Genetic engineering is a method that modifies an organism’s genetic makeup by either deleting or introducing DNA. Genetic engineering, often known as genetic modification or genetic manipulation, uses biotechnology to manipulate a living thing’s DNA. It is a collection of innovations used to alter cells’ hereditary structures, including the interchange of traits inside and between species boundaries to produce improved or original living things. By substituting a working gene for the damaged one, genetic engineering may be able to treat serious genetic illnesses in people. Let us see “Is Genetic Engineering A Good Career?”
What is a genetic engineer?
A sort of scientific expert who focuses on dealing with genetics in animals, plants, and people is known as a genetic engineer. In addition to developing novel food-producing plant genetic variations in laboratories, genetic engineers may also serve as genetic counsellors for people with uncommon genetic illnesses. The majority of genetic engineers work for pharmaceutical firms, healthcare institutions, R&D firms, universities, and the government.
The closest relatives of genetic engineers are biomedical, biochemical, and geneticists. They do not deal with the structure of DNA in the same way that mechanical, civil, or electrical engineers do, but they are nonetheless referred to be engineers since they do.
The work of genetic engineers
The precise duties of genetic engineers may fluctuate depending on the sector of the company they operate in, particularly because the genetic makeup of plants and people can be very dissimilar. However, genetic engineers are those who use their expertise and knowledge to address problems by employing genetic information. Although they may also have an office where they may write about their study or have meetings, genetic engineers frequently do their research in a laboratory setting.
A genetic engineer may supervise other lab employees, carry out their own research procedures, use technology to identify and address issues, and present their conclusions to co-workers and patients. They frequently employ laboratory tools to examine DNA architecture and discover strategies for changing that DNA to produce the desired result. Additionally, they must keep up with all of the most recent developments in their profession through publications and conferences.
In order to do research and deal with DNA, genetic engineers often need to be familiar with a wide range of technology, including Python programming, lab centrifuges, and computer-aided drafting software that other types of engineers would utilise. Additionally, genetic engineers draw on their broad scientific background, which includes understanding of biology, genetics, evolution, biochemistry, physics, and biotechnology.
Working with human beings frequently requires genetic engineers to have strong interpersonal and communication skills. Every kind of genetic engineer needs a certain amount of imagination to come up with novel ideas that nobody else has yet thought of and to implement them. In order to employ their genetic changes for good and within the confines of what is morally and legally acceptable, they also need to have a strong moral sense. Additionally, as the majority of genetic engineers work in teams or with employees, they must possess leadership and teamwork abilities.
How to become a genetic engineer?
The stages to becoming a genetic engineer are as follows:
Get a bachelor’s degree
You need a bachelor’s degree at the very least to work as a genetic engineer. Although many genetic engineers hold advanced degrees as well, you may enter the field and learn the fundamentals with just a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the university, the bachelor’s degrees applicable to this discipline may have different titles, although many teach comparable subjects. Molecular genetics, biophysics, molecular biology, genetics, biotechnology, genetic engineering, and bioengineering are among the majors that might be used to become a genetic engineer.
Perform an internship
An internship could be useful if you aren’t sure exactly what sector of genetic engineering, particularly between human, animal, and plant, you want to work in. You can gain experience in the field of genetics and learn more about the area of genetics you want to focus on through an internship. Internships can also offer networking chances with your classmates and working professionals, who may be able to assist you in finding employment when you finish your degree.
Think about getting a graduate degree
A post-graduate degree can be very beneficial in acquiring the career you’re interested in because genetic engineering is such a difficult topic. This is especially valid if you intend to do independent research. With a bachelor’s degree, you might be able to get entry-level employment; but a masters might help you compete for prestigious or interesting roles, and a PhD offers you an even greater edge. A PhD in medicine may also be required in addition to a degree in genetic engineering if you wish to treat people with genetic problems.
Develop your sector of expertise
Gaining experience is one of the greatest methods to enhance your career as a genetic engineer, whether or not you decide to pursue a post-graduate degree in genetic engineering. If being an independent researcher is one of your ambitions, you probably want to pursue both a PhD and some professional experience in the field. You could choose to finish your undergraduate studies, go to work for a while, and then come back to finish your PhD, or you might elect to finish your education entirely and then get experience.
The finest mix of education and experience will enable you to work in the field of genetic engineering that interests you.
Become a member of a trade association
It could be advantageous for you to join a professional group as it can offer networking opportunities and resources for furthering your knowledge of your area. The American Institute for Biological Sciences, the Center for Genetics and Society, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences are a few of these professional associations. These organisations also provide possibilities for continuous education, which is crucial in a career like genetic engineering.
Wage and employment prospects
The average annual income for biomedical engineers, which includes genetic engineers, is $87,894, according to Indeed Salaries. However, depending on geography, degree, and experience, a genetic engineer’s pay might vary greatly. The firm you work for might also have an impact on your income because bigger businesses could be able to offer experienced genetic engineers a greater wage. This industry is expanding as well, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting an above-average growth rate of 5% in employment from 2019 to 2029.
In order to alter the functioning of current genetics, genetic engineers employ the same math and scientific abilities as all engineers. This might entail changing food-producing plants genetically or developing new treatments for genetic diseases in both humans and animals. Although being a genetic engineer may require several years of school, your expertise can help improve people’s lives all across the world.