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Biological Technician

 

Overview:

Biological Technicians are responsible for helping and supporting conservationist and environmental scientists in laboratory research on the life cycles of living organisms.

 

What responsibilities will I have?

  • Conduct field sampling of the air, water and soil, crops, fruits, vegetables and/or ornamentals
  • Evaluate samples for methods to improve yield, quality, adaptation to mechanization, climate, and pest
  • Control exotic invasive plants through the use of chemical, mechanical, manual and biological methods
  • Taking inventory and quantifying sources of locally-generated pollution
  • Preparing reports of lab results for internal and external use
  • Classify products and compare test results with standard tables
  • Order supplies needed for daily laboratory processes and activities
  • Use standard pesticide application and biological control field and safety equipment as required
  • Examine samples and identify, if any, bacterial or non-desirable excess material
  • Prepare graphs, charts and reports from test results
  • Ability to operate laboratory equipment independently
  • Perform quality control analysis including tests and inspections of products and processes
  • May assist conservationist/conservation officers in special or emergency situations as needed (prescribed fire, search and rescue).

 

What education and training is required?

An associate’s degree in natural resources, soil science, biology or a related field, such as horticulture, plant physiology or environmental science is required.  Those with a bachelors degree in similar fields would increase their chances for employment and advancement once on the job.

 

To pursue a career as a Biological Technician:

The following high school courses are recommended:agricultural education, earth science, chemistry, physics, biology, botany, and mathematics.

 

Where can I work?Typical Employers:

Employed by agricultural research firms, governmental organizations, environmental organizations and conservation organizations, food processing organizations, college and universities.

 

Future Job Market/Outlook:

The future outlook for biological technicians can be considered good to excellent.  Those with specific training with certain laboratory equipment will be in a much higher demand.

 

Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations:

  • American Institute of Biological Sciences
  • Institute of Food Technologists
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Nutritional Sciences