Geneticist

Geneticists study genes to work out how cells and organisms behave.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends

How to become a geneticist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You'll need a degree or a postgraduate master's qualification in genetics, or a related subject which covers genetics.

Degrees and postgraduate courses include:

  • genetics
  • biology
  • biochemistry
  • molecular biology
  • life sciences
  • biological sciences

Employers may expect you to have, or be working towards, a PhD.

Integrated master's qualifications such as MBiolSci, MBiol or MSci can be studied at university. These courses combine independent research and can lead directly onto study for a PhD.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
  • 3 A levels, including at least one science subject
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You may improve your career prospects by joining a professional body like The Genetics Society.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in genetics from The Genetics Society and the The British Society for Genetic Medicine.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • science skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to read English
  • you will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • using laboratory techniques to prepare and analyse samples of genetic tissue
  • recording and interpreting the results of experiments and tests
  • using data and statistics to develop computer models of genes
  • writing reports for other professionals
  • reporting and publishing your findings in scientific papers
  • planning lectures and teaching students
  • supervising, training and mentoring other laboratory staff

Working environment

You could work at a university, in a laboratory or at a research facility.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

As a research geneticist, with experience you may be able to work your way up to laboratory supervisor or clinical study manager. Lecturing in a university or teaching may also be an option. 

You could move into scientific sales or, with further studies, qualify as a genetic counsellor.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a geneticist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Analytical and Forensic Science)

  • Provider: Solihull College & University Centre
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Solihull

Applied Science-Forensic Science

  • Provider: John Madejski Academy
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Reading

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