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Master's Degree in Genetics: Salary & Jobs

A master's degree program in genetics gives students the necessary knowledge needed to perform several different scientific jobs. Find out about some of the available jobs for this degree and the expected job growth and median salaries for each.

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Graduates with a master's degree in genetics are prepared for several different careers involving science and/or health. Some of these graduates may prefer to work in a laboratory setting, while others prefer interacting with people; careers for both groups are available. Here we discuss a few of the available careers for those with a master's in genetics.

Related Careers for a Master's Degree in Genetics

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Genetic Counselors $74,120 29%
Natural Sciences Managers $119,850 3%
Epidemiologists $70,820 6%
Health Educators $53,070 12%
Biochemists and Biophysicists $82,180 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Descriptions

Genetic Counselors

Genetic counselors need a master's degree in genetics or genetic counseling to counsel patients on their inherited conditions. These counselors may work with individuals, couples or families to discuss their risk for birth defects or other genetic disorders after taking extensive family and medical histories. These counselors also consider genetic information for genetic risks and then talk with patients about their testing options, as well as treatment options should a condition be detected. Genetic counselors must be able to clearly communicate with families and educate them about their options, conditions and treatments and maintain detailed documentation and reports of all their cases.

Natural Sciences Managers

Natural sciences managers usually hold a bachelor's, master's or doctorate in a scientific discipline, such as biology, chemistry, genetics and more, and work their way into management after years of being a scientist. These managers are responsible for supervising and coordinating the work of various scientists working together to conduct research, test products, create new products and more. Natural sciences managers may hire scientists and staff members and must check their staff's work for accuracy and proper methodology. They also ensure all procedures and regulations are followed and update their clients on any findings and progress.

Epidemiologists

Epidemiologists need a master's degree to study patterns of injuries and illnesses. A master's degree in genetics could help these professionals add a genetic perspective to analyzing data on the cause of a disease and how/why it is spreading. Epidemiologists work with health officials and policymakers to determine ways to stop the spread of these conditions, as well as how to increase public awareness. Most of these professionals specialize in a particular area, like environmental health, infectious diseases, chronic diseases and more.

Health Educators

Some advanced health educator positions may require a master's degree, and a background in genetics may prove beneficial in explaining various health conditions to the public. These educators identify the needs of their community and develop informative programs to explain and raise awareness about different health-related topics. Their overall goal is to improve wellness in a community and advocate for necessary health-related resources. Health educators are consistently evaluating and improving their programs based on the needs and feedback of the community they serve.

Biochemists and Biophysicists

A master's degree may qualify an individual for an entry-level position as a biochemist or biophysicist. These scientists look at the chemical and physical factors of biological processes, which could include genetic factors. They conduct various experiments and projects looking at the makeup of diseases, cell development and more, as well as the effects that drugs and other substances have on these processes. These scientists must stay up to date on current developments in the field, as well as present their findings in technical reports and research papers for other scientists to read.

A master's degree in genetics can be applied to several health- and/or science-related careers that typically require at least a master's degree. These careers vary in job duties, but are all expected to have positive job growth in the coming years and median salaries over $50,000.

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