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Molecular Genetics Technology

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Field description

Setting up a blot

Molecular genetics laboratories utilize 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 diagnosis, risk assessment for familial cancer and the diagnosis of many neurologic 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
  • Applies attention to details
  • Employs organizational skills

Career opportunities

Technologists work in a variety of laboratory settings, including molecular genetics, cardiovascular medicine, cytogenetics, hepatitis/HIV molecular, 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.

Earning potential

Median annual earnings of medical and clinical laboratory technologists, which include molecular genetics technologists, were $46,600 in 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,740 and $54,310. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,120.

Professional organizations

Visit the following Web sites to learn more about molecular genetics:

  • Aug 27, 2012
  • ART497251