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), 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

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

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

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

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

Level 3 Certificate Forensic Science (Applied Science)

  • Provider: NEWHAM SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
  • Start date: 11 October 2020
  • Location: London

PEARSON L3 NATIONAL EXTENDED DIPLOMA IN APPLIED SCIENCE (FORENSIC PATHWAY) FT (L3 LE)

  • Provider: CHESTERFIELD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 07 September 2021
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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