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Genetics Major

1,344 yearly degrees
#239 in popularity
$96,000 median salary

Genetics is a major that typically falls into the Biological & Biomedical Sciences category.

There are 0 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in genetics, 26 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 79 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 86 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Genetics Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 600 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in genetics in 2017. The major attracts more women than men. About 69.5% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of genetics majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 14.1%
  • Black or African American: 2.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 8.9%
  • White: 63.8%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 5.3%
  • Other Races: 5.5%
Genetics Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in genetics. About 5.3% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending genetics majors to the U.S. are China, India and Taiwan.

What Will You Learn as a Genetics Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to genetics to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Genetics Majors

A major in genetics should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Genetics Majors

Skills for Genetics Majors

When studying genetics, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Genetics Majors

Abilities for Genetics Majors

A major in genetics will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for genetics Majors

What Can You Do With a Genetics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with genetics:

Careers Related to Genetics
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Natural Sciences Managers

9.9%

$123,860

Clinical Research Coordinators

9.9%

$123,860

Biological Scientists

8%

$79,590

Biological Science Professors

15.1%

$82,550

Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists

13.4%

$84,810

Molecular and Cellular Biologists

8%

$79,590

Geneticists

8%

$79,590

Genetics Major Salary

Average salaries range from $84,000 to $97,000 for careers related to genetics. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Genetics Major  ( 84000 to 97000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Genetics Major Jobs

Some careers associated with genetics may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to genetics have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Genetics
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

0.6%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

1.4%

Post-Secondary Certificate

1.4%

Some College Courses

0%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

2%

Bachelor's Degree

22.1%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

1.3%

Master's Degree

13.5%

Post-Master's Certificate

0%

First Professional Degree

0%

Doctoral Degree

26.4%

Post-Doctoral Training

31.5%

Online Genetics Programs

There are 26 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in genetics, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Genetics Major Worth It?

The median salary for a genetics grad is $96,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 148% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,150,400 after 20 years!

genetics salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Domaina via License

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