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Top 10 Geneticist Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for geneticists to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge in the field.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for geneticists in the job market because they demonstrate a level of professional competence and knowledge. Certifications provide employers with assurance that a candidate is qualified to perform the duties of a geneticist. They also show potential employers that the candidate has taken the initiative to pursue additional education, which can be an asset in a highly competitive job market. Furthermore, certifications can open doors to career advancement opportunities and help build credibility within the field.

The purpose of this article is to review the most beneficial certifications for Geneticists and explain how they can help to advance a geneticist's career.

What are Geneticist Certifications?

Geneticist certification is a formal process of attaining qualifications and credentials that demonstrate an individual's expertise in the field of genetics. It is an important step for geneticists to take in order to demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in the field, as well as to advance their career prospects.

By obtaining geneticist certification, individuals can gain recognition from professional organizations and employers alike, as well as access to more advanced opportunities in genetics-related fields. Certification also provides individuals with a greater understanding of the latest developments in the field and increases their ability to offer informed advice and guidance on genetic topics. Additionally, it may provide individuals with access to research grants or other funding sources that could further their careers.

In summary, geneticist certification can help individuals increase their credibility within the field of genetics, gain recognition from professional organizations and employers, stay up-to-date on new developments in the field, access advanced opportunities and research grants, and ultimately advance their career prospects.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the requirements for geneticist certification in your area and ensure that you meet all of them before beginning the application process. This may include completing a certain number of hours of experience, passing exams, and/or obtaining professional references. Additionally, it is important to stay up-to-date on any changes or updates to certification requirements in order to remain qualified for the position.

Related: What does a Geneticist do?

Top 10 Geneticist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Geneticists today.

1. Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC)

A Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC) is a health care professional with specialized training in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. They provide information and support to individuals and families who have, or may be at risk for, inherited conditions or birth defects. Genetic counselors help patients understand their risks, make informed decisions about their health care, and provide emotional support.

In order to become certified as a genetic counselor, one must obtain a master’s degree in genetic counseling from an accredited university program. The program typically takes two years to complete. After completing the program, applicants must pass the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) certification exam.

The cost of obtaining a master’s degree in genetic counseling varies depending on the institution where it is obtained. Generally speaking, tuition costs range from $20,000-$50,000 per year plus additional fees for books and supplies. The ABGC certification exam fee is currently $1,200 for US residents and $1,500 for international applicants.

2. Certified Clinical Molecular Geneticist (CCMG)

A Certified Clinical Molecular Geneticist (CCMG) is a professional who has completed specialized training in the field of molecular genetics and is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG). The CCMG certification is designed to recognize individuals who have acquired the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to practice clinical molecular genetics.

It typically takes 3-5 years to become a CCMG. To be eligible for certification, applicants must have completed an accredited medical genetics residency program or fellowship program and passed both written and oral examinations administered by the ABMGG.

The cost of becoming a CCMG varies depending on the applicant's educational background and experience level. Generally, it can range from $2,000-$4,000 for application fees, examination fees, travel expenses, etc.

3. American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG)

The American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) is a non-profit organization that certifies medical professionals in the field of genetics and genomics. It was founded in 1991 to ensure that medical geneticists have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to provide quality care to patients with genetic conditions. The ABMGG offers two types of certification: board certification and subspecialty certification.

Board certification requires applicants to pass an examination demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of medical genetics and genomics. This exam includes topics such as molecular biology, cytogenetics, clinical genetics, embryology, population genetics, bioethics, and more. The exam is offered twice a year in May and November. Applicants must have completed an accredited residency program in medical genetics or genomics prior to taking the exam.

Subspecialty certification is available for those who wish to specialize in a particular area of genetics or genomics. Subspecialties include clinical cytogenetics, clinical molecular genetics, clinical biochemical genetics, clinical laboratory genetics/genomics, reproductive/prenatal/perinatal genetics/genomics, metabolic/molecular nutrition/nutrigenetics/nutrigenomics, cancer genetics/genomics, neurogenetics/neurogenomics, pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics and public health genomics. To become certified in one of these subspecialties applicants must have completed an accredited fellowship program in the relevant field prior to taking the exam.

The cost for board certification is $2125 USD while the cost for subspecialty certification varies depending on which specialty you choose (ranging from $825-$1750 USD). It typically takes six weeks after completing your application to receive your results from the ABMGG board exams.

4. American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC)

The American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) is a professional organization that certifies genetic counselors in the United States. It was established in 1977 to provide a standard for genetic counseling practice, and to ensure that those providing genetic counseling services are qualified to do so.

In order to become certified by the ABGC, an individual must have completed a master’s degree in genetic counseling from an accredited program, as well as have passed the ABGC certification exam. The certification process typically takes about one year and consists of completing the application form, submitting transcripts and letters of recommendation, and taking the certification exam.

The cost of becoming certified by the ABGC varies depending on whether or not you are already a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC). For non-members, it costs $625 for initial certification and $400 for recertification every five years. For NSGC members, it costs $550 for initial certification and $300 for recertification every five years.

Overall, obtaining board certification through the ABGC is an important step in becoming a qualified genetic counselor. It ensures that those providing genetic counseling services are knowledgeable and experienced in their field and can provide quality care to those seeking help with their genetics-related concerns.

5. American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG)

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) is a professional organization that promotes the practice of medical genetics and genomics. It was founded in 1991 to set standards for the practice of medical genetics, provide educational resources, and advocate for patients and families affected by genetic conditions.

To become an ACMG member, one must have a doctoral degree from an accredited university in a related field such as medicine, genetics, or bioinformatics. The process typically takes several weeks to complete and includes submitting an application form, providing official transcripts from your university, and paying the appropriate fees.

The cost for ACMG membership ranges from $150 - $200 depending on the type of membership you apply for. This fee covers access to exclusive ACMG resources such as webinars and conferences, discounts on publications, access to job postings, and more.

6. Certified Genetic Nurse Practitioner (GNP-C)

A Certified Genetic Nurse Practitioner (GNP-C) is a nurse practitioner who has completed specialized training in genetics and genetic counseling. They are knowledgeable in the areas of genetic testing, diagnosis, and management of genetic conditions. They provide education to patients and families about their inherited risks for certain diseases or disorders, as well as providing support and guidance throughout the process.

To become a GNP-C, one must first obtain a Master’s degree in Nursing with a focus on Genetics from an accredited university. After earning the degree, candidates must pass the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) certification exam for Genetic Nurse Practitioners. This exam is offered twice per year and consists of 200 multiple choice questions that cover topics such as genetic counseling, prenatal diagnosis, cancer genetics, pharmacogenetics, ethical issues related to genetics, and more.

The cost of taking the ANCC certification exam varies by state but typically ranges between $400 - $500 USD. The cost of obtaining a Master’s degree in Nursing with a focus on Genetics will depend on the institution attended but can range from $20k - $50k USD depending on whether you attend an online or traditional program.

In total, it may take up to 4 years to become certified as a GNP-C depending on how quickly you complete your Master’s program.

7. Certified Molecular Diagnostics Professional (CMDP)

Certified Molecular Diagnostics Professional (CMDP) is a professional certification program offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in the field of molecular diagnostics. The CMDP credential is awarded to those who have successfully completed a comprehensive examination that tests their mastery of the principles, techniques, and applications of molecular diagnostics.

The CMDP exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as laboratory safety, genetic testing, molecular biology, clinical applications of molecular testing, and quality assurance. Candidates must also demonstrate knowledge in laboratory management and regulations related to molecular diagnostics. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

To obtain the CMDP credential, candidates must first apply for the exam through ASCP’s website. After submitting an application and paying the required fee, applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to register for the exam. Once registered, applicants can take the exam at any Prometric Testing Center or online through ProctorU.

The cost of obtaining the CMDP credential varies depending on whether you are an ASCP member or non-member. For ASCP members, it costs $300 USD; for non-members it costs $400 USD.

8. American Board of Forensic Genetics (ABFG)

The American Board of Forensic Genetics (ABFG) is a professional organization that certifies forensic scientists in the field of genetics. This certification is designed to ensure that individuals have the necessary knowledge and skills to work in this specialized area of forensics. It is a voluntary certification program that requires applicants to demonstrate their expertise through an examination process.

To become certified by the ABFG, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as having a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least two years of experience working in forensic genetics. Applicants must also pass an examination that covers topics such as molecular biology, biochemistry, population genetics, and statistics. The exam consists of both written and practical components, and it typically takes between one and two weeks to complete.

Once applicants have passed the exam, they are eligible for certification by the ABFG. The cost of taking the exam varies depending on the applicant's location; however, it typically ranges from $500-$1,000. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with obtaining certification from the ABFG.

Overall, obtaining certification from the ABFG can be time-consuming and expensive; however, it is an important step for those who wish to pursue a career in forensic genetics or related fields.

9. Certified Genetic Laboratory Professional (CGLP)

Certified Genetic Laboratory Professional (CGLP) is a professional certification that recognizes the expertise of individuals who work in clinical genetic laboratories. This credential is offered through the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC). The CGLP certification program was created to recognize the knowledge and skills required to perform genetic laboratory testing and to ensure that certified professionals are competent in their field.

The CGLP certification process consists of two parts: a written exam and an oral interview. The written exam covers topics such as laboratory safety, quality assurance, lab management, genetics, and ethics. The oral interview focuses on the candidate’s experience in the field and their ability to communicate effectively with other professionals.

To become certified, applicants must have at least three years of experience working in a clinical genetic laboratory or related field. They must also submit an application form, pay an application fee, and pass both the written exam and oral interview. Once all requirements are met, applicants will receive their CGLP certificate within 8-10 weeks.

The cost for obtaining the CGLP certification varies depending on whether you take the exam online or in person. If you take it online, it costs $395 USD; if you take it in person, it costs $495 USD.

10. International Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Certification in Human Genetics and Genomics Technology (ISCLS-CHGTT).

The International Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Certification in Human Genetics and Genomics Technology (ISCLS-CHGTT) is a certification program designed to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals who work in the field of human genetics and genomics technology. This certification is offered by the International Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ISCLS).

The ISCLS-CHGTT certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities related to human genetics and genomics technology through an examination process. The exam consists of two parts: a written examination and a practical laboratory assessment. The written examination covers topics such as genetic disorders, clinical laboratory techniques, genetic counseling, ethical considerations, quality assurance/quality control, data analysis/interpretation, and current trends in the field of human genetics and genomics technology. The practical laboratory assessment requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to perform a variety of laboratory procedures related to human genetics and genomics technology.

The ISCLS-CHGTT certification process typically takes several months from start to finish. Applicants must first submit an application form with all required documentation along with payment of a nonrefundable fee of $400 USD. Once the application is approved, applicants will be notified by email when they can register for the exam. After registering for the exam, applicants must wait up to 6 weeks before they can take it. Once the exam has been completed successfully, applicants will receive their official ISCLS-CHGTT certificate via email within 4 weeks.

In order to maintain their certification status, certified individuals are required to complete continuing education activities every two years in order to stay current on advances in the field of human genetics and genomics technology.

Do You Really Need a Geneticist Certificate?

The short answer is no, you do not necessarily need a geneticist certificate to pursue a career in genetics. That being said, having a certification or degree in the field of genetics can be beneficial and may open up opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to you.

First of all, it is important to consider the type of job you are looking for when deciding whether or not you need a geneticist certificate. If your goal is to work as a research scientist in an academic setting, then having a degree or certification in genetics will likely be necessary. On the other hand, if your goal is to work as a laboratory technician or consultant for a private industry, then certification may not be required.

Additionally, obtaining certification in genetics can demonstrate your commitment to the field and provide employers with evidence of your qualifications. Having experience and knowledge of the latest developments in the field can also increase your chances at getting hired for certain positions. Certification can also show potential employers that you have taken extra steps to become more knowledgeable about the subject matter and have made an effort to stay current with advances in technology and research methods.

In conclusion, while having a geneticist certificate is not always necessary for pursuing a career in genetics, it can serve as valuable evidence of your skillset and dedication to the field which could provide advantages when looking for employment opportunities.

Related: Geneticist Resume Examples

FAQs About Geneticist Certifications

1. What certifications are available for geneticists?

Answer: The American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) offer certification for geneticists.

2. How do I become a certified geneticist?

Answer: To become a certified geneticist, you must complete an accredited master’s or doctoral degree program in genetics and pass the certification exam offered by either the ABGC or ACMG.

3. Are there any prerequisites for certification?

Answer: Yes, applicants must have completed an accredited master’s or doctoral degree program in genetics, as well as have at least one year of supervised clinical experience in genetic counseling or another related field.

4. How often do I need to renew my certification?

Answer: Both the ABGC and ACMG require recertification every five years, which includes completing continuing education credits and passing a recertification exam.

5. What is the cost of certification?

Answer: The cost of certification varies depending on which organization you choose to certify through, but generally ranges from $500-$800 USD including application fees, examination fees and other associated costs.