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NOC 2016 Version 1.3


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2221 – Biological technologists and technicians

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.


Example titles

  • Agricultural technician
  • Agricultural technologist
  • Agrology technician
  • Aquaculture technician
  • Bacteriological technician
  • Biological laboratory technologist
  • Botanical technician
  • Fish hatchery technician
  • Fisheries technician
  • Food bacteriological technician
  • Microbiology quality control technologist
  • Microbiology technologist (except medical)
  • Plant breeding technician
  • Seed technologist
  • Wildlife biology technician

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
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.

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.

Additional information

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


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
Associated Career Handbook profiles
2221.1 – Biological technologists 2221.2 – Biological technicians
NOC 2016 Version 1.3
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