find a job role are as follows: 

    • Forest department
    • Wildlife centres
    • Sanctuaries 
    • NGO’s 

    Top Recruiting Companies/ Agencies/ Organizations

    Following are some of the organisations that hire professionals as an Ornithologist:

    • Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History
    • Indian Council of Agricultural Research
    • Bird Conservation Society 
    • Plant & Animals Welfare Society (PAWS)
    • Aarakyan 
    • Wildlife Institute of India

    Planning to choose Ornithologist as your career?

    Pay Scale/Salary of Ornithologist

    Pay Scale of an Ornithologist varies according to the job role that they choose. Detailed pay scale according to the job role of an Ornithologist is given below:

    Job Role 

    Starting Pay Scale 

    Mid Level Pay Scale 

    High-Level Pay Scale

    Bird Biologist 

    Rs 3.00 Lakhs p.a

    Rs 4.00 Lakhs p.a

    Rs 5.00 Lakhs p.a 


    Rs 3.20 Lakhs p.a

    Rs 4.20 Lakhs p.a

    Rs 5.50 Lakhs p.a

    Nature Educator 


    Rs 3.00 Lakhs p.a

    Rs 4.00 Lakhs p.a 

    Rs 6.00 Lakhs p.a

    Bird Conservationist


    Rs 2.80 Lakhs p.a 

    Rs 3.60 Lakhs p.a 

    Rs 4.80 Lakhs p.a 

    Bird Geneticist

    Rs 3.00 Lakhs p.a 

    Rs 3.75 Lakhs p.a 

    Rs 6.00 Lakhs p.a 

    NOTE: The salary structure mentioned above is indicative only and is subject to change unconditionally.

    Books & Study Material to Become Ornithologist

    Following are some of the good books to refer for a career as an Ornithologist:

    • Ornithology by Frank B. Gill 
    • The Book of Indian Birds by Sálim Ali 
    • Conservation of Wildlife Populations: Demography, Genetics, and Management by L. Scott Mill
    • Animal Diversity by K.L Kotpal
    • The birds by K.L Kotpal

    Pros of becoming a Ornithologist

    Every job roles have certain pros as well as cons. While choosing a career you must ensure a job role that best suits your personality and is most satisfying for you. In this section we have covered the pros and cons of a career as an Ornithologist:

    • It is a good career for those have a love for birds and nature.
    • Professional gets a chance to explore various bird species and be involves in protecting the bird species.
    • It is a good job role fo those who are interested in fieldwork.

    Cons of becoming a Ornithologist

    • Salary scale may not be high of an Ornithologist
    • Ornithologist is not very well recognised in India 
    • It requires travelling and the job location may change from time to time.

    Paths for Being Ornithologist

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