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Agricultural Technologists & Technicians (NOC 2123) may also be called:

  • agrology technician
  • plant breeding technician
  • seed technologist
  • biological technologist
  • biological technician
  • botanical technician

What Would I Do?

Agricultural Technologists & Technicians use their knowledge of agriculture to help farmers run their businesses, finding the most efficient ways to work their land. As an Agricultural Technologist or Technician, your duties can include:

  • providing information and advice to farmers about their businesses
  • selecting crops based on soil conditions
  • studying weed control
  • helping farmers pick the right livestock
  • conducting lab tests and taking field samples

Agricultural Technologists & Technicians often specialize in food, plant, soil, or animal technology.

More information:

Am I Suited For This Job?

Agricultural Technologists & Technicians should be:

  • able to make precise observations
  • able to draw conclusions from data
  • able to communicate technical information clearly and accurately
  • flexible and versatile, particularly for field work
  • able to work independently but also work well as part of a team

Agricultural Technologists & Technicians should have:

  • good writing skills
  • communication skills
  • research skills
  • an interest in natural processes

Agricultural Technologists & Technicians may work outdoors at farms or research stations, or indoors in offices. Outdoor farm work can be physically demanding and may require long hours, often starting early in the morning. 

What Are The Wages And Benefits?

In British Columbia, the average median salary for Agricultural Technologists & Technicians ranges from $55,394 to $74,081. JobBank Canada provides the following hourly wages in BC’s regions for Biological Technologists and Technicians including Agricultural Technologists & Technicians:

regional hourly salaries

regional hourly wages for agricultural representativesTables from Job Bank Wage Report

Many agricultural techs start on a seasonal or part-time basis and are paid an hourly wage. If they progress to full-time work, they usually receive a salary. Full-time agricultural techs often receive benefits, such as dental plans, paid vacation time, and paid sick days.
Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for Biological Technologists & Technicians, WorkBC Career Profile for Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists (NOC 2123), and Career Cruising database (Profile for ‘Agricultural Tech’).

What Is The Job Outlook In BC?

JobBank Canada reports that for the 2016-2018 period, the employment outlook is expected to be limited for Biological technologists and technicians including agricultural technologists/technicians (NOC 2221) in British Columbia.

employment outlook for biological technologists and technicians

Chart: WorkBC Career Profile for Biological Technologists & Technicians

employment outlook for agricultural representatives, consultants & specialists

Chart:  WorkBC Career Profile for Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists
Source: Job Bank Canada

How Do I Become an Agricultural Technologist or Technician?

In B.C., agricultural technologists & technicians are not regulated. Some form of post secondary education is usually required and many agricultural technologists & technicians earn a diploma in agricultural technology or a related field, such as agribusiness or general agriculture. Agricultural diploma programs typically include biology, agricultural technology and business, and crop and livestock management.

Certification as Technologists/Technicians:

Although certification is not required, it can provide better employment opportunities. In British Columbia, the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) is responsible for certification as an Applied Science Technologist (AScT) OR Certified Technician (CTech) in Agricultural Technology. Minimum requirements include:

  • for AScT: Diploma of Technology (2 or 3 years) from a nationally accredited program or equivalent
  • for CTech: Certificate (1 or 2 years) from a nationally accredited program or equivalent.
  • for AScT OR CTech: two years of related work experience, with at least one year at the level of certification sought

Internationally trained professionals (technologists and technicians) may be eligible for ‘Provisional Membership’.  If you meet the current educational and experience requirements but lack one year’s relevant Canadian work experience, you may be eligible for ‘Provisional Membership’ as an AScT or a CTech.  This membership is contingent on completion of the one year required work experience demonstrating Canadian standards and competencies.  For further information, see:

Certification as Dairy Production Technicians

Certification is available from the BC Industry Training Authority (ITA) as dairy production technicians. If you have significant work experience in a trade but have never been certified in Canada, you may also apply to challenge the certification.

For further information, see:

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for Biological Technologists & Technicians, WorkBC Career Profile for Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists (NOC 2123), and Career Cruising database (Profile for ‘Agricultural Tech’).

How Do I Find A Job?

Where would I work?

Agricultural Technologists & Technicians work in:

  • laboratory and field settings

You may work for:

  • government
  • food processing plants
  • fertilizers, chemicals, biotechnology companies
  • health, research and educational institutions
  • farm machinery companies

Finding Advertised Jobs

Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and, in The Province on Sundays.

Job Freeway

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.

Online Job Postings

Finding “Hidden Jobs”

Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below will help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.

Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in this industry.  Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • BC Provincial Industry Contacts
    list of provincial agricultural and producer associations, covering farm animals (beef cattle, hogs, sheep), dairy products, grain crops, fruit & berries, grapes, poultry & eggs, organics, vegetables & greenhouse
  • BC Agriculture Council
    30 member associations, each representing a sector of producers or growers within BC’s agricultural industry
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “agricultural” OR “farm” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies

Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.

Networking and the Hidden Job Market:

When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.

Volunteer opportunities

  • UBC Farm (Centre for Sustainable Food Systems)

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.  Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry. For more information see:

Where Can This Job Lead?

Agricultural technologists & technicians may start by helping other technical staff prepare, manage, and harvest plots; making observations and assessments on crops/studies. With experience they may work up to managing and supervising a team of research assistants; coordinating and carrying out research projects.

Source:Career Cruising database (Profile for ‘Agricultural Tech’).

Where Can I Find More Information?

  • AgriDigest.com
    (Canadian journal of issues and events in agriculture dedicated to agricultural initiative and innovation)
  • BC Agriculture Council
    represents over 14,000 BC farmers and ranchers and thirty farm sector associations from all regions of the province.