Occupations in Biotech & Life Sciences

The biotechnology and life sciences sector is made up of numerous occupations spread across multiple industries that contribute to Canada’s bio-economy.


Sectors in biotechnology and life sciences include:



  • Biopharm
  • Medical Devices
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Natural Compound Bioactives
  • Biomolecules


  • Biodiesel
  • Ethanol
  • Methane
  • Bio-oil


  • Bioadhesives
  • Biocatalysts
  • Biosolvents
  • Bioplastics
  • Biocoatings


  • Animal Nutritional Supplements
  • Livestock Vaccines
  • Plant Genetics
  • Animal Genetics
  • Functional Foods


If you have training, credentials, and experience in related professions such as health care, you may want to consider a career in Canada in biotechnology and life sciences.


Professionals in the Biotechnology & Life Sciences sector work in these occupations:

Business Development Manager

The Business Development Manager assists in the analyzing, planning, research, and development of the organization’s objectives and strategic plans in order to achieve business opportunities, growth, and financial profitability for improvement of the firm’s competitiveness.

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers design equipment and processes for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test methods of manufacturing products and treating by-products, and supervise production. They apply the principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and mechanical and electrical engineering to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals and other products.

Clinical Research Associate

A clinical research associate ensures clinical research trials that test new pharmaceuticals on humans are conducted in compliance with government regulations and ethical standards. The clinical research associate works for the study sponsor and establishes effective working relationships with investigative site staff. They frequently visit study sites, which may involve travelling. They leverage their science background to meet the study sponsor’s objectives.

Instrument Technician

Instrument technicians maintain, test, troubleshoot and repair a variety of manufacturing facility instrumentation. They lay out, build, test, troubleshoot, repair, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, equipment, and systems. They calibrate instrumentation and perform validation studies, analyzing results and using testing information to develop test specifications and electrical schematics.

Laboratory Worker

Laboratory Workers are employed in various bio-economy laboratories including research, quality control and quality assurance laboratories. They perform “on-the-bench” tasks and laboratory procedures under the supervision of laboratory technologists, laboratory researchers, research scientists and other senior staff. They assist and support laboratory processes in compliance with good laboratory and manufacturing practices, and may participate in the development of structures and processes related to biotechnology.


Laboratory Workers are employed under a variety of job titles by Canadian bio-economy companies of different sizes (i.e., small, medium, large) and in various subsectors.

Manufacturing Worker

Manufacturing Workers perform material handling, work space clean-up, packaging and other routine production activities. They assist machine operators in the set up and operation of manufacturing equipment. They may move material using equipment such as forklift trucks and mechanized hoists.

Marketing Manager

A Marketing Manager is responsible for developing and maintaining marketing strategies to increase a company’s market share, revenues and meet commercial objectives. They are involved in developing marketing campaigns that promote a product, technology, service or idea.

Project Manager

A Project Manager is responsible to deliver a project on time, on budget and within specification. The Project Manager would implement a methodical approach or process to planning and guiding a project from start to finish.

Quality Assurance Manager

Quality Assurance Managers provide quality leadership through implementation of Quality Management Systems (e.g., documentation management, management of non-conformances, change management, Corrective Action and Preventative Action (CAPAs), validation site master plan). Quality Assurance Managers develop investigational protocols and reports, coordinate the document review process and review actions taken to address complaint investigations, laboratory variances and supplier-generated investigations. They report on investigations and corrective actions for any non-conformances by ensuring that all quality-related procedures are implemented and followed.

Quality Control Analyst

A quality control analyst monitors and conducts routine and non-routine tests on the raw materials and products at various stages of manufacturing. They are often involved in revising and creating new SOPs to deal with new equipment or manufacturing methods within the laboratory or manufacturing facility. A quality control analyst will compile data, reviewing it for abnormalities, which if identified are reported the appropriate parties within the required deadlines.

Quality Control Inspector

The role of a quality control inspector is preventing the poor quality products. To do this, they perform an inspection on materials coming into the manufacturing facility from vendors and on in-process products during the production process. They will also check samples of aproduction run to ensure that materials meet specifications at any point in the production process.

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Regulatory Affairs Specialists perform a proactive role in directing and overseeing the development of new products and maintenance and care of existing marketplace products in the biotechnology industry, and use their specific scientific and regulatory knowledge to provide strategic input to the development process. They represent the company’s interests and objectives while interacting and negotiating with regulatory agencies, and work to ensure product and company regulatory compliance in the pre- and post-approval stages. They seek to anticipate, reduce and manage risks associated with regulations related to product development; to influence and provide feedback to the development of new regulations, policies and guidelines; to be cognizant of reimbursement issues in product development; to ensure the quality and safety of the product; to advise on how products are sold and promoted; and to ensure quality standards of research are met.


Regulatory Affairs Specialists work for Canadian bio-economy companies of different sizes (e.g., small, medium, large) and in various bio-economy areas.

Research Assistant

A research assistant is a trained professional who helps conduct investigative and original studies in a laboratory setting. They perform a wide range of duties that include researching past and current research initiatives and results, setting up (including identifying financial, human and material resources), conducting and documenting experiments, recording detailed observations, analyzing data, and interpreting and communicating results. This may require mentoring and supervisory activity. They are also responsible for preparing samples, testing equipment, and developing protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs).


Samples must be handled and labelled with care and research notes need to be orderly, coherent, and accurate. Once experiments are completed the research assistant stores samples in their appropriate locations and cleans the laboratory. Research Assistants work for Canadian biotechnology companies of different sizes (i.e., small, medium, large) and in various biotechnology areas.

Research Manager

Research managers manage the design and implementation of research, pre-market and post-market research programs. This involves the development and management of timelines and budgets, liaising with external contractors, communicating and reporting performance results to the director, mentoring to new staff, ensuring compliance with Good Clinical Practices, Standard Operating Procedures and regulatory and legal requirements. The research manager is knowledgeable in the application of industry and regulatory guidelines.


The research manager also prepares and manages strategic and operating plans, budgets and forecasts, general department logistics and administration. In addition they are responsible for the management of the research professionals involved in the research, pre-clinical studies, clinical trials and/or field trials and the oversight of investigator performance to milestones and contract objectives

Research Scientist

A research scientist identifies potential research opportunities, plans and conducts experiments to increase the body of scientific knowledge and/or develops new, or improves existing, drugs, treatments or other science or medically related products. Research may be basic, such as investigating the underlying basis of health and disease, or it may be more applied such as medical devices, genetic research, conducting clinical research in support of clinical trials, investigating methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disorders.


Research scientists also need to stay current with other research being carried out in, or related to, their field of study. This involves carrying out searches for information using the Internet and information databases, reading relevant scientific literature and journals and attending scientific meetings and conferences. Research Scientists work for Canadian biotechnology companies of different sizes (i.e., small, medium, large) and in various biotechnology areas.

Sales Representative

Sales Representatives strive to achieve maximum sales profitability, growth and account penetration within an assigned territory and/or market segment by effectively selling the firm’s products, services or technology. A Sales Representative personally contacts and secures new business accounts/customers.


The Sales Representative will describe products, services or the technology; will conduct demonstrations; explain the benefits, and answer any questions that their customers may have.