Clinical Molecular Genetics: Job Opportunities
Job opportunities for graduates are found nationwide in healthcare including hospitals and public health departments, reference laboratories, state and federal law enforcement agencies, biotechnology industries, pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and academe.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics data identify a 13% increase in the need for clinical laboratory scientists between 2010 and 2020. The specific data regarding personnel trained in Clinical Molecular Genetics is not cited as this is a relatively new and emerging diagnostic field. The rapid growth in Molecular Diagnostic testing is exemplified by the number of molecular genetic tests currently available at Mayo Clinic (NMU affiliate in the accredited Diagnostic Molecular Science BS program). The Mayo Clinic website (www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog) currently lists 422 types of molecular-based clinical assays available with the menu of diagnostic test growing each month (Mayo Clinic Communique). The large menu of diagnostic tests coupled with the lack of qualified graduates exponentially increases the need for trained personnel according to the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
Reports from laboratories performing clinical molecular testing indicate that it is difficult to find personnel to fill current position. Job postings for graduates trained in Molecular Genetics can be found on websites for the following organizations: Association for Molecular Pathology, Association of Genetic Technologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, American Society for Microbiology, and American Society for Hematology.
The results of the 2012 Advance Laboratory salary survey for laboratory professionals offered insight to professional opportunities in clinical molecular genetics. The average salary of those that specialize in Molecular Diagnostics/Genetics was $80,760. The Pacific region (AK, HI, CA, OR, WA) offers the highest salaries, followed by the Middle Atlantic (NJ, PA, NY) and New England (VT, NH, CT, MA, RI, ME).