Marine ecologist


A marine ecologist is responsible for providing expertise to contribute to environmental impact assessments undertaken in the development phase of an offshore wind farm. They provide information about the impact an offshore wind farm will have on sea floor marine life, fish and shellfish and marine mammals. A marine ecologist will work both onshore and offshore. When working offshore they are typically collecting survey data on vessels at the development site.

Lifecycle stages

Development and project management.

Typical employer

Specialist consultancies.

Place of work

Onshore in an office. Offshore on vessels at the development site.

Typical working pattern

Full-time. At offshore projects, marine ecologists usually live offshore on vessels and typically work two-weeks-on/two-weeks-off.

Education, training and qualifications

Minimum NFQ level 7 in ecology, zoology or related subjects. Experience in planning, assisting, and delivering baseline or species and habitat specific surveys is desirable.

NFQ level 9 in marine ecology or other marine environmental disciplines are required for more senior positions.

Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) is highly desirable.

Typical entry position & transferable sectors

Entry roles can include a graduate or junior ecologist.

Transferable from similar industries such as oil and gas.

Career possibilities

Marine ecologists can progress on as senior or principal marine ecologists, ecological consultants and EIA managers.

Full time salary estimate

€30,000 (Graduate level) -€70,000 (EIA Manager) per year, depending on experience.