Geneticist

Alternative titles for this job include

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

Average salary (a year)

£18,821 Starter

to

£47,642 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends

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How to become

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How to become a geneticist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You'll need a life science 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 science

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.

It's useful to gain experience of laboratory and research techniques during your degree through internships or year placements.

If you want to work in the NHS you can apply to the Scientist Training Programme (STP) after your degree where you can specialise in genomics work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science
  • 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

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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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

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What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • use laboratory techniques to prepare and analyse samples of genetic tissue
  • record and interpret the results of experiments and tests
  • use data and statistics to develop computer models of genes
  • write reports for other professionals
  • report and publish your findings in scientific papers
  • plan lectures and teach students
  • supervise, train and mentor 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

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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.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

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

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Courses In England

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