As we mortals increasingly use genetic research to find out what inherited diseases we and our children may have, genetic counselors are the ones standing by to talk us off the ledge. They work in coordination with health care teams to provide information and support to individuals and families with birth defects, genetic disorders and inherited conditions. They can also help answer the tough questions: What should I do if I have the breast cancer gene? Should I abort a baby that has a gene for a genetic disease? Traditionally, genetic counselors worked primarily with patients making decisions about their unborn children, but as the cost of decoding a full DNA sequence — now around $5,000 — continues to decline, the demand for genetic counselors capable of advising families on the tough stuff continues to increase. Those who pursue a career in the field seem to have a good outcome: according to a 2010 survey from the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the average salary for a genetic counselor is approximately $63,700, but can be as high as $150,000, and 89% of genetic counselors report being satisfied with their job.
Next Elder Care Worker