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Home How To Become a Geneticist (Everything You Need To Know)

How To Become a Geneticist (Everything You Need To Know)

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How To Become A Geneticist (Everything You Need To Know)

Many people consider becoming a geneticist because it's a career path that is rewarding and constantly growing. The career path happens to have high pay and a lot of choices for you to choose from as far as a long-term career path. In this blog post, I'll be breaking down everything you need to know about the types of geneticists, high paying jobs in genetics, what the geneticist job description is, and much more! Let's get into it.

How To Become A Medical Geneticist

A Clinical Geneticist, also known as a Medical Geneticist, is a physician who cares for patients in clinical settings. They often carry out clinical or translational research related to patient care. They are required to hold a certification in the specialty of clinical genetics and genomics from the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) and have broad training in evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment of inherited conditions in patients of any age.

clinical-geneticist-working-on-human-genetics

Inherited conditions are wide-ranging and not everything is a one step approach. Clinical Geneticists work in various settings that tend to be between many other medical disciplines. Advances in certain genetic and genomic technology such as whole genome, exome sequencing, and massively parallel, offer plenty of opportunities to diagnose and treat genetic conditions.

The thing about inherited conditions is that there are a lot of them and there isn't a single solution for the treatment and diagnoses of all of them. Clinical Geneticists work in a lot 

Typically to become a Clinical Laboratory Geneticist or Clinical Geneticist education-wise, you will need to have a medical degree such as an MD, DO, or equivalent. You’ll also need a year of residency in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited main specialty followed up by two more years of medical genetics and genomics residency training.

At this point, you’re probably wondering if all this education is worth the pay. The answer is, probably! The average salary for a Clinical Geneticist also known as Medical Geneticist is $129,448 annually according to PayScale. Which is a pretty sizeable amount of cash, over three times the average income of a family in the United States.


How To Become A Genetic Counselor

Becoming a Genetic Counselor is a lot easier than becoming a Clinical Geneticist or a Clinical Laboratory Geneticist. You definitely won’t need to learn about becoming a Genetic Counselor through Reddit. They typically receive a bachelor’s degree in biology, social science or a related field. Then they proceed to specialized training. This training is typically a Master’s degree in genetic counseling from an accredited program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). Meaning, you’ll have to endure and succeed through six years of college.

The annual salary for this position isn’t too far behind other jobs in genetics that require more training and qualifications, clocking in at a whopping average of $80,370 per year according to USNews. This is significantly higher than the average household salary of $56,000 in the United States. You should also be able to find this entry level genetics job soon after graduating from your masters program. Give our niche job board Healthcare Consultant a go, we likely have genetics counselor jobs near you on our job board.

Now you might be wondering if genetics counseling jobs are in demand. The answer to that is, yes, yes they are. Employment of genetic counselors is projected to grow 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, this is significantly faster than the average for all occupations according to BLS. You’ll typically be working a 40 hour workweek (standard in the United States of America) and the U.S. News Best Job Report of 2020 ranks genetic counselors as the second best position for healthcare support jobs out of all of them!

On a daily basis, you’ll be working as members of a healthcare team. You will be providing risk assessment, education, and support to individuals and families at risk for, or diagnosed with, a variety of inherited conditions. You will also be interpreting genetic testing, providing supportive counseling, and serving as an advocate for patients.


Best Careers In Animal Genetics

This entire blog post has been focused so far on careers in human genetics. Let’s get into some alternatives such as the best careers in animal genetics. Animal Geneticists analyze the genetic makeup of animals in order to discover which genes cause them to behave certain ways. Geneticists may also study animal health to determine what causes animals to be immune to specific diseases, or fail to thrive in certain environments. If this sounds like a cool gig to you, read on about this genetics research job.

Your responsibilities as an animal geneticist may vary but typically you’ll have several responsibilities:

  • Provide insight into how methods and processes that support genetic evaluation can be improved
  • Summarize and communicate genetic trends for reports
  • Constantly review and communicate data input and output needs of the breeding programs
  • Find ways to improve selection decisions and develop approaches to accelerate genetic differentiation between different breeds
  • Analyze phenotypes, also known as physical characteristics available from the global production system to understand what makes profits for customers
  • Assist in the mapping of genomes for various species
  • Develop new ways to evaluate traits in animals
  • Investigate disease resistance
  • Crossbreed animals to obtain new combinations of desirable characteristics
  • Compare the genetic makeup of one animal or species to another in order to how the gene affects reproduction or growth

What kind of education is required?

For this field, a bachelor’s degree in genetics or a related field such as animal science, biology, poultry science, dairy science, followed up by a master’s degree is required. Some roles may require a doctoral level degree.

animal-geneticist-working-on-a-camel

Where can Animal Geneticists work?

Animal Geneticists typically can be employed by animal pharmaceutical companies, state or federal governments, breeding companies, and universities. You may find entry level genetics jobs in a lab working with an associate’s degree or a certification program in either veterinary or medical technology. 


So from this article, you’ve probably gathered how to become a geneticist, no matter what kind. The salary is far above the United States average, and as a whole, the career is a solid, growing path, with a ton of career options. If you’re looking for those genetics research jobs of your dreams, make sure you check out our niche job board Healthcare Consultant for access to the best employers out there.

How To Become a Geneticist (Everything You Need To Know)
Jake Tilk

Jake is the Digital Marketing Manager for OptyConnect and Healthcare Consultant. He holds a B.B.A. in Marketing with a minor in Business from Western Michigan University and has a certification in Software Development.

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