Biologists and Related Scientists (NOC 2121)

Last updated: 2 September 2020

If you are interested in working as a Biologist or related scientist in Canada, you will be pleased to know that the job outlook for your occupation in Canada is extremely positive.

You can use this overview of the Canadian employment prospects in your field to start planning your immigration and settlement in Canada.

Why your employment prospects in Canada are excellent:

  • Biologists and Related Scientists are employed in both laboratory and field settings by governments, environmental consulting companies, resource and utilities companies, chemical, pharmaceutical and bio-technical companies and health and educational institutions.
  • Biologists and Related Scientists are not regulated in Canada, except in British Columbia, where the title of "Professional Biologist" is protected. Where the profession is not regulated in Canada, requirements for employment may vary, and qualifications requirements are set by individual employers. However, most employers require postgraduate degrees in biology or a related discipline within the life sciences, and experience in post-doctoral research is usually required by academic departments or research institutions. Once you know where you will settle and work, you should contact the appropriate provincial/territorial body for additional information. 

Some areas of Canada where your occupation is in demand:

While there is a shortage of Biologists across Canada, the following cities and provinces listed below have a particularly high demand for this occupation.

British Columbia:

  • The projection is for 610 new jobs to be added between 2010 and 2015, with the addition of 320 new jobs due to retirement predicted during the same period.
  • Consulting and freelance work are areas of growth within this occupation.The Association of Professional Biologists of British Columbia has job postings:

Vancouver and Lower Mainland Southwest, British Columbia:

  • A fast-growing aquaculture industry in B.C. brings good opportunities for biologists who work in marine biology, conservation and remediation.
  • Another area with increasing opportunities for biologists and other related occupations is in the environmental industry. Consulting firms specializing in environmental, horticultural, and ecological restoration are expected to create employment opportunities as well.


  • Employment prospects for biologists and related scientists are expected to be good in the period 2010-2014.
  • The number of biologists and related scientists working in Manitoba in 2010 is estimated at 745.
  • Biopharmaceutical manufacturing activity is centered around four major companies: Cangene Corporation, Apotex Fermentation, Biovail Corporation and Vita Health.
  • Initiatives such as the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in the University of Manitoba Smart Park enables researchers from different disciplines to work together with industry partners to develop and produce functional foods and nutraceuticals.
  • To further health research, the Manitoba Centre for Protemics was established at the John Buhler Research Centre (located at the University of Manitoba Health Science Centre Campus), a business incubation facility was established at the National Research Centre's Institute for Biodiagnostics, and the I. H. Asper Clinical Research Institute was established at the St. Boniface General Hospital. All sources of employment for biologists and related scientists.

Winnipeg, Manitoba:

  • A proportionally larger share of jobs for biologists and related scientists are located in Winnipeg. They are employed in Public Administration (47%), followed by Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (25%), Health Care and Social Assistance (8%) and Educational Services (5%).
  • Employment prospects for biologists and related scientists are good in Winnipeg.
  • Government and government funded agencies are the most significant employers of biologists. As environmental and public health concerns gain importance, more investment in this area is likely to occur.
  • Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical research, development, and production, and health research are continuing to grow thus increasing the demand for qualified biologists.
  • Agriculture and agri-food biotechnology is a relatively smaller but growing field in Manitoba. A strong agricultural production and research base make Manitoba an ideal location for field evaluations in cereal grains and oil seed research.
  • At the University of Manitoba's main campus, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Cereal Research Centre, the U of M Faculty of Agriculture, and the Monsanto Crop Development Centre bring together expertise in the development of new varieties of and uses for crops.

(Kitchener, Waterloo, Barrie, Guelph Area)

  • Employment prospects are considered to be good in these local areas.
  • Growth will be generated both in the public and private sectors in the following fields; medical and pharmaceutical research and development, agriculture, technical services, environmental services and information technology.
  • Guelph is home to one of the province's biotechnology clusters at the University of Guelph:
  • The public sector is the largest employer of biologists.
  • Typically, demand for biologists is related to environmental research and monitoring. The biotechnology and health sectors, however, are expected to be a growing source of new employment opportunities for this occupation.

Prince Edward Island:

  • Employment prospects are considered to be good throughout the province.
  • Most of the job growth is expected to occur in the bioscience area.
  • Employment opportunities are expected to result from various federal and provincial government initiatives to increase the level of private-sector involvement in the bioscience industry. One such initiative is the BioCommons that will be constructed and expected to finish in 2011.
  • Increased research, development and commercialization of bioactives have led to growth in this sector in PEI. Most are employed in chemical manufacturing industries.
  • Potential employers for this occupation include but are not limited to: National Research Council, Novartis Animal Health, Parks Canada, Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development, Genzyme Diagnostics PEI Inc., University of PEI and Atlantech Engineering & Associates Inc.

Nova Scotia:

  • Currently, employment opportunities are considered to be fair.
  • Two new bioscience centers will be ready for the spring of 2011 at Dalhousie University. The infrastructure provided by the BioScience Enterprise Centre and Life Sciences Research Institute should provide greater future opportunities for this occupation and other related occupations.
  • Local companies such as Ocean Nutrition, Origin Biomed Inc., Precision BioLogic Inc., and MedMira all announced expansion plans or received money to develop their product lines in the past couple of years.


  • Currently the chances of qualified Biologists and Related Scientists finding employment are considered to be fair.
  • While there is growth in areas related to biotechnology, these are very specialized jobs and in many cases require doctoral level education.

Duties for Biologists and Related Scientists:

Biologists and related scientists conduct basic and applied research to extend knowledge of living organisms, to manage natural resources, and to develop new practices and products related to medicine and agriculture.

Description of Main Duties:

Biologists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Plan and conduct studies of the environment, and of the population, distribution, structure and functional characteristics and behaviour of plants and animals
  • Conduct ecological and environmental impact studies and prepare reports
  • Study, identify and classify plant and animal specimens
  • Conduct experiments in plant or animal growth, heredity and breeding
  • Prepare reports and plans for management of renewable resources
  • May supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists.

Microbiologists and cell and molecular biologists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Conduct research into the structure, function, ecology, biotechnology and genetics of micro-organisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoans, and algae
  • Conduct research into the structure and functioning of human, animal and plant tissues and cells
  • Conduct studies into the identification, effects and control of human, plant and animal pathogens and toxins
  • Conduct clinical or laboratory studies to test, evaluate and screen drugs and pharmaceuticals
  • Conduct molecular or biochemical studies and experiments into genetic expression, gene manipulation and recombinant DNA technology
  • Conduct research to discover, develop and refine, and evaluate new products
  • May participate in the commercialization of new products
  • May supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists
  • May conduct biostatistical data analysis using computer modelling techniques.
  • Biologists and related scientists may specialize at the macroscopic level, in fields such as botany, zoology, ecology and marine biology or, at the cellular and molecular level, in fields such as genetics, immunology, pharmacology, toxicology, physiology, pathology, bacteriology and virology.

Example job titles for Biologists and Related Architects:

  • agricultural scientist
  • agriculture research officer – military
  • agrogeologist
  • algologist
  • anatomist
  • animal ecologist
  • animal geneticist
  • animal nutritionist
  • animal taxonomist
  • aquatic biologist
  • bacteriologist
  • bacteriologist – animal health
  • bioinformatician
  • biological scientist
  • biologist
  • biologist, enzymology
  • biologist, medical parasitology
  • biologist, parasitology
  • biologist, protozoology
  • biologist, veterinary parasitology
  • botanist
  • bryologist
  • cell biologist
  • cellular physiologist
  • crop scientist
  • crop-research scientist
  • cytochemist
  • cytogeneticist
  • cytologist
  • cytologist-microbiologist
  • dairy bacteriologist
  • dairy scientist
  • descriptive toxicologist
  • developmental biologist
  • developmental geneticist
  • domestic animal scientist
  • ecobiologist
  • ecologist
  • economic botanist
  • embryologist
  • entomologist
  • entomologist, apiculture
  • environmental and occupational toxicologist
  • environmental biologist
  • environmental toxicologist
  • enzymologist
  • enzymology biologist
  • etiologist
  • fishery bacteriologist
  • fishery products bacteriologist
  • food bacteriologist
  • food products bacteriologist
  • food products scientist
  • food research scientist
  • food scientist
  • forest ecologist
  • forest pathologist
  • geneticist
  • helminthologist
  • herpetologist
  • histologist
  • histopathologist
  • human physiologist
  • hydrobiologist
  • ichthyologist
  • immunologist
  • industrial bacteriologist
  • insect physiologist
  • interpretative naturalist
  • invertebrate zoologist
  • laboratory immunologist
  • limnologist
  • malariologist
  • mammalogist
  • marine biologist
  • marine hydrobiologist
  • marine mammal trainer
  • mechanistic toxicologist
  • medical parasitology biologist
  • microbiologist
  • molecular biologist
  • molecular geneticist
  • molecular physiologist
  • mycologist
  • naturalist
  • nematologist
  • ornithologist
  • osteologist
  • parasitologist
  • parasitology biologist
  • park naturalist
  • pathologist, forests
  • pathologist, plants
  • pharmaceutical bacteriologist
  • pharmacologist
  • physiological biophysicist
  • physiologist
  • physiologist-biochemist – nuclear medicine
  • phytobiologist
  • phytopathologist
  • plant anatomist
  • plant breeder
  • plant ecologist
  • plant nematologist
  • plant pathologist
  • plant physiologist
  • plant population biologist
  • plant scientist
  • plant taxonomist
  • population geneticist
  • poultry scientist
  • protozoologist
  • protozoology biologist
  • public health bacteriologist
  • regulatory toxicologist
  • research biologist
  • research officer, agriculture – military
  • rural ecologist
  • serologist
  • soil bacteriologist
  • staff toxicologist
  • systematist, biology
  • systems biologist
  • taxonomist, biology
  • toxicologist
  • veterinary parasitology biologist
  • virologist
  • wildlife biologist
  • wildlife helminthologist
  • wildlife naturalist
  • zoologist

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