Geneticist Salary Information For Your Planning and Career Advancement

Geneticists are a fast-moving field in the medical world. When you are a geneticist, you are a professional in the study of genes, as well as the overall science of heredity. To be a geneticist, you must be someone who enjoys doing extensive research. You will be picking up knowledge across many different fields of medicine and bringing them together to make informed decisions in research and for patients.

There are a variety of different types of geneticists. Some will solely focus on research genes and heredity science. Other geneticists, such as clinical geneticists, will consult with patients on conditions that they may have inherited due to their genes. Individuals may be referred to a geneticist due to having a family history of genetic conditions. These include things such as birth defects, hereditary cancer, and chromosomal disorders.

To practice as a geneticist, you must go through medical school with a specialty in genetics. Compensation for this specialty is generous, so you will be setting yourself up for a solid career in the short and long term.

Geneticist Salary Information

If you are a geneticist or looking to become one, understanding the common geneticist salary you can expect is critical. A geneticist is one of the most sought-after positions in the medical field. These individuals are in high demand and carry with them a lot of value to any institution they work for.

When you are looking at compensation for a geneticist, you have to look at the compensation as well as the work RVUs or relative value units. According to the 2023 MGMA Compensation and Production Report, a geneticist will have a total compensation with a median value of $233,750.   Other sources report salaries above and below the MGMA average:

  • ZipRecruiter has an average of $287,499
  • Payscale reports an average base salary of $273,000
  • estimating it a bit lower on average around $180,000
  • Glassdoor shows total pay around $170,000
  • Comparably reports the lowest average salary around $146,000

The range of salary nationwide will vary depending on several factors.

Factors to Impact Salary

What are some of the key factors that will play a role in your salary? One of the easy ones that you can think of is the demand in your particular area of the country. If you are a geneticist in the Boston, MA area and that particular area currently has a high population of professionals in that medical field, your demands for a salary may not be as warranted. The demand versus the supply in a given location will have a big impact on your ability to command salary value.

Experience level is another big factor that you will want to consider. Are you just out of school or do you have a bunch of experience in terms of years as well as different medicinal field experiences? These things can impact the salary that you can ask for.

You also have to consider the gender gap that still exists. American working women are still not making as much as their male counterparts. As a matter of fact, according to Axios, women are earning about 15% less than men. This would translate to a lower geneticist salary just because of your gender and nothing more.

Read this: How Moving Can Help Physicians Pay Off Student Loans

Average Student Loan Debt for Geneticists

Geneticists are no strangers to extensive schooling. Once you graduate and you are in a position to begin to practice in the field of medicine, that is also the time you are likely going to have to start paying off your student loans. For geneticists, that means you’re going to be starting with a median student loan debt burden of around $40,000 and up to $50,000. This is the expectation when it comes to what you can anticipate regarding student loan debt once you are in the workforce and out of school.

Ways to Use a Geneticist Salary to Tackle the Student Loan Debt

There are some different tactics that you can take to tackle student loan debt. You want to manage them and get the loans into a repayment plan that can work for your finances. The rule of thumb fi that you do not want the payment of your student loan debt to be beyond 20% of your income so that you can still live and grow your wealth in time. If you work for a public service institution, you may qualify for forgiveness as well over time.

Refinancing your student loans is also a very sound option for many individuals. Physicians Thrive can help with special discount rates that may be available so that you can refinance into a better situation.

Pathways to Increasing Your Salary

There are some tried and true tactics that you can take to increase your salary over time. One of the first ways that you can do this is to start up your practice. If you have your practice, you can then make financial moves such as investing in real estate instead of renting out office space.

You can become more productive with the highest value tasks by hiring assistants to do tasks that are much less intensive.

If you are working in an area where there is not a high demand for your specialty, look to relocate to where the demand exists. Once you are there, negotiate a signing bonus along with your salary.

You can also increase your salary by getting additional certifications, participating in research and development, and other tactics that will ultimately increase the value you provide.

Related: How to Negotiate a Physician’s Relocation Bonus

Manage Your Salary and Build Wealth

You want to manage your salary so that you can utilize it to build wealth over time. This starts with coming towards a retirement plan. You want to do retirement planning early on in your career so that you have a good understanding of your needs and can begin to save early. You also want to do proper tax planning so that you are putting enough income away come tax time. Finally, work with a financial planner to have sound investments across the board and protect your income with disability insurance coverage.

Protection Via Malpractice Insurance

You want to be sure you are doing what you can to protect yourself if a patient believes they were not cared for properly. Malpractice insurance is important as it can help to be sure you have coverage should the unfortunate happen. You want to be sure you have enough by consulting with a financial advisor as well as an insurance professional. You want to look at the policy to see if your limits are by occurrence number of claims made, etc. Geneticists’ salaries can be high, but there is also a risk of malpractice lawsuits or claims. In these instances, malpractice insurance can prove to bring forth a lot of value.

Keep Reading: Malpractice Insurance Options (And How To Negotiate)

How and Why to Negotiate Salary

You need to know what you are worth when you are going into a contract negotiation as a geneticist. When you are looking and researching all of the geneticist salary information, you should have a good idea as to what you can earn. So should you just be accepting the very first offer that is thrown your way? The answer is no, as you should be negotiating your contract. The thought that you should just accept the first employment offer you get is acceptable, but may not be in your best interest in the long run.

Before you sign on for that contract, you need to have an understanding of all of the compensation and benefits, clauses in the contract, as well as what negotiation tools you can rely on. Some of these negotiation tools include:

Understand Your Worth

You need to know what you are worth when it comes to your salary. You are going to be in a good position by doing a lot of research ahead of time. Go into the negotiation process with an understanding of what others in the industry and with similar experience bring in with compensation and benefits. There are a lot of great resources out there you can rely on. You also want to think about what you have and can contribute to a company and factor that into your job offer. Finally, think about what you will bring in terms of value in the future and derive value from it to put forth salary expectations.

Know What You Will Accept

Do you have a firm grasp of what you will be willing to accept in terms of a compensation package? You should always go into every negotiation with baseline expectations. What can you accept and be comfortable with in regards to compensation? Now that you have that in place, put forth what your stretch goal may be. This may be tough to achieve, but needs to be something that statistics back up as possible. With the base of what you will accept as well as your aspirational salary, you will have a range to negotiate within.

Don’t Rush to Accept An Offer

When you get an offer, do not think that you must rush to accept it immediately. Talk to the hiring manager, thank them for the offer, and let them know that you will need some time to consider it. Get a deadline and use this timeframe to think through if you want to counter. You never want to seem too eager and just accept whatever is thrown your way in terms of compensation.

Negotiate Beyond the Dollars

It is easy to just focus on the compensation, but you want to look at the whole job offer as a package. Think about the compensation package, but also things such as professional development opportunities, flexibility in your schedule and work/life balance, a signing bonus, etc. These are all different ways in which an offer can be sweetened without just being on the base of compensation.

Reliance on Expert Assistance

You should be working with individuals who go beyond just you and your potential employer when it comes to salary negotiation. It can be very helpful to have a team of professionals by your side to provide you with advice and assistance regarding your negotiation process.

The first person you may want to consider is to have an employment lawyer with you. This employment lawyer will know about common geneticist contracts and what you should be asking for. They will understand your value.

Beyond the employment lawyer, you also want to have a financial advisor and physician compensation expert with you. They will help you with valuable advice and information that will assist you in reviewing your contract and making a sound decision. Physicians Thrive is the only contract review provider that gives physicians unlimited access to both a licensed attorney and a financial planner during the review & negotiation process. We’re here to help you understand and negotiate before you sign.

Related: What should a Employment Agreement for Physicians Include?

Protection For Your Salary

It is one thing to have your job and a salary you are comfortable with, but what if you are unable to perform your duties due to an unforeseen incident? You want to protect your salary and ensure you have coverage should you ever get involved in an accident, end up sick, or for some reason unable to fulfill the contract.

How you can protect yourself when it comes to your salary is to be sure you have disability insurance. You never want to just rely on the group policy of your employer as it is likely to help you meet the full needs should an accident occur. Individual policies will be tailored to your needs, with coverage that can make up the difference should you not be able to fulfill your duties. Group policies from your employer are far more general, limiting in what and how much they will cover.

Keep Reading: Group Disability vs. Individual Disability Insurance for Physicians

Know Your Worth and Make It a Reality

As a geneticist, it is up to you to take control of your salary and understand the worth you bring to the table. Know the worth and make it a reality by practicing good negotiation tactics, relying on professionals, and going into the situation armed with numbers that back up what you are asking for. A geneticist’s salary is something that can carry a wide range depending on the employer, state, the experience you have, and so on. With all of these variables, put forth your best effort to be sure the salary you are commanding is representative of your true value.

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