Types of Degrees Genetics Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many genetics graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Genetics Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, genetics majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Genetics Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in genetics should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- 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.
- Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Skills for Genetics Majors
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to genetics:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- 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.
- 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.
Abilities for Genetics Majors
As you progress with your genetics degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
What Can You Do With a Genetics Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with genetics:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Biological Science Professors||15.1%||$82,550|
|Clinical Research Coordinators||9.9%||$123,860|
|Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists||13.4%||$84,810|
|Molecular and Cellular Biologists||8.0%||$79,590|
|Natural Sciences Managers||9.9%||$123,860|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Genetics?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of genetics majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||17|
|Hispanic or Latino||60|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Genetics. About 5.3% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do Genetics Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in genetics was $31,250 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $29,225 (25th percentile) and $32,975 (75th percentile).
It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to genetics.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $83,600 to $97,340 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to genetics. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Genetics
Some degrees 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.
Find out what the typical degree level is for genetics careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||0.6%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.4%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||1.4%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||2.0%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||1.3%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.0%|
Online Genetics Programs
In 2017-2018, 93 schools offered a genetics program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||1||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||1||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||86||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Genetics Worth It?
The median salary for a genetics grad is $96,420 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 142% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,130,400 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Genetics
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to genetics.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology||14,048|
|Neurobiology & Neurosciences||8,716|
|Physiology & Pathology Sciences||8,072|
|Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology||6,799|
|Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences||5,493|
|Microbiological Sciences & Immunology||4,316|
|Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other)||3,131|
|Biomathematics & Bioinformatics||2,253|
|Pharmacology & Toxicology||1,167|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Domaina under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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