Molecular Geneticist

Study heredity at the molecular level.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$39,000 – $102,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Molecular Geneticists do?

As a Molecular Geneticist, you may have difficulty explaining your job to people who aren’t Scientists themselves. You participate in cutting-edge research, figuring out how genes combine and contribute to disease, and the job is extremely difficult to explain to the average person. As a result, you may not be able to impress people with the work you do as a Molecular Geneticist, as they may not quite grasp how challenging it truly is.

As a Molecular Geneticist, you spend the majority of your day in the laboratory. You work with patient samples, analyzing their genes to determine their risk for genetic diseases. To do this, you may have to develop your testing methods yourself, as this is an incredibly new field of study and tests haven’t yet been discovered for all diseases. You then write reports, detailing what you found, how you found it, and what can be done about it.

You may be asked to meet with patients to discuss your findings and what they mean, but it’s more likely that you’ll explain your findings to Doctors, and allow the Doctors to relay the results to their patients. This allows you to spend more time in the laboratory, working on your research.

You may spend a significant portion of your time reading journals, attending conferences, and studying online reports about molecular genetics. You’ll need to keep your skills current so you can improve your techniques.

Should I be a Molecular Geneticist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Clinical Molecular Geneticist, Clinical Molecular Genetics Laboratory Director

    How to become a Molecular Geneticist

    Most Molecular Geneticists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaig9&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2811%25%29|master%27s+%288%25%29|doctorate+%2881%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,81
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