BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES TECHNOLOGY
you bite into an apple, you probably do not think about the science
that went into helping it grow or keeping it fresh. When you go
swimming at the beach, you might not wonder who measures the water
quality and makes sure it is safe for recreation.
These are just two examples of the broad area of biological sciences.
Biological science technologists and technicians
are professionals who specialize in a number of areas such as:
- Agricultural management
- Agricultural technology
- Air, water and land resources
- Environmental sciences
- Fish, wildlife and recreation
- Food technology
- Landscape and horticulture
To be a good biological science technologist or technician, you
need to be curious, detail-oriented, organized and creative in your
approach to problem solving. You also need good communication and
The following examples are duties that biological science
technologists are qualified to perform. Biological science technicians
assist with these duties:
- Conduct biological, microbiological and biochemical tests, and
laboratory analyses in support of quality control in food production,
sanitation, pharmaceutical production and other fields
- Perform experimental procedures in agriculture, plant breeding,
animal husbandry, biology, biochemical and biomedical research
- Conduct field research and surveys to collect data and samples
of water, soil, plant and animal populations
- Assist in the analysis of data and preparation of reports
- Conduct or supervise operational programs such as fish hatchery,
greenhouse and livestock production programs
- Enforce regulations regarding wildlife and fisheries habitat
and population protection
Where Will You Work?
As a biological science technologist or technician, you could
work for a manufacturer of food products, a pharmaceutical company
or in a health research or educational facility. You might also
work for an environmental consulting company or in a resource
or utility company.
With some government or resource industry jobs, you may find
yourself working in the field. An example would be an environmental
consulting company where you might be collecting stream samples
to determine the environmental impact of forestry operations.
With jobs that do not involve field work, you will spend most
of your time indoors working in laboratories or processing plants.
This work requires both sitting and standing. Some lifting may
be required. Generally speaking, you will keep regular daytime
hours, but there are some positions that require shift work. If
you work in a production-oriented job or in quality control, you
may encounter noisy, dusty or wet conditions.
How Much Will You Earn?
How Does the Future Look?
You will find most employment opportunities in large cities and
towns working in research and development, quality assurance,
inspection or management companies.
The employment outlook for this industry looks good far into
the future. Related careers include quality control technician
and industrial technologist, which may require additional education
How Can You Get Started?
In high school, be sure to take courses in English, mathematics,
chemistry, biology and physics, as well as computer courses.
What Will You Need?
To become a biological science technologist or technician, you
need to pursue a program of studies in biological sciences. Learning
to collect, analyze and interpret data will be an important part
of your studies. You will also learn to perform tests and experimental
Continuing with our example of a job at an environmental consulting
company, some of the courses of study would be environmental physics,
environmental emergency planning and response, air monitoring
and pollution control.
Post Secondary Possibilities
||Chemical & Bio-Sciences
||Bio-Science / Chemical
||Okanagan University College
||Bio-Science / Chemical
- Programs listed are those accredited by the Applied Science
Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); check
www.asttbc.org for updates
on accredited programs.
- Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other
sources of information applicable to education options for this
- Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section
are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other
Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline.
These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary
depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities
and location of employment.
- The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and provides links to career information that will be of interest to students pursuing a career in technology.