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 utilities.
- Examines the morphological and physiological characteristics of microorganisms in water, human, and food specimens;
- Studies the structure and function of plant, animal, and human cells and tissues;
- Provides laboratory services for health departments or in hospitals;
- Undertakes quality control in manufacturing processes by checking for signs of contamination;
- Studies the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms;
- Isolates and makes cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms in prescribed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition;
- Perform tests on water, food and the environment to detect harmful microorganisms and to obtain information about sources of pollution and contamination;
- Develops and plans methods to prevent the spread of disease;
- Researches new medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tests and pharmaceutical products;
- Evaluates new products in clinical trials;
- Develops products, such as enzymes, vitamins, hormones, and antimicrobials;
- Grows microbial cultures for use in such sectors as the food and beverage industry;
- Works with specialist computer software to undertake studies and research;
- Manages and oversees laboratory work.
- Operates a variety of specialized equipment such as electron microscopes, gas chromatographs and high pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, and fluorescence activated cell sorters.
Two or three-year college program in chemical or biochemical engineering technology