Molecular Genetics Technology

Photo of Mayo Clinic molecular genetics student in lab

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Field description

Molecular genetics laboratories use a person's nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) to discover the relationship between genetics and personal health. The utility of molecular genetics testing is apparent in many settings, such as:

  • Congenital disorders
  • Oncology
  • Prenatal and preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • Risk assessment for familial cancer
  • Diagnosis of many neurological disorders

Such testing is also used to evaluate malignancies and hematologic disorders for diagnostic or staging purposes.

Characteristics of a typical molecular genetics technologist:

  • Enjoys the science of molecular biology
  • Able to work independently
  • Shows attention to detail
  • Employs organizational skills

Career opportunities

Technologists work in a variety of laboratory settings, including molecular genetics, cardiovascular medicine, cytogenetics, hepatitis and HIV, molecular anatomic pathology, immunology, molecular hematology, nucleotide polymorphism laboratory, and special coagulation. Molecular genetics technologists also work in administrative, teaching, quality control and technical specialist positions.

Continued growth of the genetics field is expected for many years. The emphasis on personalized medicine will increase the demand for molecular genetics technologists who are specifically trained to perform complex genetic testing.

Earnings potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual earnings of medical and clinical laboratory technologists, which include molecular genetics technologists, were $59,430 in May 2014.

Professional organizations

March 08, 2017