Since 1981, NSGC has fielded the annual Professional Status Survey (PSS) to genetic counselors to gather key clinical, professional, educational and other demographic data, informing efforts to promote the professional interests of genetic counselors and track the growth and development of the profession. Findings from NSGC’s 2023 PSS demonstrate that genetic counseling remains a desired profession with high satisfaction among current practitioners. With more than 3,000 respondents, this year’s PSS offers a comprehensive look into genetic counseling and workforce trends in a profession that is expected to grow 100% over the next ten years.
Career Profile: What is a Genetic Counselor?
The PSS survey signaled that, overall, the state of the genetic counseling workforce remains strong. Nearly 9 out of 10 genetic counselors (86%) report being satisfied with the profession, consistent with previous iterations of the annual survey. A similar number (84%) say they are satisfied with their current job position. The average full-time genetic counselor salary increased by 2.6% to $104,664, suggesting that respondents’ roles are evolving along with a general salary increase across the market.
Genetic counselors are employed across a diverse range of work environments, including laboratories, universities, government agencies, biotechnology firms, and others. The field of genetic counseling encompasses more than 20 distinct specialty areas, with the largest specialty being cancer genetics (34%).
Genetic Counseling Access
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact how service is delivered. Among genetic counselors who provide direct patient care, 90% reported that they used more than one delivery model (in-person, telehealth or group visit) to interact with their patients in 2022, compared to 88% in 2021 and 48% in 2019. Eight in 10 (82%) of genetic counselors reported using audiovisual telehealth to deliver care.
Genetic counseling remains a desired career of choice and continues to be in-demand, with the workforce expected to grow 100% over the next ten years to more than 10,000 certified genetic counselors. Among survey respondents who graduated from genetic counseling programs in 2022, almost all (98%) had accepted a position by the end of 2022.
NSGC's 2023 PSS findings highlight the growing workforce and strong satisfaction levels within the genetic counseling profession. The field's adaptability, especially evident in the embrace of telehealth, showcases its commitment to accessible care. With an anticipated 100% growth in the workforce in the next ten years, genetic counseling's future is promising, solidifying its vital role in providing personalized genetic guidance to individuals and families.
You can view the complete PSS executive summary here and all of the available graphics here for more information. Interested in learning more about the Professional Status Survey? Please consider registering for the "Make the Professional Status Survey Work for You! A Virtual Information Session" webinar taking place on September 27th.