Who are they and what do they do? The geneticist studies and applies the laws of transmission and metamorphosis of live organisms (microorganisms, plants, animals and human beings). Geneticists may find job opportunities at research institutes of human, animal and plant genetics, at health and breeding stations. Sometimes they also work at other medical, pharmacological and veterinary establishments or participate in special research for the purposes of the defence and interior ministries (DNA tests are used also for identification purposes, as evidence of the guilt or innocence of those involved in criminal cases).
What are the activities of the job? Study of genetic material and inheritance at various levels and in various contexts: molecular, chromosomal, cellular and population genetics, to name a few. S/he carries out experiments at breeding stations or agricultural research institutes. His/her scientific knowledge is used especially in medical, pharmaceutical and veterinary practice; s/he provides knowledge in the area of human genetics directly or indirectly to hospitals, health centres, genetic counselling, research in scientific institutes, advice or expert testimony to courts (paternity tests, and as evidence of the defendant's guilt or innocence by the analysis of DNA samples).
Where is it done and under what conditions? Work may be in a laboratory or outdoors doing field work, depending on the specific nature of the work. A geneticist of microorganisms must work in a sterile laboratory. S/he carries out experiments in the area of plant genetics, but also in the field, in greenhouses, breeding stations or in the forest. Research in the area of animal genetics requires special breeding of laboratory animals and a geneticist may thus work also in a building where animals are kept and housed. The working conditions of a geneticist carry some risks, since s/he comes into contact with toxic chemical substances, mutagenic substances (they may corrupt the genetic code, with ultraviolet (UV) radiation and even with radioactive substances.
What tools/equipment do they use? Various items of special scientific equipment may be used. The results are processed by way of information technology.
What do you need to succeed? You need to have completed university studies at a faculty of science, with a specialisation in genetics. The geneticist's work is intellectually demanding, it requires independent creative thinking. It is suitable for patient people, with the sense of precision; experimental work requires multiple repetition and verification of the findings.