What is a Genetic Counselor?
Genetic Counselor Job Description Assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decisionmaking and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.
List of Genetic Counselor Job Duties
- Identify funding sources and write grant proposals for eligible programs or services.
- Interview patients or review medical records to obtain comprehensive patient or family medical histories, and document findings.
- Write detailed consultation reports to provide information on complex genetic concepts to patients or referring physicians.
- Determine or coordinate treatment plans by requesting laboratory services, reviewing genetics or counseling literature, and considering histories or diagnostic data.
- Interpret laboratory results and communicate findings to patients or physicians.
- Provide patients with information about the inheritance of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and various forms of cancer.
What a Genetic Counselor Should Know
Genetic Counselors state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Types of Genetic Counselor
- Pediatric Genetic Counselor
- Hereditary Cancer Program Coordinator
- Clinical Coordinator, Pediatric Genetics
- Cancer Genetic Counselor
- Cancer Program Consultant
Job Demand for Genetic Counselors
There were about 3,100 jobs for Genetic Counselor in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 29% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 900 new jobs for Genetic Counselor by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 300 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Genetic Counselor are Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Nebraska, Idaho, or Missouri. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
How Much Does a Genetic Counselor Make?
Genetic Counselors make between $52,750 and $107,450 a year.
Genetic Counselors who work in Texas, California, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.
How much do Genetic Counselors make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$79,300|
Tools & Technologies Used by Genetic Counselors
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Genetic Counselors may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Database software
- FileMaker Pro
Becoming a Genetic Counselor
Education needed to be a Genetic Counselor:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where do Genetic Counselors Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Genetic Counselors employed by various industries.
Those thinking about becoming a Genetic Counselor might also be interested in the following careers:
Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Katie Spencer via Public domain
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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