Health Library

Genetic counselor

Working as part of a medical team, genetic counselors provide education and support to families at risk for or diagnosed with inherited conditions. The counselor can help people understand the pros and cons of genetic testing. They can also help explain which tests may or may not be right for each person. Genetic counselors can explain test results and how inherited diseases might affect someone or their family.

Genetic counselors have graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Many genetic counselors have worked in other areas, such as nursing, psychology, public health, or social work.

Licensing, certification, and registration requirements for genetic counselors vary from state to state.