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.
People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 440
Technologists usually have a higher or more specialized level of training than 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
Source: 2016 Census
Biological technologists and technicians must usually complete a two to three-year college program in a field related to agriculture, biology, microbiology, wildlife or resource management 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.
The following are other beneficial qualifications that a person in this career may complete:
For more information, visit the College of Applied Biology at: www.cab-bc.org/.
Biological technologists and technicians who are certified for that occupation by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information such as a letter of good standing, references, or criminal record check.
For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is likely needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.
Contact the College of Applied Biology and/or SkilledTradesBC for details on how to apply for certification in B.C.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
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Of the new opportunities that arise, a significant number will come from the need to replace retiring workers.
Biological technologists and technicians are employed across a variety of industries, including government, health care, biotechnology, fisheries, environmental consulting and education. This diverse employment base means that job growth in this occupation generally mirrors the overall growth of the provincial economy.
The Professional business services industry employs biological technologists and technicians in the provision of services such as environmental consulting, laboratory services and services to biotechnology companies. These areas are all expected to see increased levels of economic activity and employment growth.
The growing prominence of environmental issues for federal, provincial and municipal government agencies will create additional employment opportunities for biological technologists and technicians. Similarly, the Health care industry is experiencing higher demands as the population ages and requires increasing health care services.
The introduction of automation technology, such as auto-samplers, will result in a need for fewer workers to do the same volume of work. However, biological technologists and technicians who have basic instrumentation skills will be in demand to maintain and trouble-shoot these pieces of equipment.
Some technologists and technicians working in support of government and academic research in biology are university graduates. Biological technologists and technicians can advance to supervisory positions or start their own businesses with experience. However there is limited mobility between the occupations in this group.