Genetic Counselors

What Genetic Counselors Do

Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects.

Work Environment

Genetic counselors work in university medical centers, private and public hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, and physicians’ offices. They work with families, patients, and other medical professionals. Most genetic counselors work full time.

How to Become a Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors typically need a master’s degree in genetic counseling or genetics, and board certification.


The median annual wage for genetic counselors was $85,700 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of genetic counselors is projected to grow 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing technological innovations, including improvements in lab tests and developments in genomics, which is the study of the whole genome, are giving counselors opportunities to conduct more types of analyses.

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