Career Awareness

Genetic Counselor

A genetic counselor is trained in human genetics and genetic counseling. The concentration in genetic counseling helps patients adjust to the information they are given. 

They inquire with the patient about personal and family medical history.  A genetic counselor may be able to tell them:

  • Risk of certain genes or conditions
  • Choices the patient has about whether to get genetic testing
  • Chances of passing a genetic disorder to their child
  • Options and risks of genetic testing for the patient, a family member or an unborn child
  • Benefits of telling their family about an inherited disorder
  • How inherited disorders may affect the patient and patient's family
 Daily Tasks
Participate in the development and implementation of genetic counseling services in the advancement and translation of personalized genomic medicine. Partner with the Center for Individualized Medicine (CIM), laboratory and clinical staff in the development of tools and processes necessary to promote the integration of personalized medicine across a broad range of clinical disciplines.
 
 Skills/Talents
Multitasking skills, attention to detail, effective oral and written presentation and communication skills, superior organizational skills and be able to work independently. Ability to adjust to change, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, desire for continuing education. 
 
 Work Setting

Clinical laboratory setting

 
 Work Hours
Variable schedule, including weekend hours, dictated by assignments and workload. Typically 8AM-5PM or 7:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday
 
 Education
Master of Science or Master of Arts in Genetic Counseling granted by a genetic counseling program accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) required. Eligible for active candidate status as defined by ABGC or board certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG) or the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) necessary. 
 
 Qualifications
Meet educational requirements and professional knowledge of the rapidly changing principles and practice of medical, clinical and laboratory genetics required. Computer skills appropriate for laboratory and clinical case management necessary.
 
 Recommended High School Classes
College prep, computer applications, health sciences, advanced biology, advanced chemistry, advanced English, advanced math, psychology, statistics, leadership, public speaking