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2221.1 – Biological technologists

Biological technologists 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.

Profile

Example titles Help

  • Agricultural technologist
  • Biological laboratory technologist
  • Microbiology quality control technologist
  • Microbiology technologist (except medical)
  • Seed technologist

Main characteristics Help

  • General learning ability to conduct biological, microbiological and biochemical tests in support of quality control in food production, sanitation, pharmaceutical production and other fields
  • Verbal ability to understand and use scientific terms to review biological publications and papers, and to prepare reports
  • Numerical ability to carry out quantitative analyses on data collected in field research and surveys
  • Form perception to make visual comparisons when collecting samples of water, soil, plant and animal populations
  • Finger dexterity to adjust microscopes and other scientific instruments
  • Methodical interest in precision working with scientific equipment to perform experimental procedures in agriculture, plant breeding, animal husbandry, biology and biomedical research; and in conducting environmental monitoring and compliance activities for the protection of fisheries stocks, wildlife and other natural resources
  • Innovative interest in analyzing data; and in conducting field research, surveys and operational programs
  • Directive interest in supervising operational programs such as fish hatcheries, greenhouses and livestock production

Aptitudes Help

One of five levels assigned for each factor, with levels representing normal curve distribution of the labour force:

G
General learning ability
V
Verbal ability
N
Numerical ability
S
Spatial perception
P
Form perception
Q
Clerical perception
K
Motor co-ordination
F
Finger dexterity
M
Manual dexterity

Levels legend
  1. The highest 10% of the working population
  2. Upper third, exclusive of the highest 10%
  3. Middle third of the working population
  4. Lowest third, exclusive of the lowest 10%
  5. Lowest 10% of the working population

An individual's overall capacity to learn the skills needed to perform job duties is based on his or her specific aptitudes for acquiring information and transforming it into action.

General learning ability G-2

Ability to 'catch on' or understand instructions and underlying principles; to reason and make judgments.

Verbal ability V-2

Ability to understand the meaning of words and the ideas associated with them, and to use them effectively; to comprehend language, to understand relationships between words and to understand the meaning of whole sentences and paragraphs; to present information or ideas clearly.

Numerical ability N-2

Ability to carry out arithmetical processes quickly and accurately.

Spatial perception S-3

Ability to think visually about geometric forms and comprehend the two dimensional representation of three dimensional objects; to recognize the relationships resulting from the movement of objects in space. May be used in such tasks as blueprint reading and in solving geometry problems. Frequently described as the ability to 'visualize' objects of two or three dimensions.

Form perception P-2

Ability to perceive pertinent detail in objects and in pictorial and graphic material; to make visual comparisons and discriminations and to see slight differences in shapes and shadings of figures and widths and lengths of lines.

Clerical perception Q-3

Ability to perceive pertinent detail in verbal or tabular material; to observe differences in copy, to proofread words and numbers, and to avoid perceptual errors in arithmetical computation.

Motor co-ordination K-3

Ability to co-ordinate eyes, hands and fingers rapidly and accurately when required to respond with precise movements.

Finger dexterity F-2

Ability to move the fingers and manipulate small objects with the fingers rapidly and/or accurately.

Manual dexterity M-3

Ability to move the hands easily and skillfully; to work with the hands in placing and turning motions.

Interests Help

Three of five descriptive factors, assigned in order of predominance and lower case rating indicating weaker representation:

D
Directive
I
Innovative
M
Methodical
O
Objective
S
Social

Methodical M

Methodical persons like to have clear rules and organized methods to guide their activities. They prefer working under the direction or supervision of others according to given instructions, or to be guided by established policies and procedures. Methodical persons like to work on one thing until it is completed. They enjoy following a set routine and prefer work that is free from the unexpected.

Innovative I

Innovative persons like to explore things in depth and arrive at solutions to problems by experimenting. They are interested in initiating and creating different ways to solve questions and present information. They enjoy scientific subjects. Innovative persons prefer to be challenged with new and unexpected experiences. They adjust to change easily.

Directive d

Directive persons like to take charge and control situations. They like to take responsibility for projects that require planning, decision making and co-ordinating the work of others. They are able to give direction and instructions easily. They enjoy organizing their own activities. They see themselves as independent and self-directing.

Data, people, and things Help

Data

0
Synthesizing
1
Co-ordinating
2
Analyzing
3
Compiling
4
Computing
5
Copying
6
Comparing
7
N/A
8
Not Significant

People

0
Mentoring
1
Negotiating
2
Instructing - Consulting
3
Supervising
4
Diverting
5
Persuading
6
Speaking - Signaling
7
Serving - Assisting
8
Not significant

Things

0
Setting up
1
Precision working
2
Controlling
3
Driving - Operating
4
Operating - Manipulating
5
Tending
6
Feeding - Offbearing
7
Handling
8
Not significant
Data Analyzing 2

Examining and evaluating data; frequently presenting alternative action in relation to the evaluation.

People Supervising 3

Determining or interpreting work procedures for a group or team of workers, assigning specific duties to them, maintaining harmonious relations and promoting efficiency.

Things Precision working 1

Using the body and/or equipment to move, guide, place, install and/or interface with objects, in order to attain specifications and precise standards. Considerable judgment is required to select, adjust and utilize appropriate tools, products and/or materials to accomplish specified objectives.

Physical activities Help

V - Vision

1
Close visual acuity
2
Near vision
3
Near and far vision
4
Total visual field

H - Hearing

1
Limited
2
Verbal interaction
3
Other sound discrimination

L - Limb co-ordination

0
Not relevant
1
Upper limb co-ordination
2
Multiple limb co-ordination

C - Colour discrimination

0
Not relevant
1
Relevant

B - Body position

1
Sitting
2
Standing and/or walking
3
Sitting, standing, walking
4
Other body positions

S - Strength

1
Limited
2
Light
3
Medium
4
Heavy
Vision Vision V-2

The use of sight in the work performed. The levels are organized in terms of the visual field involved in the performance of the work.

2 - Near vision

Work activities are performed near the worker. The scope of the visual field is broader than in Close visual acuity (1).

Examples:

  • reading and interpreting drawings and specifications
  • using computer keyboards and reading computer monitors
  • repairing automobile engines
  • setting up and operating machine tools
Colour discrimination Colour discrimination C-1

The use of colour descrimination to identify, distinguish and match colours and different shades of the same colours.

1 - Relevant

Colour discrimination is relevant in the performance of the work.

Examples:

  • observing signals while operating vehicles
  • installing, testing and repairing electrical wiring
  • restoring and conserving museum and art gallery artifacts
  • designing, constructing and repairing dentures
Hearing Hearing H-1

The use of hearing in the work performed. The levels are organized in terms of the type of auditory discrimination involved in the performance of the work.

1 - Limited

Hearing is limited to short and/or infrequent verbal interactions in order to perform the work.

Examples:

  • typing and proofreading correspondence
  • cutting and trimming meat, poultry and fish according to customers' orders
  • carrying linen to and from laundry areas and running errands
  • assisting mine workers in constructing underground installations
Body position Body position B-3

Primary type of posture or body movement involved in performing the work. These postures or body movements range from simple to complex and from sedentary to mobile.

3 - Sitting, standing, walking

This level involves work activities in combinations and varying degrees of Sitting (1) and Standing and/or walking (2).

Examples:

  • teaching students through lectures, discussions, audio-visual presentations and field studies
  • assessing land values for taxation purposes
  • ensuring that systems and equipment are operating efficiently on job sites
  • supervising and co-ordinating the activities of workers who cut or stitch fabric, fur or leather garments
Limb co-ordination Limb co-ordination L-1

The use of limbs in performing work.

1 - Upper limb co-ordination

Work activities involve co-ordination of upper limbs.

Examples:

  • keyboarding
  • performing maintenance services such as oil changes, lubrications and tune-ups
  • operating video cameras
  • instructing students in sign language
Strength Strength S-2

The use of strength in the handling of loads such as pulling, pushing, lifting and/or moving objects during the work performed.

2 - Light

Work activities involve handling loads of 5 kg but less than 10 kg.

Examples:

  • repairing soles, heels and other parts of footwear
  • filing materials in drawers, cabinets and storage boxes
  • preparing and cooking meals
  • repairing paintings and artifacts

Environmental conditions Help

Location

L1
Regulated inside climate
L2
Unregulated inside climate
L3
Outside
L4
In a vehicle or cab

Hazards

H1
Dangerous chemical substances
H2
Biological agents
H3
Equipment, machinery, tools
H4
Electricity
H5
Radiation
H6
Flying particles, falling objects
H7
Fire, steam, hot surfaces
H8
Dangerous locations

Discomforts

D1
Noise
D2
Vibration
D3
Odours
D4
Non-toxic dusts
D5
Wetness
Hazards Biological agents H2

Potential hazards to which the worker may be exposed. The codes provide an indication of the type(s) of hazard(s) most likely to be present in the workplace environment. They are not a measure of frequency, duration or degree of exposure to hazards, but an indication of the presence or absence of a particular hazard in the work environment.

H2 - Biological agents

Exposure to infectious bacteria and viruses as a result of indirect contact with, or direct handling of, infectious materials or micro-organisms that may cause illness.

Examples:

  • treating sick animals
  • providing nursing care
  • investigating outbreaks of food and environment-related diseases and poisonings
  • conducting microbiological tests and laboratory analyses
Location Regulated inside climate L1

The work performed is carried out indoors in a regulated environment, indoors in an unregulated environment, outdoors or in a vehicle. In many occupations, the Main Duties may be performed in more than one location. Therefore, a group may have more than one Location code, for example:

  • firefighting and fire prevention duties
  • maintenance of interior/exterior of buildings
  • managing operations and paperwork of farms

L1 - Regulated inside climate

A normal controlled environment such as an office, hospital or school.

Location Outside L3

The work performed is carried out indoors in a regulated environment, indoors in an unregulated environment, outdoors or in a vehicle. In many occupations, the Main Duties may be performed in more than one location. Therefore, a group may have more than one Location code, for example:

  • firefighting and fire prevention duties
  • maintenance of interior/exterior of buildings
  • managing operations and paperwork of farms

L3 - Outside

An outdoor work environment where the worker is exposed to variations in weather conditions and seasonal weather patterns.

Examples:

  • maintaining lawns
  • repairing buildings, roads, bridges and dams
  • operating power saws to thin and space trees
  • delivering mail

Employment requirements Help

Education/training Help

1
No formal education or training requirements
2
Some high school education and/or on the job training or experience
3
High school
4
Course work, training, workshops and/or experience related to the occupation
5
Apprenticeship, specialized training, vocational school training
6
College, technical school (certificate, diploma)
7
Undergraduate degree
8
Post-graduate or professional degree
+
Additional requirement beyond education and training
R
Regulated requirement(s)
6, R
  • 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.
  • Certification with provincial associations is available, but voluntary.

Workplaces/employers Help

Laboratory and field settings in:

  • Biotechnology companies
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical companies
  • Educational institutions
  • Environmental consulting companies
  • Governments
  • Health institutions
  • Manufacturers of food products
  • Research institutions
  • Resource and utilities companies

Occupational options Help

  • There is limited mobility among occupations in this group.

Exclusions Help

Remarks Help

  • Some technologists and technicians working in support of government and academic research in biology are university graduates.

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
2 – Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
Skill level
B – Occupations usually require college education, specialized training or apprenticeship training
Major group
22 – Technical occupations related to natural and applied sciences
Minor group
222 – Technical occupations in life sciences
Unit group
2221 – Biological technologists and technicians
Version
2016.3
Date modified: