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Healthcare scientist, genetics: Career development

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Career progression to higher grades, following successful completion of the training period, may involve moving to another hospital. Further study and training may follow and some clinical scientists study for a PhD either full or part time (if they don't already have one).

Networking at all levels is part of successful career development in this role. Maintaining a professional profile by presenting research at meetings, undertaking work exchanges abroad and applying for research grants is also recommended.

Ongoing training and professional development is mandatory to retain HCPC registration. Opportunities for networking and continuing professional development (CPD) can be found through membership of the Association for Clinical Genetic Science (ACGS)

It is possible to apply for principal scientist or consultant scientist roles after several years' experience at a professional grade. This can be either a clinical or management role. Responsibilities may include supervising and training a laboratory team, compiling and interpreting reports, and advising health authorities on policy matters relating to genetics, through work on appropriate committees.

There are opportunities to specialise in specific areas of genetics.

A consultant role in management is likely to involve the management of a large department or major departmental section, and advanced budgeting and administration skills are often required. Consultant positions are usually awarded to heads of departments or of major sections. It is possible to gain a senior position by making a significant contribution in the field of genetics.

There are also opportunities for management roles within the National Health Service (NHS) (see NHS Careers ). The diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries offer a number of opportunities including:

  • pure research;
  • technical support for sales and marketing;
  • medical information specialist;
  • senior management posts.
Written by AGCAS editors
February 2015

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