Career in Genetic Engineering

7 minute read
Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering, also known as Genetic Manipulation or Genetic Modification has always been a fascinating career for students especially those who are immensely interested in Biology. Usually, students after a degree in Genetic Engineering find themselves in research labs as an engineer or assistant or in educational institutions. But, how do we define Genetic Engineering? It is a direct alteration of an organism’s characteristics in a particular way through the manipulation of its DNA. In other words, it is generally employed by scientists to enhance the characteristics of an individual organism. For example, plants with a higher nutritional value or those who can tolerate exposure to herbicides are produced through Genetic Modification. Let us know more about a Career in Genetic Engineering in this blog


Degree LevelBachelor’s or master’s degree for entry-level careers; doctoral degree for independent research careers
Degree Field(s)Biochemistry, biophysics, or related fields
Key SkillsStrong understanding of scientific methods and rules, complex problem solving and critical thinking; ability to use computer-aided design (CAD), graphics or photo imaging, PERL, Python, analytical, and word processing software programs; ability to use lasers, spectrometers, light scattering equipment, binocular light compound microscopes, benchtop centrifuges, or similar laboratory equipment; excellent mathematical, deductive and inductive reasoning, reading, writing, and oral comprehension skills
Median Salary (May 2018)$88,550 (for all biomedical engineers)

How Does Genetic Engineering Work?

You must have heard of insulin, which is naturally produced in the pancreas? It regulated the sugar level in our blood. But, people with Type 1 Diabetes have problems with insulin production, and so they have to inject insulin to control their blood sugar levels. How does this work? Scientists with the help of Genetic Engineering have used yeast or some bacteria like E.coli to produce genetically modified insulin, very similar to our own, known as “Humulin”.

credits: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

Top Universities For Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering CollegesLocationUS News & World Report Rankings 2022
Harvard UniversityUSA1st
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA2nd
Stanford UniversityUSA3rd
University of California—San FranciscoUSA4th
Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA5th
The University of Oxford and University of WashingtonUK/USA6th
University of PennsylvaniaUSA7th
University of California—San DiegoUSA8th
University of CambridgeUK9th
University of TorontoCanada11th
Columbia UniversityUSA12th
Baylor College of MedicineUSA13th
Washington University in St. LouisUSA14th
University of California–Los AngelesUSA15th
Cornell UniversityUSA16th
Karolinska InstituteSweden17th
Yale UniversityUSA18th
University of California–BerkeleyUSA19th
University of Michigan–Ann ArborUSA20th
University College LondonUK21st
University of Queensland Australia27th
University of CopenhagenDenmark28th
Sorbonne universitéFrance32nd 
National University of SingaporeSingapore33rd
University of Groningen Netherlands 37th
University of TokyoJapan 38th
King Abdulaziz UniversitySaudi Arabia 39th
Catholic University of LeuvenGermany 40th

Also Read: Top Colleges to Pursue Genetic Engineering:

Possible Courses & Eligibility Criteria

If you are passionate about how genetics and technology can revolutionize the way we perceive Medical Science, then you can go for Genetic Engineering courses like:

For that, students must have Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics 10+2 or high school diploma. Besides, to study abroad, students must have a valid GRE score, proof of English-language proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL, SOP, and LORs. Some universities may also ask for relevant work experience.

Need help in crafting your application form, essay, SOP, or resume? Contact our experts at Leverage Edu and be assured to execute everything in a timely manner.

Skill Sets Dominant in a Student to Become a Genetic Engineer

  • Strong understanding of Mathematics and the formulas and laws that encapsulate nature.
  • Good understanding of Physics as to use the formulas like two similar masses cannot occupy the same space
  • Good knowledge of Chemistry like to make long chains of chemical reactions and bonds to determine the solutions of carbons.
  • Knowledge of Biology and Anatomy as to test the products on subjects or to become a Medical Examiner and analysing the cause of death.
  • Ability to use CAD programmes.
  • Photoimaging.
  • Word Processing software.
  • Ability to use intense equipment like laser spectrometers, binocular light compound microscopes, highly concentrated solutions or other similar laboratory equipment.

Roles and Responsibility of a Genetic Engineer

Typically, what can you expect in a Genetic Engineering job? Genetic engineers spend their time in labs doing genetic modulations of any organism. Genetic editing or modulation in humans is though not absolutely legal, but if done on some animals or crops, can be extremely beneficial for the society; like:

  • Disease resistant crops.
  • Higher breeding in animals.
  • Developing vaccines using dead cells.
  • Finding new cures for genetic disorders.

Well, it mostly depends on your field of specialisation, which we will cover later on. But, before that, let us see what type of work every industry offers in general. Because the ulterior motive could change but the method will remain the same across the work. Typical responsibilities a Genetic Engineer or Geneticist includes:

  • Conducting lab trials and researches.
  • Extracting DNA and performing experiments on them.
  • Documenting the procedures and results.
  • Documenting the diseases and their cures.
  • Checking on hereditary patterns and the scope to enhance them.
  • Initiating new researches beneficial for mankind.
  • Prevention of diseases using quarantine methods or isolation.

There is always a scope for selecting the specialization field after spending some time in either college or in the assistance period after college. 

Typical Career in Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering has been predominant in various fields such as Research, Medicine, Industries, Zoology, Agriculture, etc. So, the career in Genetics is wide and quite challenging. 


Graduates with a degree in Genetic Engineering can work as a researcher or a research assistants in government or private labs. If not labs, even pharmaceutical or even highly secretive operations head also hire excellent Genetic Engineers.

In research, the engineer’s work can be to extract the DNA, study or splice it or even transfuse it to another being. It is all about genetics and how one organism can be enhanced or slowed down. 

Other than this, if you are an assistant you can be expected to assist the research head in following duties like:

  • Preparation of slides for experimentation.
  • Preparation of the organisms.
  • Handling the chemicals.
  • Maintaining laboratory standards.
  • Keeping a journal of the procedures.

Educational Field

If a student is interested they can apply for the job of an Academician in universities. Genetic Engineering students in college would benefit a lot from Geneticists and professionals in the field. The degree holders have to pass a few tests and get a license then only they are eligible to be a professor. 

But, the degree holder can also become an Assistant Professor and can work in the universities. The regulations to obtain a license differ from country to country.

Like in India, one can give the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) UGC NET exams after completing your PhD in Genetic Engineering or even a Masters. Universities prefer individuals holding a doctoral degree to be their professors as it is considered a higher level of respect and commendation.

Agriculture and Food Industry

As discussed above too, Genetic Engineers work on the Genetics of organisms and plants and they can indeed fight crops hurting bacterias or viruses, and even make a hybrid between crops. Scientists and engineers can come up with ways to fight the diseases that a crop faces in its normal fertilization period and can also eradicate them. The diseases are also transported through the vegetables that are then sold in the markets. 

Animal breedings also come under this because the engineers can mix and match the genetic inhibitions of the animals to make more complex breeding that can withstand some adversities. Like two breeds of cows were bred that made a more superior species of the bovine.

Scientist in Forensic Labs or Government Agencies

Genetic Engineers can work as Genetic Counsellors or as Medical Examiners in hospitals but beyond that, they can become scientists in the Forensic Labs of even the FBI or other Government Agencies of any country. The forensic scientists can do:

  • Blood spatter analysis.
  • Handprints recognition.
  • Tissue residuals in a crime scene
  • Working on complex cases that are pernicious or gore for normal beings.
  • Collecting DNA and blood samples from the scene.

The scientists are given labs where they do their deductions and all use lab technology like centrifuge machines, X-Ray machines, Radeon kits, etc.

The starting salary of a Genetic Engineer can be somewhere around ₹25,000 to ₹30,000 per month in India. But, its scope is more for those planning to move abroad where a degree holder can expect anywhere near $5,000 to $7,000 per month.

Top Companies for Genetic Engineering Graduates

  • Bharat Biotech
  • Wockhardt
  • Cadila Pharmaceuticals
  • Boston Biological
  • Intas Biopharmaceuticals
  • Invitrogen
  • Datar Cancer Genetics Limited
  • LG Life Sciences
  • Panacea Biotech
  • Emcure Pharmaceuticals

This was all about genetic engineering. If you need any more assistance with institutions, the application process, finances, paperwork, or anything else, call the Leverage Edu professionals at 1800-572-000 and let them give you outstanding end-to-end mentorship and advice to help you make your goal a reality in no time!

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