Demand for genetic counselors to grow 29 percent by 2024
Geisinger ahead of the hiring curve, to be featured on CNBC Business News
DANVILLE, Pa. – Employment of genetic counselors is projected to grow 29 percent through 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Geisinger, already at the forefront of this hiring curve because of its MyCode Community Health Initiative, will be featured Friday, Aug. 4, when CNBC Business News heads to Danville to focus on this growing trend.
Each month when the new job numbers are issued by the federal government, CNBC broadcasts its feature, “Where the Jobs Are,” focusing on jobs of the future. This month’s focus will be on genetic counselors.
CNBC network reporter Kate Rogers will broadcast live from Geisinger Medical Center throughout the day, featuring interviews with Geisinger President and CEO David T. Feinberg, M.D.; Director of Cardiovascular Genomic Counseling Amy Sturm; and one of Geisinger’s newest recruits, genetic counselor Megan McMinn.
The July jobs report is scheduled to be released Aug. 4, but up or down, CNBC is focusing on one of the hottest jobs markets in the country: genetic counselors. The growing profession commands starting salaries in the area of $65,000 annually.
“Historically, genomic medicine has focused on rare genetic conditions because of testing and knowledge limitations,” said W. Andrew Faucett, Geisinger professor and genetic counselor.
“But as the cost of genetic testing drops and knowledge is continuously increasing, genomics is expanding into all medical specialties and ultimately into general practice,” he said.
Geisinger already has one of the largest teams of genetic counselors in the country and the health system is launching a new master’s degree program in genetic counseling at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton.
While growth in the demand for genetic counselors will continue nationwide, Adam Buchanan, an assistant professor and genetic counselor at Geisinger, said he expects Geisinger to remain ahead of the national curve because of MyCode.
MyCode is a biobank and DNA sequencing study, begun in 2007 and expanded in 2014. It has over 150,000 participants already and is attracting more Geisinger participants throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
“As MyCode continues to expand and more actionable results come in, we will need to reach not just hundreds, but thousands of our patients and their families with results,” Buchanan said.
Genetic counselors are important members of the genomics team as they help patients understand their risks and their options for prevention and treatment, he added.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.