The Certification Board sets education, work experience, competency, and ethical standards for admittance to the Certification Program. Ethical standards are enforced by requiring that all BCEs must agree to adhere at all times to the Board Certified Entomologist Code of Ethics (below). Those who don't meet full eligibility may apply for alternative BCE status options.
Requirements for BCE Certification are as follows:
- For those who hold a PhD in entomology or a related field, (such as biological sciences, zoology, ecology, etc) the requirements are at least one (1) year, following your Ph.D., of full-time work experience in the field, a copy of academic transcripts, a current CV, two contacts for letters of reference (or a minimum of two completed letters of reference), required fees, and a willingness to abide by ethical standards set in the BCE Code of Ethics (below).
- For those who hold a Masters degree in entomology or a related field, (such as biological sciences, zoology, ecology, etc), the requirements are at least two (2) years, following your Masters, of full-time work experience in the field, a copy of academic transcripts, a current CV, two contacts for letters of reference (or a minimum of two completed letters of reference), required fees, and a willingness to abide by ethical standards set in the BCE Code of Ethics.
- For those who hold a Bachelor's degree in entomology or a related field, (such as biological sciences, zoology, ecology, etc), the requirements are at least three (3) years, following your Bachelor's, of full-time work experience in the field, a copy of academic transcripts, a current CV, two contacts for letters of reference (or a minimum of two completed letters of reference), required fees, and a willingness to abide by ethical standards set in the BCE Code of Ethics.
- Non-degreed applications are not eligible for BCE status and are instead encouraged to pursue ACE certification. Please see the requirements for BCE eligibility above.
All applications must include:
- Application filled out completely
- Two letters of professional reference
- Application fees (which include first attempt at the exams)
- Academic transcripts
Relevant coursework that will be considered is as follows:
- General Biology
- General Zoology
- Marine Biology
- Environmental Biology
- Environmental Sciences with Biology Emphasis
- Vector Biology
- Plant Biology
- Plant Ecology
- Animal Ecology
- Wildlife Biology or Wildlife Ecology
- Vertebrate Biology
- Vertebrate Ecology
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology or Molecular Science
- Pest Management
- Biology and Biochemistry
- General Chemistry
If you are unsure about whether yoru coursework qualifies, please feel free to email a copy of your transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org for review before submitting the full application.
BCE Alternative Application & Renewal Options
This option is reserved for individuals who have met the education requirements but not the experiential requirements to apply for BCE. The basic requirements include, proof of any level of education (including transcripts), 2 letters of reference, and a CV or resume. Learn more.
For those who spend more of their active work hours on administrative work rather than applied work, BCE-Administrative is a good option. The requirements are the same as for regular BCEs, but on an ongoing basis, the CEUs that make up the Professional Maintenance and Certification Report will be less rigorous. Current BCEs who wish to apply to become BCE-Administrative should contact the ESA Headquarters. The requirements for application is that the BCE must have over 2/3 of their time allotted to managerial, policy, and personnel functions. Once approved as a BCE Administrative, the BCE will need to refer to themselves as a BCE-Administrative, BCE (Admin.), or similar designation so as to no longer infer full certification that implies the normal CEUs were attained. When reporting CEUs, a BCE-Administrative is held to a lesser standard. Some (possibly all) of their CEUs may reflect education and participation in non-science areas relating to management and administration.
Contact ESA if you have questions.
Formerly called, BCE-Retired, a BCE-Emeritus is a BCE who remains in good standing, but is no longer actively working in the field of entomology. Any retired BCE who has at least 10 consecutive years or 15 years cumulative years of certification may apply for BCE-Emeritus status. BCE Emeriti are exempt from submitting CEU reports. Please click here for more information or to apply. Once approved as a BCE Emeritus, the BCE will need to refer to themselves as a BCE-Emeritus, BCE (Emeritus), or similar designation so as to no longer infer full certification that implies CEUs were attained. Contact ESA if you have questions.
A BCE can choose to “sit out” of the program for a period not to exceed two years through written petition to the Certification Board. During this time, the BCE may not use the letters “BCE” after their name without also adding “Inactive”. The purpose of this status is to allow a person to attend to family or personal emergencies that preclude their active work as a BCE without jeopardizing their overall and ultimate status as a BCE. Upon returning to active status, back dues will be owed and collected and, in some instances, a new PMC report would need to be submitted. During the period of inactivity, the BCE will not be allowed to hold office nor vote in ESA elections. To apply, please contact the ESA Certification Coordinator.
BCE Code of Ethics
The profession of entomology is increasingly important to the welfare and progress of human society. Professional entomologists have the position and authority to render effective service to humanity, in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct. In order that the honor and dignity of the profession be advanced and maintained, the Entomological Society of America has established the following code to define the professional conduct and ethics, binding on Board Certified Entomologists.
OBLIGATIONS TO SOCIETY
1.1 The Board Certified Entomologist's knowledge and skills will be used for the betterment of human welfare.
1.2 The Board Certified Entomologist will share in sustaining the laws, institutions, and burdens of the community.
OBLIGATIONS TO THE PUBLIC
2.1 The Board Certified Entomologist will have proper regard for the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of professional duties.
2.2 The Board Certified Entomologist will be honest and impartial, and will preface any one-sided statements, criticisms, or arguments by clearly indicating on whose behalf they are made.
2.3 The Board Certified Entomologist will express an opinion on an entomological subject only when it is founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction; and will be factual in all estimates, reports, and testimony.
OBLIGATIONS TO THE PROFESSION
3.1 The Board Certified Entomologist will strive to advance the science and art of entomology, to guard and uphold its high standard of honor, and conform with the principles of professional conduct.
3.2 The Board Certified Entomologist will cooperate in upbuilding the profession by exchanging information with fellow entomologists, and by contributing to the work of technical societies and the technical press, where disclosure of such information does not conflict with the interests of clients and employers.
3.3 The Board Certified Entomologist will defend the prestige of the profession, and will report to the Entomological Society of America any persons or organizations using the words entomologist, entomology, or derivatives thereof in a manner implying performance or supervision by a Board Certified Entomologist when such is not true.
OBLIGATIONS TO EMPLOYERS AND CLIENTS
4.1 The Board Certified Entomologist will act as a faithful agent or trustee for each employer or client, and will not knowingly engage in illegal work or cooperate with any person so engaged.
4.2 The Board Certified Entomologist will undertake only those entomological assignments for which the Entomologist is qualified. The Board Certified Entomologist will obtain or advise the employer or client to obtain the assistance of specialists whenever the employer's or client's interests are so served best, and will cooperate with the specialists.
4.3 The Board Certified Entomologist will indicate to the employer or client alternatives to recommended courses of action and the expected consequences of each recommended action and alternative.
4.4 The Board Certified Entomologist will inform the employer or client as to any financial interest the Entomologist has in any person, material, device, or concept which is or might become involved in a project or work for the employer or client. Decisions regarding entomological services to be performed shall not be influenced by such financial interests.
4.5 The Board Certified Entomologist will act fairly and justly toward vendors and contractors, selecting their products and services on the basis of merit and value.
4.6 The Board Certified Entomologist will not disclose information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of present or former employers or clients without their consent.
4.7 The Board Certified Entomologist will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party for the same service, or for other services pertaining to the same work, without the consent of all interested parties.
OBLIGATIONS TO FELLOW ENTOMOLOGISTS
5.1 The Board Certified Entomologist will give credit for entomological work to whom it is due.
5.2 The Board Certified Entomologist will promote solidarity and harmony with fellow entomologists, respect their judgment, and support them collectively and individually whenever possible against unjust claims and accusations.
5.3 The Board Certified Entomologist will not accept any engagement to review the professional work of a fellow entomologist (except in editing scientific papers and in litigation) without the knowledge of such entomologist, unless the entomologist's connection with the work has been terminated.
5.4 The Board Certified Entomologist will not injure intentionally the professional reputation, prospects, or practice of another entomologist. However, proof that another entomologist has been unethical, illegal, or unfair should be communicated to the Entomological Society of America.
5.5 The Board Certified Entomologist will provide a prospective entomology employee with complete information on working conditions and the proposed status of employment, and during employment will keep the employee informed of any changes therein.
5.6 The Board Certified Entomologist who employs or supervises other entomologists will endeavor to provide opportunity for their professional development and advancement.