Biological technicians and technologists work with scientists, engineers and other professionals 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.
- Agricultural Technician
- Aquaculture Technician
- Fish Hatchery Technician
- Fisheries Technician
- Plant Breeding Technician
- Botanical Technician
- Food Processing Technician
- Bacteriological Technician
- Food Bacteriology Technician
- Mass Spectrometer Operator
- Microbiology Technician
- Medical Laboratory Technician
- Biotechnology Technician
- Resource Management Technician
- Agrology Technician
- Biological laboratory technologist
- Biotechnology Technologist
- Biotechnology Technician
- Wildlife Biology Technician
- Microbiology technologist
- Microbiology Quality Control Technologist
- Biochemistry laboratory technicians
- Food Processing Technologist
On the Job
Things that biological technicians and technologists do at work are:
- Conduct or assist in biological, microbiological and biochemical tests and laboratory analyses in support of quality control in food production, sanitation, pharmaceutical production and other fields.
- Perform or assist in 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, plant and animal populations.
- Conduct or assist in environmental monitoring and compliance activities for the protection of fisheries stock, wildlife and other natural resources.
- Conduct or supervise operational programs such as fish hatchery, greenhouse and livestock production programs.
- Analyze data and prepare reports.
Education and Professional Requirements:
Certified bioscience technicians and technologists typically come from an applied science background and have graduated from a certificate, diploma or degree program in a field related to agriculture, biology, microbiology, wildlife or resource management. Additionally, they must have completed at least two years of working experience in their chosen discipline, with one of those years of experience having been gained in Canada, and must have successfully completed a Professional Practice and Ethics examination.
Preparing For Employment Success Before You Arrive
Planning and preparing for your new career as much as possible before arriving in Canada is highly recommended. Be sure you understand the provincial job market and specific professional requirements of your occupation. You may be able to start or complete many of these tasks before you arrive in Canada. The following sections provide information and suggestions for getting started to ensure your success upon arrival in Canada.
If you have a background in applied science or engineering technology you should try a self-assessment now to see how your education, skills and experience match Canadian requirements for certification. A self-assessment tool is accessible on the CTIN and Technology Registrations Canada websites. The self- assessment is free of charge and can be taken as many times as necessary. Should you decide to apply for certification prior to your arrival the results of the self- assessment may be saved as part of your formal application for certification in Canada. Take the self-assessment now and find out how your skills and experience compare to Canadian benchmarks.
International Qualification Assessment (IQA)
The International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) is an independent Canadian equivalency assessment of academic credentials for people trained outside of Canada. The IQA program evaluates the level and type of credential obtained by prospective immigrants and new arrivals to Canada who have received overseas academic training in the areas of applied science & engineering technology.
The IQA compares international credentials to Canadian criteria using procedures that are clear and consistent with the “Guiding Principles for Good Practice in the Assessment of Foreign Credentials” as published by ACESC, taking into account the diversity of educational traditions around the world.
The program offers internationally-trained technology professionals with a cost-effective means to have their credentials assessed against Canadian criteria. The IQA can provide a competitive advantage when approaching Canadian employers. After successful completion of an IQA, prospective immigrants and new arrivals to Canada are able to demonstrate to prospective employers how their overseas training compares with Technician and Technologist level training in Canada. This can be important differentiator for job seekers in legitimizing their skills and for employers seeking to verify the academic training of internationally-trained applicants For more information on the IQA program visit www.cctt.ca
The Canadian Immigrant Integration Program
The Canadian government also provides employment and settlement services overseas through its offices located in China, India, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. These services are made available through the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program. For more information about these pre-arrival services visit: www.newcomersuccess.ca/index.php/en/about-ciipphp/en/about-ciip
Other General Preparation
- Research Your Occupation. Know the name of the specific job or jobs in Canada that you are pursuing and make lists of potential employers using on-line resources and contacts.
- Collect Necessary Documentation. Collect copies of relevant documents, and if necessary, have them translated into English in your home country as this is often much less expensive than translation in Canada. You should bring:
- Degrees, diplomas or certificates from universities, colleges or schools
- Program descriptions related to your studies, and transcripts of grades
- Reference letters and performance reviews from employers
- Work descriptions and letters from professional agencies
- Strengthen Your Workplace Skills. You may need to improve your technical skills or knowledge before you start work in Canada. Explore all of the resources provided in this guide and be sure to visit the CTIN.CA website for more detailed information.
Canadian Language Requirements
Canada has two official languages: English and French. Depending on where you decide to live, you may be required to work in English, French, or in both languages. You should become familiar with the requirements for your occupation in the province where you want to work. Provincial requirements for certification usually include a language assessment.
You will need to have a good grasp of industry and technical terminology and be able to interact in English or French to be able to communicate with your employer and co-workers. In order to work effectively in the engineering technology sector it is recommended that you should have reached a minimum English proficiency level of CLB 7 (Canadian Language Benchmarks: www.language.ca).
Depending upon your language skills, you may need to enroll in training or upgrading programs. Many of the training programs have language level requirements and each may vary in the types of tests they accept and the minimum scores required. Visit the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to test your English or French proficiency.
Explore Canada’s Diverse Labour Market
Canada is an extremely large country and depending on your skills you could be working in a variety of different provinces or regions in Canada. Petroleum engineering technicians and technologists for example might find work in the provinces of Alberta, Newfoundland, Ontario and Quebec which either have significant petroleum reserves or refining capabilities. Food technicians and technologists by comparison are more likely to find work in regional food processing centres located in a variety of provinces including Prince Edward Island, Ontario or Saskatchewan.
Before deciding where to land in Canada you should carefully review the attributes of Canada’s different provinces, their location, their unique labour markets and fully understand the types of industries and employment opportunities located in each.
To learn more about your chosen profession, regional labour markets and employment opportunities, visit the following websites where you will find a wealth of information including salaries, regional employment opportunities, job descriptions, and more.
- Canadian Technology Immigration Network
- Working in Canada Tool
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Skilled Worker Program
- Job Bank Canada
Getting Help with Your Job Search — The Role of Settlement Organizations
Finding a job in Canada may be very different than in your home country. You may need help finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing a cover letter, preparing for interviews, and understanding what Canadian employers are looking for. Settlement services are for newcomers to Canada. Settlement organizations provide services and programs to help newcomers. They include:
- Help learning language skills
- Searching for jobs
- Starting businesses
- Exploring new careers
- Finding educational opportunities
- Getting documents translated
- Accessing information about community services, schools, healthcare
- Making new friends and feel more at home
Most programs are free of charge and often services are available in different languages. Sometimes settlement and language programs are offered by organizations such as libraries, schools, colleges and universities. In addition to the services listed above, many settlement agencies will offer services tailored specifically to assisting newcomers with technology skills. Services offered include:
- Helping understand licensure requirements
- Introductions to employers and employer networks
- Helping identify transferable skills
- Assistance with technical resume preparation
- Access to programs to help get Canadian work experience
- Mentoring programs
Establishing a Network and Building Connections Within Your Profession
In Canada, the majority of job vacancies are not advertised. Get advice and contacts for potential employment from people you may know in Canada, including relatives, friends or neighbours. Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are often good ways to meet people, to learn about Canadian workplace culture, to and improve your English/French language and communication skills.
As identified previously, each Canadian province has a technology association responsible for certifying and registering technology professionals and ensuring that their members maintain defined standards of practice. A list of Canada’s provincial technology associations is provided below. You should contact the appropriate association based on the province in which you intend to reside:
British Columbia: http://www.asttbc.org/
Newfoundland & Labrador: http://www.aettnl.com/
Nova Scotia: http://www.technova.ca/
Prince Edward Island: http://www.techpei.ca/
New Brunswick: http://www.nbscett.nb.ca/
Register with the Canadian Technology Immigration Network (CTIN)
The Canadian Technology Immigration Network (CTIN) is a one-stop source for career information, programs and assistance to support your successful entry into Canada’s technology professions.CTIN has been developed with the specific goal of assisting internationally-trained engineering technology professionals in having their credentials recognized and finding successful employment in Canada.
CTIN’s national network of partners includes provincial regulatory bodies, provincial government immigration departments, community colleges, immigrant settlement organizations and immigrant employment councils. Working together in each province of Canada, CTIN’s partners provide assistance to internationally-trained technology professionals prior to their arrival and after their landing in Canada to help increase their chances of employment success.
To access the many services offered by CTIN it is recommended that you register with the network. When you register the on-line system notifies CTIN partners in the province that you are planning to settle in of your plans to come to Canada, or if you are already here, that you are actively seeking assistance on the path to finding employment in your chosen technology profession. All information you provide to CTIN will remain confidential and will only be shared with the CTIN partners to advance your preparation and employment success.
Register with CTIN today and begin preparing for your successful technology career in Canada!