To become a geneticist, an extensive education is generally required; most people with jobs in the field have a medical degree. Most geneticist jobs involve working in a laboratory with equipment and samples of the human genome. It is common to work with molecules of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), which determines most biological characteristics of a person. Such work can take place in the field of medicine, while other geneticist jobs can be found in agriculture or forensics. One’s career can focus strictly on science, while specialized knowledge is sometimes applied to teaching or marketing.
Many geneticist jobs are designed around discovering aspects of the genome not known before, which can require years of research. These often focus on finding ways to treat or prevent birth defects and diseases. A typical work environment can be a medical lab or in a clinical setting providing direct support to physicians or even patients and families. Consultants can also work with insurance providers and other health care companies, offering expertise about technological breakthrough, or new treatments for specific conditions.
Geneticists can work in the many areas of biology. In medicine, they can administer various kinds of therapies, as well as be involved with reproductive issues and organ transplantation. The scientific field also incorporates jobs in sequencing the human genome and that of other animals. Various aspects of biotechnology are often the focus of geneticist jobs as work on technological breakthroughs becomes more common.
Another area in which geneticist jobs are common is agriculture. Many foods such as fruits and vegetables can be modified to tolerate more diverse weather conditions or resist insects. Some geneticists also help develop pesticides based on biological compounds, while others provide assistance with breeding livestock, for example. One can also work in a zoo or other facility that handles wildlife to improve animal health on a genetic level.
Laboratory work is often performed in the field of forensics, in which a geneticist can help convict criminals using techniques such as DNA sampling. Even fragments of genetic material can be enough to place someone at the scene of a crime, or it can prove one was not involved. Such jobs can take place at law enforcement or even legal agencies. A geneticist can also manage a laboratory, help to market and sell scientific products, or even teach related subjects in an educational setting, including a university, where instructor or researcher positions are often held.