Genetics Career Outlook

genetic counselors image

Summary

Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects.

Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. They provide information and advice to other healthcare providers, or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions.

Genetic counselors work in university medical centers, private and public hospitals, physicians’ offices, and diagnostic laboratories. They work with families, patients, and other medical professionals. Most genetic counselors work full time.

Genetic counselors typically need at least a master’s degree in genetic counseling or genetics. Although most genetic counselors have a master’s degree, some earn a Ph.D.

genetic counselors imageThe median annual wage for genetic counselors was , 800 in May 2012.

Employment of genetic counselors is projected to grow 41 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Genetic counselors should have better than average job prospects overall.

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of genetic counselors with similar occupations.

Learn more about genetic counselors by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

Genetic counselors provide information and advice to other healthcare providers, or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions.

genetic counselors imageGenetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. They provide information and advice to other healthcare providers, or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions.

Duties

Genetic counselors typically do the following:

  • Analyze genetic information to identify patients or families at risk for specific disorders and syndromes
  • Write detailed consultation reports to provide information on complex genetic concepts for patients or referring physicians
  • Discuss testing options and the associated risks, benefits, and limitations with patients and families
  • Interview patients to obtain comprehensive medical histories and document the findings
  • Interpret laboratory results and communicate findings to patients or physicians
  • Counsel patients and family members by providing information, education, or reassurance regarding genetic risks and inherited conditions
  • Determine patient treatment plans by reviewing laboratory work, literature, and patient histories
  • Participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in genetics and genomics
Interesting facts
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