December 15, 2019
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How is the Job Outlook for Genetic Counselors?

When a person is deciding on earning a master’s degree in genetic counseling, they may wonder, “How is the job outlook for genetic counselors?” The profession is expected to grow rapidly between 2016 and 2026, with a 29 percent growth rate over those 10 years. The growth is likely due to the increase in the types and numbers of genetic tests available and the willingness of insurance companies to pay for those tests.

Related resource: Top 25 Campus-Based Genetic Counseling Master’s Programs

Employment Growth By Industry

One way to examine the job growth for genetic counselors is by industry. Local, state and private hospitals employ about 33 percent of genetic counselors, and this proportion of the total employment numbers is expected to remain about the same. Other top industries that employ genetic counselors include the clinics and offices of physicians. Employment in this industry is expected to grow. Other industries that employ genetic counselors include medical and scientific laboratories and colleges, universities and professional schools. About 8 percent of genetic counselors are self-employed.

Job Numbers By State

Some people prefer to search for jobs by starting with the location. It is important to know which states have the highest number of total genetic counseling jobs as well as the highest ratio of genetic counselors per citizens. The state of California has the largest number of genetic counselors, estimated at about 490 workers in this area of expertise. The other top states for total numbers of genetic counselors include Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. States or territories with the highest ratio of genetic counselors include Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, North Carolina, California, and Wisconsin.

Employment of Genetic Counselors By City or Area

Job searchers may also want to take a look at the employment of genetic counselors by city or area in the United States. Most genetic counseling jobs are located within metropolitan areas. This is due to the heavy concentration of research and healthcare facilities in cities. Some of the cities or areas with the greatest numbers of genetic counselors include New York City and Newark, Boston, San Francisco, and Oakland, Washington, D.C. and Alexandria and Minneapolis and St. Paul, explains the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Where the Growth Will Be for Genetic Counseling Jobs

The employment opportunities for genetic counselors will be in metropolitan areas with large hospitals, research laboratories, and universities. The cities with the highest expected growth rates for genetic counselors between 2016 and 2026 include Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, San Francisco and Oakland, Boston, Cleveland, and Seattle. Some other cities that are expected to have higher than average growth rates for the employment of genetic counselors include San Jose, Indianapolis, Columbus (Ohio) and Charlotte. Genetic counselors who are bilingual or who have a background in counseling and research may have the best employment prospects.

Knowing the job outlook for a profession makes it possible for a person to know if they will have a relatively easy time finding employment in the field. This area of expertise will continue to grow as more genetic tests become available and people rely on those tests for making informed decisions about their own and their child’s healthcare. Knowing the answer to “How is the job outlook for genetic counselors?” also helps a person plan where to live and where to search for employment opportunities.