Geneticists

Overview
Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Experience

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Education

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Job Training

Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Examples

These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.

Research and study the inheritance of traits at the molecular, organism or population level. May evaluate or treat patients with genetic disorders.

Salary Salary

Salary at 10th Percentile: $49K
Salary at 25th Percentile: $64K
Median Salary: $85K
Salary at 75th Percentile: $105K
Salary at 90th Percentile: $137K

Demand
Career Demand by State Career Demand by State Legend
Core Tasks

Supervise or direct the work of other geneticists, biologists, technicians, or biometricians working on genetics research projects.

Maintain laboratory notebooks that record research methods, procedures, and results.

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.

Prepare results of experimental findings for presentation at professional conferences or in scientific journals.

Search scientific literature to select and modify methods and procedures most appropriate for genetic research goals.

Write grants and papers or attend fundraising events to seek research funds.

Review, approve, or interpret genetic laboratory results.

Attend clinical and research conferences and read scientific literature to keep abreast of technological advances and current genetic research findings.

Evaluate genetic data by performing appropriate mathematical or statistical calculations and analyses.

Analyze determinants responsible for specific inherited traits, and devise methods for altering traits or producing new traits.

Extract deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or perform diagnostic tests involving processes such as gel electrophoresis, Southern blot analysis, and polymerase chain reaction analysis.

Evaluate, diagnose, or treat genetic diseases.

Collaborate with biologists and other professionals to conduct appropriate genetic and biochemical analyses.

Instruct medical students, graduate students, or others in methods or procedures for diagnosis and management of genetic disorders.

Create or use statistical models for the analysis of genetic data.

Maintain laboratory safety programs and train personnel in laboratory safety techniques.

Verify that cytogenetic, molecular genetic, and related equipment and instrumentation is maintained in working condition to ensure accuracy and quality of experimental results.

Confer with information technology specialists to develop computer applications for genetic data analysis.

Develop protocols to improve existing genetic techniques or to incorporate new diagnostic procedures.

Design sampling plans or coordinate the field collection of samples such as tissue specimens.

Conduct family medical studies to evaluate the genetic basis for traits or diseases.

Design and maintain genetics computer databases.

Participate in the development of endangered species breeding programs or species survival plans.

Plan curatorial programs for species collections that include acquisition, distribution, maintenance, or regeneration.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Analytical or scientific software
SAS
Application server software
GitHub
Data base user interface and query software
Structured query language SQL
Data mining software
Golden Helix HelixTree
Development environment software
Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
Electronic mail software
Email software
File versioning software
Git
Internet browser software
Web browser software
Medical software
Plate reader software
Object or component oriented development software
R
Office suite software
Microsoft Office
Operating system software
UNIX
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Word processing software
Microsoft Word
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Computer Equipment and Accessories
Laptop computers
Laboratory and scientific equipment
Capillary electrophoresis equipment
Laboratory supplies and fixtures
Robotic liquid handlers
Measuring and observing and testing instruments
Fast protein liquid chromatographs FPLC
Personal safety and protection
Safety gloves
Top 10 Knowledge Required
Biology
97%
Importance

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

English Language
86%
Importance

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Education and Training
75%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Mathematics
75%
Importance

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Chemistry
70%
Importance

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.

Computers and Electronics
61%
Importance

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Medicine and Dentistry
58%
Importance

Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Administration and Management
53%
Importance

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.

Personnel and Human Resources
50%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

Communications and Media
49%
Importance

Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Top 10 Skills
Reading Comprehension
85%
Importance

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Science
83%
Importance

Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Active Learning
80%
Importance

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Active Listening
80%
Importance

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
80%
Importance

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking
80%
Importance

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making
80%
Importance

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Speaking
80%
Importance

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing
80%
Importance

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Learning Strategies
78%
Importance

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Top 10 Abilities
Written Comprehension
95%
Importance

The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Written Expression
88%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Inductive Reasoning
85%
Importance

The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Oral Comprehension
85%
Importance

The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Oral Expression
85%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Category Flexibility
80%
Importance

The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Deductive Reasoning
80%
Importance

The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Problem Sensitivity
80%
Importance

The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Fluency of Ideas
78%
Importance

The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Information Ordering
78%
Importance

The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Top 10 Work Activities
Getting Information
96%
Importance

Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Analyzing Data or Information
92%
Importance

Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Documenting/Recording Information
92%
Importance

Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
91%
Importance

Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
89%
Importance

Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Processing Information
89%
Importance

Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Interacting With Computers
88%
Importance

Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
84%
Importance

Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
83%
Importance

Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Thinking Creatively
83%
Importance

Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Detailed Work Activities

Supervise scientific or technical personnel.

Research genetic characteristics or expression.

Plan biological research.

Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.

Record research or operational data.

Prepare proposal documents or grant applications.

Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.

Interpret research or operational data.

Attend conferences or workshops to maintain professional knowledge.

Analyze biological samples.

Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists.

Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.

Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.

Inspect equipment to ensure proper functioning.

Establish standards for medical care.

Develop software or applications for scientific or technical use.

Collaborate with technical specialists to resolve design or development problems.

Research diseases or parasites.

Develop technical or scientific databases.

Plan natural resources conservation or restoration programs.

Work Context
Electronic Mail

How often do you use electronic mail in this job?

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled

How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate

How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

Freedom to Make Decisions

How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

Face-to-Face Discussions

How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?

Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets

How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

Level of Competition

To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?

Structured versus Unstructured Work

To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?

Work With Work Group or Team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Frequency of Decision Making

How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?

Education
Majors   based on the broader career Biological Scientists, All Other
Major
Biology, General
Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Botany/Plant Biology
Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
Microbiological Sciences and Immunology
Zoology/Animal Biology
Genetics
Physiology, Pathology and Related Sciences
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
Biotechnology
Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, and Population Biology
Neurobiology and Neurosciences
Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
Applied Mathematics
Nutrition Sciences
Human Biology
Marine Sciences
Research and Experimental Psychology
Interests
Investigative
100%
Importance

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Artistic
62%
Importance

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Realistic
62%
Importance

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Conventional
43%
Importance

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Social
29%
Importance

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Enterprising
19%
Importance

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Top 10 Work Styles
Integrity
96%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Analytical Thinking
95%
Importance

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Attention to Detail
95%
Importance

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Persistence
90%
Importance

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Achievement/Effort
89%
Importance

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Initiative
86%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Dependability
84%
Importance

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Innovation
80%
Importance

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Independence
78%
Importance

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Cooperation
76%
Importance

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Work Values
Recognition
86%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Achievement
81%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Independence
81%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Working Conditions
72%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Relationships
53%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support
53%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.