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5 Careers for Genetic Counselors

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in counseling, you may be wondering which degrees are best to obtain and which career options may be the most rewarding for patient care as well as lucrative. Genetic counseling is a great option and the job outlook is showing that the more genetic counselors the better. College students interested in obtaining a Master of Science degree in genetics can utilize their degrees to work in 5 great careers for genetic counselors. A genetic counselor is an extremely important member of the counseling world. Their knowledge of understanding medical genetics and decoding family history makes them crucial. But what exactly is genetic counseling? What do we do with genetic information once we learn it? What makes understanding genetic test results a viable career choice? Keep reading to learn more about this as well as 5 great career options for a genetic counselor…

What is Genetic Counseling?

According to “What is a Genetic Counselor?,” another published piece here on Top Counseling Schools, “A genetic counselor is a health professional who will meet with patients throughout the course of their workday. The counselor has more than one aspect of their job. They will take a family history, learn the reason they are coming in for genetic testing and provide emotional support during the entire testing process.

There are clinical genetic counselors who will consult with individuals and families about their genetic testing as well as the results. There are also counselors who work in the research aspect of the field, which means they might gather and analyze data as a result of the testing.”

The genetic counseling process is quite in-depth. Understanding and sharing test results is not only important, it is emotional for patients. Since these health care professionals research patients’ family medical histories for indications of genetic diseases or genetic conditions, and provide counseling services, potential job candidates should be aware of what is expected of them in terms of education and acquired counseling skills. Not only must they obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in the field, they must also pass certification examinations required by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.

5 Careers for Genetic Counselors…

Clinical Researcher

Genetic researchers are scholars who support or refute data from clinical studies, interpret DNA tests, and prepare clinical reports relating to inheritable diseases. The goal of a genetics researcher is to study diseases and conditions to gain a better understanding of their symptoms and effects. Genetic counselors are qualified to conduct basic or applied research because they have been trained to recognize common genetic disorders. Their knowledge will strengthen their findings and help scientists and pharmacology companies create or improve medications that treat inheritable diseases. Conferences for HR professionals in the medical field train attendees to recruit certified genetic counselors to work as medical researchers.

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Medical Consultant

Epidemiologists, neonatologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists, and immunologists are 5 types of doctors who require assistance to assess whether patients’ conditions are inherited or acquired. The National Society of Genetic Counselors also provides HR conferences with a list of doctors who require consultant services. As medical consultants, genetic counselors collaborate with physicians to improve the efficiency and accuracy of diagnoses and treatments. Genetic counselors also advise patients who are at risk of inheriting a genomic disease.

Genetic Scientist

Genetic scientists are trained to perform experiments and conduct research in areas of cytogenetics, DNA, proteomics, gene-therapy, and microbial genetics. Genetic scientists also study the origin and causes of genomic diseases and conditions and suggest ways to prevent them, such as genomic medicine. Conferences for HR personnel who work for medical companies teach human resource professionals what qualifications genetic counselors need to be hired as genetic scientists.

College Lecturer

Genetics professors teach students about the history, theories, and advancements in genetics. Genetics lecturers should create stimulating learning environments that inspire students to pursue careers in genetic counseling. Genetic counselors who possess excellent interpersonal skills are ideal candidates. Human resource departments at most colleges often partner with HR professional conferences to recruit genetic counselors for lecturer positions.

Genetic Engineer

Genetic engineers are responsible for studying the genes and microorganisms of all living forms. Genetic counselors who choose this career work in laboratories to identify gene patterns, DNA structures, and gene content traits. Genetic engineers document the latest advancements in the field and are required to implement their findings for developmental purposes. Genetic engineers also work in the agricultural profession to develop genetically modified crops or in animal science to evaluate animals’ genetic value for breeding purposes.

Entering the World of Genetic Counseling…

These 5 careers for genetic counselors are just a few of the options available. Genetic counselors help prospective parents with family histories of genetic disorders birth healthy babies and advise legislators about enacting laws to protect people who suffer from genetic disorders. Physicians’ decisions regarding a person’s health depend on knowing patients’ genetic risks for diseases. Genetic counselors can help otherwise healthy patients with early screening options such as a cancer screening and suggest steps to prevent such diseases. Managing or preventing diseases takes a team effort. Genetic counselors are often the unsung heroes who motivate patients to make the lifestyle changes needed to live healthier lives.

For additional information about careers in genetic counseling, potential candidates should contact hiring agencies that participate in human resources conferences offered by medical associations. The National Society of Genetic Counselors website also offers invaluable information about additional careers for genetic counselors. If you are looking to access genetic counseling services for yourself or a loved one, you can reach out to health care providers or you can also find this information on the National Society of Genetic Counselors website.

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