Summary Report for:
19-1029.03 - Geneticists
Research and study the inheritance of traits at the molecular, organism or population level. May evaluate or treat patients with genetic disorders.
Sample of reported job titles: Medical Geneticist, Research Scientist, Scientist
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | 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
- Review, approve, or interpret genetic laboratory results.
- Evaluate, diagnose, or treat genetic diseases.
- Maintain laboratory notebooks that record research methods, procedures, and results.
- Write grants and papers or attend fundraising events to seek research funds.
- Attend clinical and research conferences and read scientific literature to keep abreast of technological advances and current genetic research findings.
- Supervise or direct the work of other geneticists, biologists, technicians, or biometricians working on genetics research projects.
- Collaborate with biologists and other professionals to conduct appropriate genetic and biochemical analyses.
- Search scientific literature to select and modify methods and procedures most appropriate for genetic research goals.
- Prepare results of experimental findings for presentation at professional conferences or in scientific journals.
- Instruct medical students, graduate students, or others in methods or procedures for diagnosis and management of genetic disorders.
- Evaluate genetic data by performing appropriate mathematical or statistical calculations and analyses.
- Extract deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or perform diagnostic tests involving processes such as gel electrophoresis, Southern blot analysis, and polymerase chain reaction analysis.
- Plan or conduct basic genomic and biological research related to areas such as regulation of gene expression, protein interactions, metabolic networks, and nucleic acid or protein complexes.
- Create or use statistical models for the analysis of genetic data.
- Maintain laboratory safety programs and train personnel in laboratory safety techniques.
- Conduct family medical studies to evaluate the genetic basis for traits or diseases.
- Verify that cytogenetic, molecular genetic, and related equipment and instrumentation is maintained in working condition to ensure accuracy and quality of experimental results.
- Design and maintain genetics computer databases.
- Confer with information technology specialists to develop computer applications for genetic data analysis.
- Develop protocols to improve existing genetic techniques or to incorporate new diagnostic procedures.
- Design sampling plans or coordinate the field collection of samples such as tissue specimens.
- Analyze determinants responsible for specific inherited traits, and devise methods for altering traits or producing new traits.
- Plan curatorial programs for species collections that include acquisition, distribution, maintenance, or regeneration.
- Analytical or scientific software — RTI International SUDAAN; SAS JMP; SAS/Genetics; Ward Systems Group GeneHunter (see all 12 examples)
- Application server software — GitHub
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software; HapMap; Microsoft Access ; Structured query language SQL (see all 5 examples)
- Data mining software — Golden Helix HelixTree
- Development environment software — Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- File versioning software — Git
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — Plate reader software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++ ; Oracle Java ; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl ; R (see all 6 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Linux ; UNIX
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Binocular optical microscopes
- Desktop computers
- Dropping pipettes — Micropipettes
- Electron guns — Phosphorimagers
- Gas chromatographs — Gas chromatography equipment
- Gel documentation systems — Gel electrophoresis equipment
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography — High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
- Instrumentation for capillary electrophoresis — Capillary electrophoresis equipment
- Liquid chromatographs — Fast protein liquid chromatographs FPLC
- Mass spectrometers — Mass spectrometry equipment
- Microbiology analyzers — Flow cytometers
- Microplate readers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Rapid amplification or complementary deoxyribonucleic acid ends RACE technology products — Polymerase chain reaction PCR equipment
- Robotic or automated liquid handling systems — Robotic liquid handlers
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- 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.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- 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.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- 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).
- 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).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- 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.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- 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.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- 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.
Detailed Work Activities
- Interpret research or operational data.
- Record research or operational data.
- Research diseases or parasites.
- Prepare proposal documents or grant applications.
- Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.
- Attend conferences or workshops to maintain professional knowledge.
- Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
- Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
- Research genetic characteristics or expression.
- Analyze biological samples.
- Plan biological research.
- Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
- Inspect equipment to ensure proper functioning.
- Collaborate with technical specialists to resolve design or development problems.
- Develop software or applications for scientific or technical use.
- Develop technical or scientific databases.
- Establish standards for medical care.
- Plan natural resources conservation or restoration programs.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 77% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 60% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 70% responded “More than half the time.”
- Contact With Others — 37% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Time Pressure — 27% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 33% responded “Important results.”
- Level of Competition — 43% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Letters and Memos — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 37% responded “High responsibility.”
- Consequence of Error — 27% responded “Very serious.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 47% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 27% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
|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 pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: IAR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- 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.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- 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.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- 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.
- 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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Biological Scientists, All Other.
Employment data for Biological Scientists, All Other.
Industry data for Biological Scientists, All Other.
|Median wages (2020)||$41.00 hourly, $85,290 annual|
|Employment (2019)||44,700 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Slower than average (1% to 2%)|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||3,600|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Association for Cancer Research
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Association of Anthropological Genetics
- American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics
- American Genetic Association
- American Medical Association
- American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- American Society for Cell Biology
- American Society for Microbiology
- Botanical Society of America
- Genetics Society of America
- International Genetic Epidemiology Society
- Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
- Society for Developmental Biology
- Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders
- Society for the Study of Evolution
- The American Society of Human Genetics