Biologists and related scientists (NOC 2121)

About this job

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Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

Biologists and related scientists:

  • carry out research to gain knowledge of living organisms, to manage natural resources, and to develop new practices and products related to medicine and agriculture
  • work in both laboratory and field settings for governments; environmental consulting companies; resource and utilities companies; chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies; and health and educational institutions
Common job titles
  • agrogeologist
  • algologist
  • anatomist
  • histologist / histiopathologist
  • hydrobiologist
  • ichthyologist
  • agrogeologist
  • algologist
  • anatomist
  • animal biologist
  • animal ecologist
  • animal geneticist


Annual provincial median salary


Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
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Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report



  • plan and carry out studies of the environment
  • plan and carry out studies of the population, distribution, structure, functional characteristics and behaviour of plants and animals
  • carry out environmental impact studies and prepare reports
  • study, identify and classify plant and animal specimens
  • carry out experiments in plant or animal growth, heredity and breeding
  • prepare reports and plans for management of renewable resources
  • supervise biological technicians and other scientists

Microbiologists and cell and molecular biologists:

  • carry out research into the structure, function, ecology, biotechnology and genetics of micro-organisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoans and algae
  • research the structure and workings of human, animal and plant tissues and cells
  • carry out studies into the identification, effects and control of human, plant and animal microorganisms and poisons
  • run clinical or laboratory studies to test, check and screen drugs
  • carry out molecular or biochemical studies and experiments into genetics, gene manipulation and recombinant DNA technology
  • carry out research in biotechnologyto find, develop, refine and evaluate new products
  • participate in the commercialization of new products
  • supervise biological technicians and other scientists
  • conduct biostatistical data analysis using computer modelling techniques

Work environment

Work in this occupation is typically performed in a structured environment, such as an office, hospital or school, or an outdoor work environment where the worker is exposed to various weather conditions.

Also, the worker may be exposed to infectious bacteria and viruses that may cause illness. This could arise while investigating outbreaks of food and environment related diseases and poisonings, or while conducting microbiological tests and laboratory analyses. Safety precautions and procedures in place minimize risks.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

As of July 1, 2017 when the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) came into force, you will not need significant additional training, experience, testing or assessment if your qualifications or certificates are recognized by a Canadian regulatory authority. This applies whether you were trained in Canada or internationally. Learn about labour mobility at For information about labour mobility and foreign qualifications recognition, contact the B.C. regulator for your occupation.

  • A bachelor's degree in biology or in a related discipline is required for biologists.
  • A master's or doctoral degree in biology or a related discipline is required for employment as a research scientist in biology.
  • Post-doctoral research experience is usually required before employment in academic departments or research institutions.


  • Manual Dexterity
  • Motor Coordination
  • Clerical Ability
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Innovative
  • Finger Dexterity
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Biochemistry/Microbiology
  • Biology (Science)
  • Pharmacy/Pharmacology Related

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
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Mainland / Southwest
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North Coast & Nechako
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Vancouver Island / Coast
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N/A - Data not available

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Career paths and resources

Career paths

At this time, career path information is not available for this occupation.

Additional resources