Is becoming a genetic counselor right for me?
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How to become a Genetic Counselor
A bachelor's degree in biology or a healthcare-related field typically is a requirement for enrolling in a genetic counseling master's degree program. These programs provide students with the science and math knowledge needed for a career in genetic counseling. Some schools offer internships or summer programs for students interested in genetic counseling. These programs provide students with a chance to gain experience at clinics or hospitals and prepare them for a graduate degree program.
A master's degree in genetic counseling helps students develop the skills needed to research, counsel and consult with patients, their families and members of the healthcare community to provide information on genetic conditions. Some schools require applicants to have performed some type of counseling work.
The American Board of Genetic Counselors (ABGC) offers a certification program, which is voluntary; however, some states require it for licensing, and some employers prefer it. In addition, some states require genetic counselors to become licensed before performing work with the public. ABGC certification can serve as proof of competency and give job candidates an edge in employment.