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10 Future Jobs in Health Care


6
Genetic Counselor
Genetic counselors are becoming more prevalent as genetic testing has increased. Tetra Images/Getty Images
Genetic counselors are becoming more prevalent as genetic testing has increased. Tetra Images/Getty Images

Genetic counselors work with physicians and other health care professionals to help patients understand inherited conditions, genetic disorders and birth defects affecting themselves or their families. They're also available to objectively discuss sensitive, emotional information. For example, if genetic testing shows that you have the breast cancer gene, should you have a double mastectomy like Angelina Jolie or wait a few years and see if anything happens? Which genetic tests, if any, should you perform on your unborn child? Genetic counselors can help you sort these issues out.

Although genetic counselors have been around for a while -- the National Society of Genetic Counselors was founded in 1979 -- relatively few people used their services initially, as genetic testing was in its infancy. Now it's not. Much more refined and complex tests are out there, with many more in development that will help predict innumerable markers and conditions. As the tests grow in number, so will the number of genetic counselors. You need a master's degree in genetic counseling to get into the field [sources: Get Degrees, The American Society of Human Genetics].


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