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J Genet Couns. 2019 May 6. doi: 10.1002/jgc4.1129. [Epub ahead of print]

Genetic counseling job market in the United States and Canada: An analysis of job advertisements 2014-2016.

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Department of Genetic Counseling, Augustana University, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, McGovern Medical School, UTHealth, Houston, Texas.
Quest Diagnostics, Madison, New Jersey.


Genetic counseling careers continue to evolve, yet there remains a lack of information about hiring trends in the genetic counseling profession. In this study, job advertisements in the United States and Canada were analyzed, using the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Job Connections and the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) eBlasts from 2014 to 2016 to appraise job roles, qualifications, settings, specialties, and type. NSGC had 1875 advertised openings from 2014 to 2016, while ABGC had 373 advertised openings. Jobs containing a "counseling" role increased as a percentage from 2014 to 2016 when advertised by NSGC (χ2  = 25.52, p < 0.000001) but decreased each year from 2014 to 2016 as a percentage when advertised through ABGC (χ2  = 14.29, p = 0.0008). In the ABGC job postings, it was noted that 36% of job postings were advertised for other specialties (not solely cancer, pediatric, or prenatal) in 2014, and increased to 67% in 2016 (χ2  = 10.09, p = 0.02). Examining the job specialties posted by ABGC and NSGC, several new or unique roles were found in the job advertisements such as ophthalmology counselor, variant curator, rare diseases information specialist, and clinical policy analyst. Roles for temporary, contract or fellowship positions are possibly becoming more common, along with small upturns in positions that are off-site or remote. In analyzing the changing workforce, there was a statistically significant decrease identified in jobs advertised by NSGC in the laboratory setting from 28% in 2014 to 17% in 2016 (χ2  = 24.12, p = 0.000024). This information on the evolving career of genetic counseling is valuable for the current workforce and training programs as they adapt with the changing landscape of the profession.


certified genetic counselor; clinical genetics; demand; direct patient care; genetic counseling; job market; jobs; supply; training program; workforce


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