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Summary Report for:
29-9092.00 - Genetic Counselors

Assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decisionmaking and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.

The occupation code you requested, 29-9099.02 (Genetic Counselors), is no longer in use. In the future, please use 29-9092.00 (Genetic Counselors) instead.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Genetic Counselor; Clinical Coordinator, Pediatric Genetics; Coordinator of Genetic Services; Genetic Counselor; Hereditary Cancer Program Coordinator; Medical Science Liaison; Prenatal and Pediatric Genetic Counselor; Reproductive Genetic Counseling Coordinator; Senior Genetic Counselor; Staff Genetic Counselor

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Interpret laboratory results and communicate findings to patients or physicians. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Discuss testing options and the associated risks, benefits and limitations with patients and families to assist them in making informed decisions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze genetic information to identify patients or families at risk for specific disorders or syndromes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide counseling to patient and family members by providing information, education, or reassurance. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Write detailed consultation reports to provide information on complex genetic concepts to patients or referring physicians. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide genetic counseling in specified areas of clinical genetics such as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology and neurology. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine or coordinate treatment plans by requesting laboratory services, reviewing genetics or counseling literature, and considering histories or diagnostic data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Interview patients or review medical records to obtain comprehensive patient or family medical histories, and document findings. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assess patients' psychological or emotional needs such as those relating to stress, fear of test results, financial issues, and marital conflicts to make referral recommendations or assist patients in managing test outcomes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide patients with information about the inheritance of conditions such as breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancer; cardiovascular disease; Alzheimer's disease; and diabetes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in genetics. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare or provide genetics-related educational materials to patients or medical personnel. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Explain diagnostic procedures such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS), ultrasound, fetal blood sampling, and amniocentesis. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Refer patients to specialists or community resources. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design and conduct genetics training programs for physicians, graduate students, other health professions or the general community. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Evaluate or make recommendations for standards of care or clinical operations, ensuring compliance with applicable regulations, ethics, legislation, or policies. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Engage in research activities related to the field of medical genetics or genetic counseling. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect for or share with research projects patient data related to specific genetic disorders or syndromes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify funding sources and write grant proposals for eligible programs or services. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Benchtop centrifuges — Table top centrifuges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cryostats See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Darkfield microscopes — Differential interference microscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Deoxyribonucleic sequence analyzers — Automated deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Fluorescent microscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Gel documentation systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Microplate readers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ultracentrifuges — Benchtop ultracentrifuges; High speed centrifuges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • X ray radiography examination equipment — Phosphor imagers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — FTree *; Pedigree drawing and management software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; FileMaker Pro software; Microsoft Access See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Medical software — Benetech PRA; BRCAPRO *; SynDiag; Wageningen MapChart (see all 12 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Record patient medical histories. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop medical treatment plans. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Gather medical information from patient histories. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Train medical providers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advise patients on effects of health conditions or treatments. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interact with patients to build rapport or provide emotional support. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop healthcare quality and safety procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain medical or professional knowledge. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare healthcare training materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct health or safety training programs. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 100% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 68% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 57% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 57% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 83% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 70% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 57% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 52% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 52% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 52% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 30% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Fairly serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 35% responded “Moderately competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
100   Master's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: SIA

  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $32.45 hourly, $67,500 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 2,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 1,500
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Genetic Counselors external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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