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Animal Geneticist

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Animal Geneticists analyze the genetic makeup of animals in order discover which genes cause them to behave certain ways. Geneticist may also study animal health to determine what causes animals be immune to specific diseases, or fail to thrive in certain environments.



What responsibilities will I have?

  • Provide insight into how methods and processes that support genetic evaluation can be improved
  • Summarize and communicate genetic trends for reports
  • Continually review and communicate data input and output needs of the breeding programs
  • Analyze phenotypes (physical characteristics) available from the global production system to understand what makes profits for customers
  • Find ways to improve selection decisions and develop approaches to accelerate genetic differentiation between different breeds
  • Assist in the mapping of genomes for various species
  • Compare the genetic makeup of one animal or species to another in order to how the gene affects reproduction or growth
  • Develop new ways to evaluate traits in animals
  • Investigate disease resistance
  • Crossbreed animals to obtain new combinations of desirable characteristics
  • Conduct quantitative research around breeding program activities and processes


What education and training is required?

A bachelor’s degree in genetics or related field such as animal science, biology, poultry science, dairy science, followed by a master’s degree some roles may require a doctorate level degree. 


To pursue a career as an animal geneticist:

The following high school courses are recommended:  agricultural education, writing, English, computer courses, public speaking,


Where can I work?

As an animal geneticist you can be employed by animal pharmaceutical companies, state or federal government, breeding companies and universities. You may find an entry-level position in a lab working in with an associate's degree or certificate program in either veterinary or medical technology If you earn a bachelor's degree in animal sciences, you may secure a job working on a farm or in a lab with a pharmaceutical firm or an agribusiness.

With a master's degree in animal sciences specifically animal genetics, you may find yourself working in research at a university focusing on genetics or animal nutrition. With a Ph.D. in animal sciences of animal genetics you have the ability to be an animal scientist, biology professor or research geneticist.


Future Job Market / Outlook

The future outlook for an agriculture animal geneticist will be good over the next five years. 


Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations

  • National Cattleman’s Beef Association
  • International Society for Animal Genetics
  • Genetics Society of America
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