Biotechnology Technician Offering Prepares Students for Various Industries Summary: The Biotechnology Technician program at Centennial College takes two years to complete and offers beginner to professional-level training. Biotechnology technicians (also known as bench technicians) play an essential role in various industries such as: food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, where they have the responsibility of assuring quality control in areas of manufacturing. A respected post-secondary program that teaches students the know-how for the field is Centennial College’s Biotechnology Technician – Industrial Microbiology, which is accredited by the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists and has met all of the academic requirements for certification in the Technician Category set out by the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists. These national accreditations support program quality and provide mobility for graduates. In addition, the biotechnology technician offering is a repeat recipient of the Centennial College President’s Academic Program Recognition Award for outstanding student satisfaction. The focus of this two-year Biotechnology Technician offering is to provide practical training in industrial microbiology as well as chemistry (analytical), organic and biochemistry. This is achieved through a hands-on approach to learning how to: isolate, enumerate and identify microorganisms from many types of samples (water, soil, air, your body, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products); prepare specimens for staining; become proficient in aseptic handling of materials; accurately calibrate and use a range of instruments such as pH and BOD meters, Gas Chromatographs, spectrophotometers (regular/IR/UV), HPLC’s etc.; prepare microbiological media and reagents and culture pathogenic microbes; design and performing microbiology experiments; and use microorganisms to assay pharmaceutical products. Specific courses in this Biotechnology Technician offering include: Chemistry, Occupational Health and Safety, Microbiology, Microbial Techniques, Statistics for Applied Science, Food Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Report Writing in a Technician Environment and more. The hands-on learning techniques within the Biotechnology Technician program involve laboratory activity, including appropriate safety procedures, as well as a project approach, with independently designed microbiology projects that enhance students’ problem-solving and research skills. Training in Occupational Health and Safety, WHMIS, GMP, HACCP is to industry standards. Students may graduate in two years as biotechnology technicians or continue for a third year to study specialized topics such as advanced biotechnology and microbial genetics or systematic microbiology, graduating as biotechnology technologists. Graduates of the two-year offering may apply for certification through the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) to use the following professional designation: CTech (Certified Technician). Companies that have hired students of the Biotechnology Technician program include: Kisko Products, Hermann Laue Spice Company, Apotex Inc., Agropur - Divisional Natrel, Mill Street Brewery, MAXXAM Analytics, Campbell Soup Company, bioMerieux Analytics, Griffith Laboratories and Cosmetica Laboratories Inc. Applicants to this Biotechnology college level program must have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older); English Grade 12 C or U or equivalent, or skills assessment; and Math Grade 11 M or U or Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent, or skills assessment. Author Details: In this article, Emma documents the standout features of the Biotechnology Technician offering at Centennial College, which allows students to work in industries such as: food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and more.
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