Ethicists are philosophers whose judgement on ethics and ethical codes have been thoroughly researched over many years of study, and therefore are trusted by members of various communities. Their views are often published or put forward in a way that groups or organisations tend to adopt them and use them as tools of judgement or benchmarks for policy decisions. An example of a famous ethicist is Peter Singer, a controversial ethical philosopher whose views became the foundation for animal rights liberationists.

Ethicists tend to work as academics; often performing research at the various institutions they are employed. They may also work as consultants for government departments, such as the giving medical ethics advice to the Health Minister, are asked to give informed opinions on various ethical dilemmas to politicians and for a variety of foundations, and to act as consult on research and ethics boards at universities and other organisations. The Australian Health Ethics Committee and the International Association of Bioethics are such organisations, which are also used to encourage international discussion of ethics.