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Genetics Major

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Genetics

280 Master's Degrees Annually
343 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#188 in Popularity (Master's)
$96,420 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Genetics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many genetics graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Doctor’s Degree 343
Master’s Degree 280
Graduate Certificate 14

What Genetics Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to genetics and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Genetics Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in genetics should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills for Genetics Majors

A major in genetics prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for Genetics Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a genetics student include the following:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking 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).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Genetics Major?

People with a genetics degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Biological Science Professors 15.1% $82,550
Biological Scientists 8.0% $79,590
Clinical Research Coordinators 9.9% $123,860
Geneticists 8.0% $79,590
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists 13.4% $84,810
Molecular and Cellular Biologists 8.0% $79,590
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Genetics?

280 Master's Degrees Annually
76% Percent Women
16% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 76% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of genetics majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Genetics Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 22
Black or African American 6
Hispanic or Latino 12
White 186
International Students 34
Other Races/Ethnicities 20

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Genetics, too. About 12.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • Taiwan
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Genetics Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $83,600 to $97,340 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to genetics. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Genetics Major  ( 83600 to 97340 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with genetics may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to genetics have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 22.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.3%
Master’s Degree 13.5%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.0%
Doctoral Degree 26.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 31.5%

Online Genetics Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 98 schools offered some type of genetics program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 1 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 9 3
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 82 2
Post-Master’s 6 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 90 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Genetics Worth It?

The median salary for a genetics grad is $96,420 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 142% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,130,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to genetics.

Major Number of Grads
General Biology 98,638
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 14,004
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 9,504
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 7,844
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 6,987
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 5,671
Microbiological Sciences & Immunology 4,469
Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other) 3,646
Biotechnology 3,591
Zoology 2,974
Biomathematics & Bioinformatics 2,404
Pharmacology & Toxicology 1,148
Botany/Plant Biology 684
Molecular Medicine 71

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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