What to expect from a Genetics career

Genetic tests and research play an integral role in scientific advancement and medical treatment. Health professionals who study cells are needed to analyze chromosomes, DNA and RNA using a variety of laboratory procedures and instrumentation. Not only does genetics research and testing help doctors plan the best treatment, it also helps prevent diseases. Ontario college genetics programs provide students with the knowledge and lab experience they’ll need to work in this rewarding field.

If you have strong technical and analytical skills that you want to apply to a career in genetics, here’s what you need to know.

Genetics Courses

Using leading-edge technology, genetics programs at Ontario colleges give students a thorough understanding of both genetics theory and testing. Molecular genetics (DNA and RNA) and cytogenetics (chromosomes) are often the focus of these programs. Other course topics will include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Lab techniques and procedures
  • Interpreting lab specimens
  • Slide preparation
  • Troubleshooting tests

Students will also develop critical thinking skills and attentiveness, both of which are needed to succeed as a genetic technologist.

Courses combine teaching techniques (including case studies) clinical simulations and clinical placements. Students will apply their knowledge to complex real-life situations under the supervision of medical professionals in the industry.

General Genetics Program Requirements

Ontario college genetics programs are only offered at the post-graduate level. Applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Certified Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT), OR
  • Bachelor of Science Degree

Specific university courses may also be required. Check program requirements carefully.

Genetics Jobs and Salaries

Grads will find careers as Genetics Technologists or MLTs, working with professionals in other medical departments such as oncology, neurology, prenatal and more, and will have the training needed to specialize in working with molecular genetics or cytogenetics.

Settings for employment include (but aren’t limited to):

Graduates of genetics technology programs are recognized by the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario as Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs). MLTs and Genetics Technologists make an average starting salary of $50,000 to $60,000 per year. Salaries could be even higher depending on level of experience and position.

Ontario Colleges Offering Genetics Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of genetics programs at Ontario colleges. 

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