Biological technologists and technicians (NOC 2221)

Job titles

  • agricultural officer (Quebec public service)
  • agricultural sciences technician
  • agricultural technician
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Nature of work

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.

Fields of interest

  • Carrying out tests or trials, process control
  • Developing and working with natural resources
  • Working in nature or with animals
  • Working outdoors or with the environment

Main duties

  • Biological technologists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - 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 perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - 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.

Main characteristics of the occupation

Employment requirements

  • * Completion of a two- to three-year college program in a field related to agriculture, biology, microbiology, wildlife or resource management is usually required for employment as a biological technologist.
  • * Completion of a one- to two-year college program in a related field is required for employment as a biological technician.
  • * Certification with provincial associations is available, but voluntary.

Skill type

  • Natural and applied sciences and related occupations

Skill level

  • Technical

More information

  • * There is limited mobility among occupations in this group.
  • * Some technologists and technicians working in support of government and academic research in biology are university graduates.