Genetic Counselor

Job Description

Genetic counselors offer people advice and information about medical genetics, using their focused graduate degrees and training as health professionals.

Biology, genetics, psychology, public health, nursing, and similar fields all provide a springboard into this discipline.

When individuals want to undergo genetic testing to assess their disease risk, genetic counselors offer vital help with improving peoples' comprehension of genetic risk factors.

They highlight the meaning of genetics and disease as it relates to family, psychological condition, and overall medical care, and assist people in accepting these factors.




Genetic counselors also research family medical history, aiding individuals in pinpointing potential genetic predispositions so that they can get the tests they need most. 

They educate patients on the risks of contracting particular ailments based on genetic information and family histories.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Performing analyses on patient and family histories

  • Conducting genetic testing procedures

  • Performing genetic risk exams and consult patients

  • Educating individuals, family members, and loved ones on patient health risks

  • Counseling patients upon diagnosis and assist with management.





Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.


Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 


Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.


Working Conditions


Genetic counselors typically work in clinical settings such as hospitals, doctor's offices, laboratories, research institutes, insurance companies, and various other areas throughout the healthcare industry. Most work the standard 40-hour week.




Salary Outlook