A geneticist is a biologist who studies the inheritance of traits in living organisms. Geneticists extract DNA and perform tests, then interpret the laboratory results. They apply their knowledge of statistics and math to evaluate genetic data, and keep detailed records to record their results. Some geneticists study genetic disorders carried from parents to children, and research potential cures and treatments. They may also teach medical students and graduate students, and may need to write grant proposals to seek research funds. Other geneticists diagnose hereditary conditions in patients and treat them. Geneticists may also consult on criminal cases to help officials positively identify suspects using DNA analysis, or team up with archaeologists to study ancient organic matter. Other geneticists focus on improving agricultural crop resilience and productivity. Geneticists continue to read and study throughout their careers and keep up with changes in the field. Many involved in research attend and may also present their findings at conferences. Most positions require a master’s degree or Ph.D. in genetics, and many also require work experience in the field. Clinical geneticists must complete a Doctor of Medicine degree, followed by a medical residency in genetics. A license is required for all physicians and may be required for some other positions.
What they do:
Research and study the inheritance of traits at the molecular, organism or population level. May evaluate or treat patients with genetic disorders.
On the job, you would:
Supervise or direct the work of other geneticists, biologists, technicians, or biometricians working on genetics research projects.
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.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
reading work related information
using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
read and understand what is written
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
group things in different ways
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
see hidden patterns
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Object or component oriented development software
Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
post-doctoral training or master's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.