Genetic Counselor

Kaitlyn Machado mods 22-24

Over all job description

Genetic counselors are trained specialists who determine risk factors for hereditary diseases and disorders in patients. They provide genetic testing and offer education and counseling to patients and their families.

Major job description

Genetic counselors analyze genetic information to identify patients or families at risk for specific disorders or syndromes.They explain diagnostic procedures such as chorionic. Provide genetic counseling in specified areas of clinical genetics such as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology and neurology. They assess patients' psychological or emotional needs such as those relating to stress, fear of test results, financial issues. They provide counseling to patient and family members by providing information, education, or reassurance. They determine or coordinate treatment plans by requesting laboratory services, reviewing genetics or counseling literature, and considering histories or diagnostic data.

Working conditions

Some common settings where genetic counselors work are: Medical genetics departments in a hospital/medical center setting. Specialist medical groups such as oncology, hematology, neurology, cardiology. Genetic counselors also work in administrative, teaching, laboratory and research areas.

Current salary

Genetic counselors typically earn between $50,000 and $100,000 a year depending on their position, level of expertise, and area of the U.S. or world where they practice.


Hospitals; state, local, and private: $66,410
Offices of physicians: $65,180
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private: $59,340

Education needed

Genetic counselors obtain a Master of Science degree from an accredited two-year graduate program in genetic counseling. Following graduation, genetic counselors become certified through the American Board of Genetic Counseling after passing board examinations. Academic Requirements

Job outlook

Employment of genetic counselors is projected to grow 29 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the growth will result in only about 700 new jobs over the 10-year period.
Ongoing technological innovations, including lab tests and developments in genomics, are giving counselors the opportunities to conduct more types of analyses. Cancer genomics, for example, can determine a patient’s risk for specific types of cancer. The number and types of tests that genetic counselors can administer and evaluate has increased over the past few years. Similarly, many types of genetic tests are covered by health insurance providers.