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Geneticists
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Description: what do they do?
Research and study the inheritance of traits at the molecular, organism or population level. May evaluate or treat patients with genetic disorders.
Also known as:
Laboratory Director, Medical Geneticist, Clinical Genetics Laboratory Chief, Biochemical Genetics Laboratory Director, Medical Genetics Director, Scientist, Clinical Molecular Genetics Laboratory Director, Clinical Cytogenetics Director, Associate Genetics Professor, Research Scientist

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: A geneticist is a biologist who studies the inheritance of traits in living organisms. Geneticists extract DNA and perform tests, then interpret the laboratory results. They apply their knowledge of statistics and math to evaluate genetic data, and keep detailed records to record their results. Some geneticists study genetic disorders carried from parents to children, and research potential cures and treatments. They may also teach medical students and graduate students, and may need to write grant proposals to seek research funds. Other geneticists diagnose hereditary conditions in patients and treat them. Geneticists may also consult on criminal cases to help officials positively identify suspects using DNA analysis, or team up with archaeologists to study ancient organic matter. Other geneticists focus on improving agricultural crop resilience and productivity. Geneticists continue to read and study throughout their careers and keep up with changes in the field. Many involved in research attend and may also present their findings at conferences. Most positions require a master’s degree or Ph.D. in genetics, and many also require work experience in the field. Clinical geneticists must complete a Doctor of Medicine degree, followed by a medical residency in genetics. A license is required for all physicians and may be required for some other positions.
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Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Wyoming
160
2016 Employment
160
2026 Employment
3%
Percent change
10
Annual projected job openings
United States
47,100
2018 Employment
49,800
2028 Employment
6%
Percent change
4,700
Annual projected job openings
You’re seeing projected employment information for Biological scientists, all other because we don’t have information for Geneticists.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Biological Scientists, All Other* in Wyoming
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
* You’re seeing wages for Biological Scientists, All Other because we don’t have information for Geneticists.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationWyomingUnited States
10%$52,280$45,030
25%$62,420$60,250
Median$71,410$79,590
75%$79,590$98,040
90%$88,060$126,390


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • No work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:
You’re seeing education information for Biological scientists, all other because we don’t have information for Geneticists. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained
You’re seeing education information for Biological scientists, all other because we don’t have information for Geneticists. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Interpret research or operational data.
  • Research diseases or parasites.
  • Record research or operational data.
  • Prepare proposal documents or grant applications.
  • Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.
  • Attend conferences or workshops to maintain professional knowledge.
  • Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
  • Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
  • Research genetic characteristics or expression.
  • Plan biological research.
  • Analyze biological samples.
  • Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Develop technical or scientific databases.
  • Collaborate with technical specialists to resolve design or development problems.
  • Develop software or applications for scientific or technical use.
  • Establish standards for medical care.
  • Plan natural resources conservation or restoration programs.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Mathematics - Using math to solve problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching people how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies - Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Systems Analysis - Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.
  • Originality - Creating new and original ideas.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - Choosing the right type of math to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility - Adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Flexibility of Closure - Seeing hidden patterns.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Artistic - Occupations with Artistic interests frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and allow for developing unique approaches to conducting the work.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Review, approve, or interpret genetic laboratory results.
  • Evaluate, diagnose, or treat genetic diseases.
  • Maintain laboratory notebooks that record research methods, procedures, and results.
  • Write grants and papers or attend fundraising events to seek research funds.
  • Attend clinical and research conferences and read scientific literature to keep abreast of technological advances and current genetic research findings.
  • Supervise or direct the work of other geneticists, biologists, technicians, or biometricians working on genetics research projects.
  • Search scientific literature to select and modify methods and procedures most appropriate for genetic research goals.
  • Collaborate with biologists and other professionals to conduct appropriate genetic and biochemical analyses.
  • Prepare results of experimental findings for presentation at professional conferences or in scientific journals.
  • Instruct medical students, graduate students, or others in methods or procedures for diagnosis and management of genetic disorders.
  • Evaluate genetic data by performing appropriate mathematical or statistical calculations and analyses.
  • Plan or conduct basic genomic and biological research related to areas such as regulation of gene expression, protein interactions, metabolic networks, and nucleic acid or protein complexes.
  • Extract deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or perform diagnostic tests involving processes such as gel electrophoresis, Southern blot analysis, and polymerase chain reaction analysis.
  • Create or use statistical models for the analysis of genetic data.
  • Maintain laboratory safety programs and train personnel in laboratory safety techniques.
  • Conduct family medical studies to evaluate the genetic basis for traits or diseases.
  • Verify that cytogenetic, molecular genetic, and related equipment and instrumentation is maintained in working condition to ensure accuracy and quality of experimental results.
  • Design and maintain genetics computer databases.
  • Confer with information technology specialists to develop computer applications for genetic data analysis.
  • Analyze determinants responsible for specific inherited traits, and devise methods for altering traits or producing new traits.
  • Design sampling plans or coordinate the field collection of samples such as tissue specimens.
  • Develop protocols to improve existing genetic techniques or to incorporate new diagnostic procedures.
  • Plan curatorial programs for species collections that include acquisition, distribution, maintenance, or regeneration.
  • Participate in the development of endangered species breeding programs or species survival plans.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.