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Genetic Counseling Major

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Genetic Counseling

$80,860 Median Salary

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

Genetic Counseling/Counselor majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • 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

A major in genetic counseling/counselor prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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:

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  • 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.

Median Salary for a Genetic Counseling Major  80,860
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some degrees associated with genetic counseling/counselor may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for genetic counseling/counselor careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 100.0%

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
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 24 2
Post-Master’s 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!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to genetic counseling/counselor.

Major Number of Grads
Mental Health Counseling/Counselor 6,851
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling 5,728
Other Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions 3,818
Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling 3,308
Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician 2,805
Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling 2,389
Clinical/Medical Social Work 2,060
Clinical Pastoral Counseling/Patient Counseling 273

References

*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.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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