Biological technologists and technicians

National Occupation Code (NOC): 2221

Biological technologists and technicians provide technical support and services to scientists, engineers and other professionals working in fields such as agriculture, resource management, environmental protection, plant and animal biology, microbiology, cell and molecular biology and health sciences, or may work independently in these fields. They are employed in both laboratory and field settings by governments, manufacturers of food products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, biotechnology companies, health, research and educational institutions, environmental consulting companies, and resource and utilities companies.

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Job Duties for Biological technologists and technicians

Biological technologists
  • Set up and conduct biological, microbiological and biochemical tests and laboratory analyses in support of research and quality control in food production, sanitation, pharmaceutical production, biotechnology and other fields
  • Apply methods and techniques such as microscopy, histochemistry, chromatography, electrophoresis and spectroscopy
  • Perform experimental procedures in agriculture, plant breeding, animal husbandry, biology and biomedical research
  • Conduct field research and surveys to collect data and samples of water, soil, and plant and animal populations
  • Conduct environmental monitoring and compliance activities for the protection of fisheries stock, wildlife and other natural resources
  • Analyze data and prepare reports
  • Conduct or supervise operational programs such as fish hatchery, greenhouse and livestock production programs.
Biological technicians
  • Assist in conducting biological, microbiological and biochemical tests and laboratory analyses
  • Perform limited range of technical functions in support of agriculture, plant breeding, animal husbandry, biology, biomedical research and environmental protection
  • Assist in conducting field research and surveys to collect data and samples of water, soil, and plant and animal populations
  • Assist in analysis of data and preparation of reports.

Working Conditions for Biological technologists and technicians

Biological technologists and technicians typically work a 35 to 40-hour work week. Some jobs, such as fisheries management, can require shift work and extended hours. Other jobs can require workers to relocate to remote sites for extended periods of time. Most biological technologists and technicians work indoors in laboratories, offices or production facilities although outdoor field work is often required and may include travel into wilderness areas or onto the open ocean. Field work can be physically demanding, and workers may be required to bend, lift, stretch and work on their feet all day. Workers can be exposed to toxic substances or bodily fluids, however, appropriate safety measures are followed in order to minimize health risks. Some aspects of the work may be dirty or involve high levels of odour, depending on the particular job or the industry where the work is being done.

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