Genetic Scientists

Geneticist Studies Soybean Lineage

Genetic scientists, or geneticists, study heredity. They study plants as well as animals, including humans. Geneticists conduct research on how characteristics are passed from one generation to the next through the genes present in each cell of an organism. This research often involves manipulating or altering particular genetic characteristics to better understand how genetic systems work. For instance, genetic scientists may breed a family of mice with a tendency toward high blood pressure to test the effects of exercise or diet on that condition. Their work adds to the body of biological knowledge and helps prevent inheritable diseases. Genetics is a component of just about every area of biology and can be found in many biology subfields. Rapidly growing specialty areas include the fields of genetic counseling and medical genetics, and genomic medicine (the use of genetic information to improve health outcomes).

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Clinical Geneticists, Cytogeneticists, Genetic Counselors, Genetic Engineers, Geneticists, Laboratory Geneticists, Molecular Geneticists, Population Geneticists, Research Geneticists
Duties Study the inheritance of genetic traits at the molecular, organism, or population level
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, metropolitan areas
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Health
Experience An internship, volunteer position, or part-time job related to genetic science
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Organizational
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Professor or Manager
  • Genetic Scientist
  • Genetic Technician