Genetic Scientists


Genetic Scientists


Genetic scientists, or geneticists, study heredity. They study plants as well as animals, including humans. Geneticists conduct research on how characteristics are passed from one generation to the next through the genes present in each cell of an organism. This research often involves manipulating or altering particular genetic characteristics to better understand how genetic systems work. For instance, genetic scientists may breed a family of mice with a tendency toward high blood pressure to test the effects of exercise ...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



An internship, volunteer position, or part-time job related to ge





Personality Traits



The starting salary for genetic scientists with a bachelor's degree hired by the federal government at the GS-5 entry level was $30,113 in 2020. For those with a master's degree, who qualified to start at the GS-7 or GS-9 levels, the beginning salary was $37,301 and $45,627, respectively. Doctoral degree holders who qualified to start at the GS-11 level earned $55,204.

In May 2018, accor...

Work Environment

Genetic scientists spend most of their time in laboratories, designing and conducting research experiments. Most of these experiments will take many hours and yield few publishable results. But while breakthrough discoveries occur rarely and often involve hours of repetitive work, they can result in patents and significant royalties, not to mention the payoff of lives saved or diseases eliminat...


The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for biochemists (a category that includes genetic scientists) will grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2028. Interest in genetic research has exploded in the past decade, with breakthrough discoveries bringing greater attention to the exciting possibilities of finding genetic causes and cures for diseases. This sugg...