Biological Technician

Biological Technician

Biological technicians assist conservationist and environmental scientists in studying living organisms and their life cycles, mostly within a laboratory setting. They conduct field sampling of the air, water and soil, crops, fruits, vegetables and ornamentals, and evaluate samples for methods to improve yield, quality, adaptation to mechanization, climate and pests. Biological technicians also prepare reports of lab results for internal and external use.
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 pests
  • Control exotic invasive plants through the use of chemical, mechanical, manual and biological methods
  • Take inventory and quantify sources of locally generated pollution
  • Prepare 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 bacterial or non-desirable excess material
  • Prepare graphs, charts and reports from test results
  • Operate laboratory equipment independently
  • Perform quality control analysis including tests and inspections of products and processes
  • Assist conservationists/conservation officers in special or emergency situations as needed (prescribed fire, search and rescue)
Recommended High School Courses: 
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, earth science, chemistry, physics, biology, botany and mathematics.
Education/Training Required: 
An associate degree in natural resources, soil science, biology or a related field, such as horticulture, plant physiology or environmental science, is required. Those with a bachelor’s degree in similar fields would increase their chances for employment and advancement once on the job.
Future Job Market Outlook: 
Typical Employers: 
Biological technicians are employed by agricultural research firms, college and universities and governmental, environmental, conservation and food processing organizations.
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 
Average Annual Full-Time Salary: 
$42,965
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Salary data is provided by the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review™. These salaries should be considered as examples and are provided for educational and exploratory purposes. The salary information provided should not be used as a benchmark. Actual salaries are influenced by numerous variables including but not limited to demographics, size and scope of the role, level of experience, qualifications, and education of the worker.