Graduates who have studied entomology at university level will be well prepared to work with insects and arachnids important in human affairs. Potential employers include institutions such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), State Departments of Agriculture, Health, Environment, Conservation and Land Management, and Quarantine. Urban pest control companies, manufacturers of agricultural and veterinary insecticides and biological control companies also employ entomologists.
Universities are also significant employers of graduates with entomology training because this branch of biology is significant in many disciplines including ecology and evolutionary biology, genetics, veterinary, agricultural and medical fields. Entomology can be useful for teachers seeking employment in schools, employment as advisors and trainers in larger urban pest control companies, and advisers in pest control in agricultural and veterinary settings. Entomologists also work as consultants to the agricultural, natural resources and mining sectors. A knowledge of entomology is especially useful for environmental impact studies because insects are important bio-indicators.
Crop monitoring and Integrated Pest Management
IPM companies employ entomologists as “crop scouts” to identify pests in crops and provide recommendations for management. They may also give workshops to growers to teach them about IPM approaches and also conduct research towards the development of economic thresholds for pest insects in a variety of commodities.
Entomologists are employed in the biological control industry to rear and release biological control agents primarily for growers.
Urban Pest Control
Research and development companies interested in products for pest control in urban environments often employ entomologists as part of teams to develop effective approaches to prevention and control of pest establishment in urban structures. Pest control operators may also employ entomologists to assist in the accurate identification of insect pests and recommend ways to manage pests.
Entomologists are employed by the pesticide industry to help develop and test new insecticidal products through laboratory, glasshouse, and field bioassays.
Department of Defence
The Australian Defence Force employs entomologists whose role is to protect its personnel against vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and encephalitis. The Australian Army Malaria Institute carries out surveillance and control of insects, as well as evaluation of repellents and development of drug resistance.
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Australia’s biosecurity is taking on a higher priority and the demand for entomologists in this sector is increasing. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) is Australia’s front-line against pest invasions. AQIS staff carry out monitoring for accidental incursions and maintain stringent inspections for importation of products from overseas. Staff in Biosecurity Australia are involved in assessing the pest-related risks associated with importations of new products and the exportation of Australian products.
CSIRO is Australia’s premier government research agency. The entomology division, CSIRO Entomology, employs research scientists and technicians and has research stations throughout Australia and internationally.
The Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC), based in Canberra, is a substantial record of Australia’s insect biodiversity, maintained by CSIRO. Curators of the different sections are world experts in their area of expertise. A number of postgraduate research projects are based on collaborations between CSIRO researchers and universities.
Research & Education
Many public and private zoos feature insects. These employ technical assistants who assist with rearing and teach the public all about insects.
Many museums around Australia employ professional entomologists to curate their extensive insect collections and conduct research on the insect evolution, biology and ecology. Some entomologists who work at museums also provide information to the public about insect identification and biology.
Insects are pests of many plants, so botanic gardens employ entomologists who have a broad understanding of insect biology and ways to manage insect pests. Some entomologists who work at botanic gardens also provide information to the public about garden pests.
Insect Education Companies
There are several insect education companies in Australia. Typically they are small businesses that are run by biologists who have a passion for insects and who enjoy using them in teaching in schools.
Many universities around Australia employ entomologists with various levels of education. They are involved in teaching about insects and conducting research on all aspects of insect biology. Because insects have short generation times and can be reared in large numbers, they are often used as model organisms in genetics and other biological disciplines. Insects have been also used as biological models for robotics and machine vision.