What Genetic Counseling Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, genetic counseling/counselor majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Genetic Counseling/Counselor Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Medicine and Dentistry - 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.
- Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Skills for Genetic Counseling/Counselor Majors
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to genetic counseling/counselor:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - 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 - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Abilities for Genetic Counseling/Counselor Majors
A major in genetic counseling/counselor will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
How Much Do Genetic Counseling Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
The median salary for someone in a career related to genetic counseling/counselor is $80,860. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Genetic Counseling
Some degrees associated with genetic counseling/counselor may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for genetic counseling/counselor careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
Online Genetic Counseling Programs
In the 2019-2020 academic year, 25 schools offered some type of genetic counseling/counselor program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||0||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Genetic Counseling Worth It?
The median salary for a genetic counseling/counselor grad is $80,860 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 103% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $819,200 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Trades Related to Genetic Counseling
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to genetic counseling/counselor.
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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