what degree do you need to become a Genetic Counselor
majors for Genetic Counselors

Genetic Counselors

Other names for this job might include Cancer Genetic Counselor, Certified Genetic Counselor, Chromosomal Disorders Counselor, Clinical Coordinator, Pediatric Genetics, Coordinator of Genetic Services, Genetic Counselor, Hereditary Cancer Program Coordinator, Medical Science Liaison, Mitochondrial Disorders Counselor, Pediatric Genetic Counselor

  • $74570
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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Be A Genetic Counselor: What You Really Need

In this requirements guide for Genetic Counselors, you will find out what do you need to become a Genetic Counselor and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Genetic Counselor.

Degree required

Recommended degree level

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree

No degree

High School Diploma


Some college courses

Generally, employers are looking for Genetic Counselors who have a Master’s degree. They also prefer someone who is good in Reading Comprehension and Active Listening.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Genetic Counselor or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Genetic Counselors what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Genetic Counseling/Counselor

Genetic counselors typically need at least a master’s degree in genetic counseling or genetics, and some earn a Ph.D.


schools for Genetic Counselors

Interested in becoming A Genetic Counselor? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?
Click to start becoming a Genetic Counselor

How long does it take


You will need a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be A Genetic Counselor. Normally you will be required to have more than five years of experience.

For example: A surgeon have to complete 4 years of college plus an additional 5 to 7 years of specialized medical training to be able to do his/her job.

In terms of on-the-job training, you may need some training however you will be assumed that you will already have the necessary skills and work experience to perform the job.

How long does it take
2 to 4 years

Work experience
2 to 4 years
No experience

2 to 4 years

1 to 2 years

6 months to 1 year

0 to 1 month

Job training
0 to 1 month
0 to 1 month

1 to 3 months

No training

3 to 6 months

6 months to 1 year

Most Genetic Counselors have 2 to 4 years work experience and 0 to 1 month job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Requirements vary by state

The American Board of Genetic Counseling provides certification for genetic counselors. To become certified, a student must first complete a master’s degree program that is certified by the board. Some states currently require a license in genetic counseling, and other states have pending legislation for licensure. Certification is typically needed to get a license.

Skills required

We asked other Genetic Counselors if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Reading Comprehension what does this mean
2.Active Listening what does this mean
3.Complex Problem Solving what does this mean
4.Writing what does this mean
5.Speaking what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Genetic Counselors have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Concern for Others and Integrity.

1.Concern for Others
3.Attention to Detail
4.Self Control

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Genetic Counselors you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Biology what does this mean
2.Psychology what does this mean
3.Medicine and Dentistry what does this mean
4.Therapy and Counseling what does this mean
5.English Language what does this mean

As A Genetic Counselor, you may also be required to know how to use certain Medical software, Medical software and Medical software tools.

Benetech PRA (Medical software)
BRCAPRO (Medical software)
Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (Medical software)
CancerGene (Medical software)
CyrillicSoftware Cyrillic (Medical software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

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Career type

Healthcare and Medical Therapeutic Services

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Related to Genetic Counselors Requirements

Genetic Counselors requirements, how to become Genetic Counselors, degree required to be a Genetic Counselor, Genetic Counselors license and certifications, majors to be a Genetic Counselor, is it hard to become a Genetic Counselor and how long does it take

Additional resources

http://www.gceducation.org/Pages/default.aspx [schema type=”review” url=”https://www.owlguru.com/” name=”OwlGuru.com” description=”OwlGuru.com is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.” rev_name=”Genetic Counselors” rev_body=”Genetic Counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decisionmaking and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.” author=”Stanley Tan” user_review=”4.8″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]