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Genetic Engineering Career, Job Scope, Salary, Companies Hiring
In our day to day lives, we hear about new inventions in life sciences for the benefit of mankind. It might be related to the insecticide or herbicide resistant plant varieties development, induced increase nutrient content in vegetables or fruit and diagnosis of birth defects or diseases. All this has been possible because of Genetic engineering. Study of genetics has not only to make us understand why we all have different physical characteristics (hair, eye color, etc.), why we resemble our parents but has also resulted in taking science to a level beyond imagination.
It is now possible to sequence and edit the genome. The new CRISPR technology which is the most powerful gene editing tool is a result of genetic engineering. These new inventions have attracted and encouraged students to pursue their career in genetic engineering but still, a huge mass of the biotech graduate & postgraduate crowd are unaware of this field due to lack of information or proper guidance students have to look for some other option to choose it as their career path. This article provides an insight on Genetic engineering career scope, Job prospects, salary, and companies.
Genetic engineering involves organisms manipulation of genes using biotechnology. In recent years there is a demand in genetics as a career due to the development of improved medicine and wellness therapies. Genetic engineering is a research-oriented field. It has a wide scope in agriculture, medicine, and industries. To be a genetic engineer a strong understanding of scientific methods, critical thinking, analytical, mathematical, problem-solving skills and the ability to use graphics, photoimaging, computer-aided design (CAD), laboratory equipment, software such as PERL, Python are required.
Courses in Genetic Engineering
Genetics field is very vast – it comprises of population, ecological, human, conservation, medical, classical, quantitative, molecular and immunogenetics. There are several undergraduate and postgraduate courses available for students such as bachelor, masters as well as a doctoral degree in this field. In order to get admission for Bachelor courses, the student should have Physics, Biology, and Chemistry at the senior secondary level.
Some of the courses in this field are:
Bachelor of Science
- Genetics (B.Sc Genetics),
- Honors in Genetics (B.Sc (Hons.) Genetics)
Master of Science
- Genetics (M.Sc Genetics),
- Honors in Genetics (M.Sc (Hons.) Genetics)
- Applied Genetics
- Human Genetics
- Biomedical Genetics
- Molecular Biology and Human Genetics
- Master of Philosophy (M. Phill Genetics)
- Microbial Genetics and Bioinformatics
- Stem cell and Tissue Engineering
Doctoral of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
- Human genetics
- Molecular and Human Genetics
- Genetic engineering
- Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering
Some colleges /universities conduct an aptitude test for admission in bachelors or master degree course and give admission in genetic courses on the basis of merit list of the qualifying examination. For example, AIEEE, JEE-IIT GATE/JAM are the exams for admission in these courses.
Some of the colleges that offer above-mentioned courses are:
- University of Delhi
- Maharshi Dayanand University – MDU
- Bharathiar University, Coimbatore
- Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
- SRM University
- Banaras Hindu University
- Ch. Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University
- Acharya Nagarjuna University
- Punjab Agricultural University
- Guru Nanak Dev University
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University
- Osmania University
- Manipal University
- University of Kolkata
You can also do your graduation in biotechnology and specialization in genetic engineering.
If you are planning to study abroad than your GPA, GRE/TOEFL scores and research projects are very important. The projects or summer internship from prestigious organizations such as IISC, TIFR, etc. will increase your research skills and also help in you to obtain scholarships for higher studies (Masters or Ph.D.) from abroad.
Genetic Engineering Career Scope & Job Prospects
Career scope in the genetic engineering field is enormous. It is a rapidly developing field in India as there is a need for genetically modified crops to fulfill the demands of a growing population and also due to the availability of limited resources. Therefore, grants, funding, and development of institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) for genetic engineering have been established by the Indian government. In biomedical, dairy, agriculture industry and forensic labs there is a wide scope for students who want to pursue their career in genetic engineering. Not only in India, but much more scope is also there in countries like Europe, Canada, especially the USA, and the UK.
The employment areas where you can work after studying genetic course are:
Undergraduate or postgraduate (M. tech /M.Sc) degree or specialization in genetic engineering can work as a research assistant in government or private labs or can work in biotech and pharmaceutical companies. The work of a genetic engineer is to isolate and alter the genetic material of an organism and transplant or splice it to another. The research assistant has to assist the scientists in the lab and perform duties such as preparation of cultures of microorganisms, operate laboratory equipment, preparing samples for testing, maintain laboratory standards, process development, analyses and reporting data.
You can qualify CSIR/UGC NET or Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) exam and work as a Junior Research Fellow (JRF) in research labs as well.
Ph.D. candidates can work as join R&D section in biotech companies. They can work as a research scientist, can do postdoctoral training.
In India, some of the genetic engineering research centers are:
- International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi,
- The Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi.
- Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore,
- National Institute of Immunology (NII), Delhi,
- Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), Thiruvananthapuram.
- Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai
- Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore,
- IIT Biotechnology departments.
- Bcs-Insilico Biology, Lucknow
If you have an interest in academics and want to pursue your career in teaching, you can give Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) UGC NET examinations after completing your B.Tech (B.Tech final year exam students are also eligible) and M.Sc. If you qualify these exams, you will be eligible for lectureship. You can pursue a Ph.D. or join educational institutes or universities as assistant professor or lecturer.
Agriculture & Food Industry
The geneticist has a major role to play in agriculture and food industry. The scientists work by manipulating plants genes, forming new varieties with improved quality as well as quantity, biopesticide production, and nutraceutical development. The scientists also work on animal breeding to get a better variety for meat and milk production.
Indian Agricultural Research Institute is a national institute for agricultural research and education, ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases, National Institute of Animal Biotechnology, etc. where you can perform research.
Improvements in healthcare, clinical diagnostics, medicine, gene-based therapies, wellness treatment have increased demand for genetic counselors. It is estimated to be raised in the coming years as well. The role of a genetic counselor is to advise or counsel patients, new parents on genetic test results. The counselors have to provide genetic services to patients and their families regarding the risk or occurrence of diseases such as cancer (Pedigree analysis), producing reports, etc. There are certain requirements to become a genetic counselor under Board of genetic counseling in India.
An accredited genetic counseling course or formal training (at least one-year duration) is required from India or equivalent, from any other country to become a genetic counselor. Also, postgraduate courses in medicine, life science, genetics, sociology, psychology for at least a two-year duration and clinical counseling experience is required. Ph.D. or master degree in human genetics or working experience in genetics or genomics lab for more than 3 years, providing test result related counseling to patients ie needed to become a genetic counselor. The genetic counselors have a very lucrative salary as well.
Hospitals/Genetic Diagnostic laboratories
Geneticist role is very important in the scientific and medical field. It has a critical role in research related to cancer, DNA samples, unborn defects, reproduction, and cell growth. Genetic profiling is also very popular nowadays, as people want to get access to any future diseases such as diabetes, cancer, etc. or complications so that they can change their lifestyle to prevent such condition. Patience, perseverance and good communication skills are required in order to be successful in the job. All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Tata Memorial Centre, Apollo hospitals, DNA Labs India are the places where you can find the opportunity to work.
Scientist in Forensic Lab
There is a rapid increase in crime and parental issues within the past few years. There is a lot of demand for genetic engineers in the forensic department. You have to work with the law enforcement firms where you need to identify and analyze evidence from crime scenes. The nature of work involves analyses of samples such as DNA, skin, blood, etc. and generating data which will help in the identification of the culprit of the crime.
It is quite obvious that when you are fresher you are not being paid much as it happens in other fields as well but as you gain experience in this field, there are very good salary packages for you. The salary package depends on a number of factors, like the field of specialization, type of job, whether it is government or private and also job position as well as location. The institute from which the course has been completed, skills, knowledge, experience, position and the company you are associated with also matter.
Salary Range Provided in Genetic Engineering field :
- Candidate in jobs or training period ranges from 2-2.8 Lakh per annum
- For research associate, it ranges from 3.5 lakh to 5 lakh per year.
- Junior scientists vary from 6-9 lakh per annum
- Whereas for a senior scientist, it varies between 15-16 lakh per annum in private companies.
Not only in India but in foreign also if you are looking for a career the average annual base salary is $159,339 to $194,895 of geneticists in the USA. For example, a doctoral researcher gets a package of more than 22 lakh per annum (i.e. € 29,060/ year) whereas for postdoctoral researchers more than 50 Lakh per annum (€50,525/year). As the experience in this field increases, the salary packages offered in both private and government sector increases.
There are various companies in India who hire candidates in this field. Some of the companies and there are of work are:
- Panacea Biotech in New Delhi works on recombinant genes.
- Boston biological in Bangalore works in DNA vaccines for poultry and human diseases.
- Wockhardt in Mumbai manufactures and markets recombinant products such as vaccines, hepatitis, erythropoietin, recombinant insulin named wosulin.
- Cadila pharmaceuticals at Ahmedabad, work on recombinant vaccines, anticancer biotherapeutics, and diagnostics using recombinant antigens.
- Bharat Biotech International in Hyderabad manufactures human vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and cancer therapeutics.
- Claris Lifesciences in Ahmedabad works on recombinant technology and monoclonal antibodies technology.
- Intas Biopharmaceuticals at Ahmedabad, work on recombinant DNA technology, developed recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.
- Invitrogen in Bangalore is a manufacturer and distributor of recombinant proteins and peptides.
- LG Life Sciences India in Delhi works on recombinant DNA pharmaceuticals including recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine, human erythropoietin, and infertility drugs.
- Emcure Pharmaceuticals in Pune works to create recombinant biogenerics in oncology, nephrology, cardiovascular and gynecology.
- Datar Cancer Genetics Limited is situated in Nashik, Maharashtra work in molecular genetics.
In the past few years, many genetic engineering based companies have been established.
- Stempeutics is a Bangalore based leading stem cell company develops stem cell-based medicinal products. It has developed India’s first allogeneic stem cell therapy.
- Maymygenome, in Hyderabad, is a genomic and a molecular diagnostic company which monitors the risk of cardiac and brain diseases. Also, perform DNA-based test to assess the risk of cancer, lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, newborn screening, health prediction and also guide for suitable therapy.
- Pandorum technologies is a Bangalore based company who is taking tissue engineering to the next level in India. It has made India’s first 3D printed artificial human liver tissue.
- Swagene, a Chennai based company, is India’s first lab who is working on personalized medicine especially working on cancers their detection and therapy. They have launched a personalized medicine for children suffering from blood cancer.
By now you must be having a brief knowledge on Genetic Engineering CareerGenetics has a lot of opportunities however your achievements depends upon your interpersonal skills, interest and what you aim to become. So, dear students, aim high, work hard and remember everything is possible if you believe.
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