We cover many areas of genetics – both human and non-human – as well as research and clinical genetics. It’s not possible to cover all of the work that we do, but the following is a description of the two larger bodies of genetic technologists and their accountabilities.

 

Jump to a section:

CYTOGENETIC TECHNOLOGIST
MOLECULAR GENETICS TECHNOLOGIST
BIOCHEMICAL GENETICS TECHNOLOGIST

 


CYTOGENETIC TECHNOLOGIST

 • CYTOGENETICS:
  • The genetics of the cell, and involves the study of chromosomes and its relationship to disease.
• ABILITIES & KNOWLDEGE:
  • Cytogenetics
  • Ability to work independently
  • Organization skills
  • Attention to details
  • Fine instrument manipulation
• APPLICATIONS:
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Diagnosis of congenital chromosomal abnormalities
  • Diagnosis/risks of familial chromosome abnormalities
  • Evaluate malignancies and hematologic disorders for diagnostic or prognostic purposes.
• DUTIES:
  • Specimen processing
  • Sterile tissue culture technique
  • Microscope operation/Karyotyping
  • Molecular cytogenetics: Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH)
  • Analysis and interpretation of results
• REQUIREMENTS:
  • A baccalaureate degree in a scientific discipline:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry or Biochemistry
    • Diagnostic genetics
    • Microbiology or Virology
    • Molecular biology or pathology
    • Medical technology or clinical lab science
    • OR from an approved cytogenetics educational program
  • Either completion of a post-baccalaureate cytogenetics training program or a minimum of one year on-the-job training
  • Certification in cytogenetics from a nationally-approved credentialing agency
  • State licensure as required
• WORK ENVIRONMENT:
  • Private laboratory and/or industry
  • Hospital clinical laboratory
  • Laboratories in an academic and/or research setting
  • Laboratories located worldwide
  • Team-oriented atmosphere
  • Extreme shortage of cytogenetic technologist personnel and increasing demand
• JOB REWARDS:
  • Cytogenetic technologists are accorded the same level of responsibility in the laboratory as that of their counterparts in medical technology.
  • Involvement in a profession that is challenging and rewarding/A profession that is fast moving and on the cutting edge of diagnostics and research.
  • The work of the cytogenetic technologist has a direct impact on patient care, family counseling, and future medical care.
• WAGES & BENEFITS:
  • Nationally, the mean salary varies by geographical location, facility and duties.
  • Click here for the most recent salary survey.
  • Benefits may include: health and life insurance, deferred compensation, paid vacations and sick leave.
• EDUCATION:
  • High school preparation includes college preparatory courses as well as having a direction and interest in science.
  • Summer research programs offered in conjunction with academic and research institutions may provide invaluable hands-on experience in laboratory work.
    • Inquiries about these types of programs may be directed to the biology departments of local colleges or universities.
  • A baccalaureate degree in a scientific discipline (B.S. or B.A.)
  • Post-graduate training programs are available and lead to the qualifications for certification.
  • Graduate programs leading to advanced degrees in genetics and related sciences are also available.
  • Master’s degree may lead to a profession as a:
    • Laboratory manager or supervisor
    • Genetic counselor
    • Industrial production manager
    • Research associate with a company that manufacturers products for molecular biology
    • High school or junior college teacher.
  • Ph.D. or M.D. is generally necessary to direct a laboratory.
• CREDENTIALING:
  • Certification as a Technologist in Cytogenetics – CG(ASCP) – is recommended.
  • Eligibility routes for certification include either:
  • Complete a Board of Certification (BOC)-approved training program in cytogenetics
  • Complete an on-the-job-training program in a cytogenetics laboratory
  • Certification is required in most facilities in order to perform technologist duties.
• CYTOGENETIC STATEMENTS OF COMPETENCE:
    • The Statements of Competence is a thoughtful, comprehensive analysis of all the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful and competent cytogenetic technologist.
    • Click here to view the Cytogenetic Statements of Competence.

 


 MOLECULAR GENETICS TECHNOLOGIST
• MOLECULAR GENETCS
  • Utilizing nucleic acids (DNA/RNA) to discover the relationship between genetics and personal health.
• ABILITIES & KNOWLEDGE:
  • Molecular biology
  • Ability to work independently
  • Organization skills
  • Attention to details
  • Fine instrument manipulation
• APPLICATIONS:
  • Prenatal and pre-implantation diagnosis
  • Risk assessment for familial cancer
  • Diagnosis of many neurological disorders
  • Evaluate malignancies and hematologic disorders for diagnostic or staging purposes.
  • Identification of microbiological agents.
  • Forensics
• DUTIES:
  • DNA extraction from various cells and tissue sources
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Gel electrophoresis and capillary electrophoresis
  • DNA/RNA sequencing
  • Southern blot and related techniques
  • Analyses and interpretation of results
• REQUIREMENTS:
  • A baccalaureate degree in a scientific discipline:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Diagnostic genetics
    • Microbiology or Virology
    • Molecular biology or pathology
    • Medical technology or clinical lab science.
    • OR from an approved molecular genetics educational program
  • Either completion of a post-baccalaureate in molecular genetics training program -OR- a minimum of one year on-the-job training
  • Certification in molecular genetics from a nationally approved credentialing agency.
  • State licensure as required.
• WORK ENVIRONMENT:
  • Private laboratory and/or industry
  • Hospital clinical laboratory
  • Laboratories in an academic and/or research setting
  • Laboratories located worldwide
  • Team orientated atmosphere
  • Extreme shortage of molecular genetics technologists and increasing demand
• JOB REWARDS:
  • Molecular Genetic technologists are accorded the same level of responsibility in the laboratory as that of their counterparts in medical technology.
  • Involvement in a profession that is challenging and rewarding. A profession that is fast moving and on the cutting edge of diagnostics and research.
  • Work of the molecular genetic technologist has direct impact on patient care, family counseling, and future medical care.
• WAGES & BENEFITS:
  • Nationally, the mean salary varies by geographical location, facility and job duties.
  • Click here for the most recent salary survey.
  • Benefits may include: health and life insurance, deferred compensation, paid vacations and sick leave.
• EDUCATION:
  • High school preparation includes college preparatory courses as well as having a direction and interest in science.
  • Summer research programs offered in conjunction with academic and research institutions may provide invaluable hands-on experience in laboratory work.
    • Inquiries about these types of programs may be directed to the biology departments of local colleges or universities.
  • A baccalaureate degree in a scientific discipline (B.S. or B.A.)
  • Post-graduate training programs are available and lead to the qualifications for certification.
  • Graduate programs leading to advanced degrees in genetics and related sciences are also available.
  • Master’s degree may lead to a profession as a
    • Laboratory manager or supervisor
    • Genetic counselor
    • Industrial production manager
    • Research associate with a company that manufacturers products for molecular biology
    • High school or junior college teacher.
  • Ph.D. or M.D. is generally necessary to direct a laboratory.
• CREDENTIALING:
  • Certification as a Technologist in Molecular Biology – MB(ASCP) – is recommended.
  • Eligibility routes for certification include either:
  • Complete a Board of Certification (BOC)-approved training program in molecular biology
  • Complete an on-the-job-training program in molecular genetics or molecular pathology
  • Certification is required in most facilities in order to perform technologist duties.
• MOLECULAR GENETIC STATEMENTS OF COMPETENCE:
  • The Statements of Competence is a thoughtful, comprehensive analysis of all the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful and competent molecular genetic technologist.
  • Click here to view the Molecular Statements of Competence.

 


BIOCHEMICAL GENETICS TECHNOLOGIST

• BIOCHEMICAL GENETICS:

Evaluation and/or diagnosis of patients and/or families with inherited metabolic disease, monitoring or treatment
  • Distinguishing heterozygous carriers from non-carriers by biochemical and/or enzyme analysis of physiological fluids and tissues
• ABILITIES & KNOWLEDGE:
  • Biochemistry, Chemistry, Molecular Biology
  • Ability to work independently/Organization skills/Attention to details
  • Fine instrument manipulation
• APPLICATIONS:
  • Newborn screening
  • Detection of inborn errors of metabolism
  • Diagnosis of inherited metabolic diseases
  • Monitoring of treatment
  • Distinguishing heterozygous carriers from non-carriers by biochemical and/or enzymes analysis
• DUTIES:
  • Specimen processing
  • Determination of diagnostic genetic markers
  • Mass spectrophotometry analysis
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography analysis
  • Gas Chromatography analysis
  • Analysis and interpretation of results
• REQUIREMENTS:
  • A baccalaureate degree in a scientific discipline
    • Biology
    • Biochemistry
    • Chemistry
    • Molecular biology or pathology
    • Medical technology or clinical lab science.
  • State licensure as required.
• WORK ENVIRONMENT:
  • Private laboratory and/or industry/Hospital clinical laboratory
  • Laboratories in an academic and/or research setting
  • Laboratories located worldwide
  • Team orientated atmosphere
  • Extreme shortage of biochemical genetics technologist personnel and increasing demand
• JOB REWARDS:
  • Biochemical Genetics technologists are accorded the same level of responsibility in the laboratory as that of their counterparts in medical technology.
  • Involvement in a profession that is challenging and rewarding/A profession that is fast moving and on the cutting edge of diagnostics and research.
  • Work of the biochemical genetics technologist has a direct impact on patient care, family counseling, and future medical care.
• WAGES & BENEFITS:
  • Nationally, the mean salary varies by geographical location, facility and duties.
  • Benefits may include: health and life insurance, deferred compensation, paid vacations and sick leave.
• EDUCATION:
  • High school preparation includes college preparatory courses as well as having a direction and interest in science.
  • Summer research programs offered in conjunction with academic and research institutions may provide invaluable hands-on experience in laboratory work.
    • Inquiries about these types of programs may be directed to the biology departments of local colleges or universities.
  • A baccalaureate degree in a scientific discipline (B.S. or B.A.) –and/or-
  • A baccalaureate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science or Medical Technology
  • Post-graduate training programs are available and lead to the qualifications for certification (when a certification examination is established).
  • Graduate programs leading to advanced degrees in genetics and related sciences are also available.
  • Master’s degree may lead to a profession as a:
    • Laboratory manager or supervisor
    • Genetic counselor
    • Industrial production manager
    • Research associate with a company that manufacturers products for molecular biology
    • High school or junior college teacher.
  • Ph.D. or M.D. is generally necessary to direct a laboratory.
• CREDENTIALING:
  • Currently there is not a certification exam available for biochemical genetic technologists.

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