Example Career: Geneticists
Research and study the inheritance of traits at the molecular, organism or population level. May evaluate or treat patients with genetic disorders.
What Job Titles Geneticists Might Have
- Clinical Genetics Laboratory Chief
- Laboratory Director
- Medical Geneticist
- Research Scientist
What Geneticists Do
- Review, approve, or interpret genetic laboratory results.
- Evaluate, diagnose, or treat genetic diseases.
- Maintain laboratory notebooks that record research methods, procedures, and results.
- Write grants and papers or attend fundraising events to seek research funds.
- Attend clinical and research conferences and read scientific literature to keep abreast of technological advances and current genetic research findings.
- Supervise or direct the work of other geneticists, biologists, technicians, or biometricians working on genetics research projects.
- Collaborate with biologists and other professionals to conduct appropriate genetic and biochemical analyses.
- Search scientific literature to select and modify methods and procedures most appropriate for genetic research goals.
- Prepare results of experimental findings for presentation at professional conferences or in scientific journals.
- Instruct medical students, graduate students, or others in methods or procedures for diagnosis and management of genetic disorders.
- Evaluate genetic data by performing appropriate mathematical or statistical calculations and analyses.
- Extract deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or perform diagnostic tests involving processes such as gel electrophoresis, Southern blot analysis, and polymerase chain reaction analysis.
- Plan or conduct basic genomic and biological research related to areas such as regulation of gene expression, protein interactions, metabolic networks, and nucleic acid or protein complexes.
- Create or use statistical models for the analysis of genetic data.
- Maintain laboratory safety programs and train personnel in laboratory safety techniques.
- Conduct family medical studies to evaluate the genetic basis for traits or diseases.
- Verify that cytogenetic, molecular genetic, and related equipment and instrumentation is maintained in working condition to ensure accuracy and quality of experimental results.
- Design and maintain genetics computer databases.
- Confer with information technology specialists to develop computer applications for genetic data analysis.
- Develop protocols to improve existing genetic techniques or to incorporate new diagnostic procedures.
- Design sampling plans or coordinate the field collection of samples such as tissue specimens.
- Analyze determinants responsible for specific inherited traits, and devise methods for altering traits or producing new traits.
- Plan curatorial programs for species collections that include acquisition, distribution, maintenance, or regeneration.
What Geneticists Should Be Good At
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Geneticists Should Be Interested In
- Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
What Geneticists Need to Learn
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.