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Genetic Engineering Careers

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Genetic engineering careersGenetics is one of the fastest-growing fields in science. As geneticists study and develop new ways of looking at the world, genetic engineers apply their findings to business use. Many people might initially connect genetics to human genetic modification or cloning, but genetic engineering careers generally have a more practical application.

Genetic Engineering Applications

The most typical use for genetic engineering today can be found within the food production industry, where genetic engineers work to create genetically modified plants that are resistant to cold, have a longer shelf life, or possess other qualities useful to the food industry. Despite consumer uncertainty, farmers in the U.S. and elsewhere have widely adopted genetically engineered crops, and genetic engineering careers thrive on crops like soybeans, cotton, and corn. Genetic engineers may work on a small scale with local business, or an international scale with groups like the United Nations.

A typical work day in the life of a genetic engineer in the production industry might include the following tasks:
  • Studying the effect of a genetically engineered crop on a local environment
  • Testing the nutrition level of a newly engineered strain of cotton
  • Presenting human health risks and benefits to a panel of engineers or scientists
Genetic engineering careers can be found in research and development laboratories, with large food production or chemical companies, or within educational programs. No degree or certificate program can guarantee a particular career, but because the field of genetic engineering is formative and growing swiftly, it is important for genetic engineers to keep their education and training current with emerging technologies.