Geneticist

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

Salary range: £18,000 to £60,000

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

How to become a geneticist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

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.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

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

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.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

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.