Clinical Embryologist: Job Description, Duties and Outlook

Clinical embryologists require significant formal education. Learn about job duties, requirements, job outlook, and potential salary to see if this is the right career for you. View article »

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  • 0:00 Essential Information
  • 0:35 Job Description
  • 1:05 Job Duties
  • 1:46 Salary and Job Outlook

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Video Transcript

Essential Information

Required Education Master's degree in reproductive science, developmental biology, or related field; Ph.D. or M.D. often preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% for all medical scientists*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $93,730**

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Clinical embryologists are scientists who work with the human reproductive process and employ embryo fertilization techniques. While some embryologists specialize in research and are responsible for creating and implementing new technologies in the field of embryology, clinical embryologists typically work in hospitals or fertility clinics. Some clinical embryologists hold a master's degree in reproductive clinical science, developmental biology, or a related field, but most employers require a Ph.D. or M.D.

Job Description

Clinical embryologists need to be well-versed in techniques such as embryo evaluation and transfer, cryogenics, semen preparation, and ART micro-manipulation. Communication skills and empathy are essential in this field. Clients are often experiencing fertility issues, and the embryologist must be able to effectively explain complex procedures and options, as well as deal with stress brought on by this process.

Job Duties

Clinical embryologists assess a patient's medical and reproductive history to determine which procedure will provide optimal results. Embryologists must work well in a team environment to ensure that procedures are handled correctly and conducted in a timely manner.

Embryologists work with embryos and sperm, and spend hours isolating cultures and micro-manipulating specimens. They work with highly specialized equipment and educate other staff about the use and function of assisted reproductive technologies. Clinical embryologists also evaluate and report on the viability of new technologies in the field prior to implementing them in the clinic.

Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated an 8% increase in job prospects for medical scientists (which includes clinical embryologists) from 2014-2024. This is about as fast as average for all occupations. As of May 2015, medical scientists earned a mean annual salary of $93,730.


In summary, clinical embryologists work with the human reproductive process and embryo fertilization techniques. Career opportunities in this field should grow at an average rate in the coming years.

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