Evolutionary geneticists study evolution in terms of changes in gene and genotype frequencies and the processes that convert variations within populations into permanent variations between species. For example, someone might study the differences that lead one species of finch to have a large beak and bushy feathers while another species has a pointy beak and streamlined feathers. The field of evolutionary genetics essentially applies modern genetics to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
Genetics is the fastest growing field in biological science, and as a branch of that field, evolutionary genetics will experience a increase in demand. Geneticists will enjoy a corresponding increase in job opportunities, though competition for these opportunities will remain high.
Working Conditions & Context
Evolutionary geneticists spend most of their time in laboratories, using sophisticated molecular biology techniques to study and manipulate genes, including DNA transfer within and among species. They may also conduct field work from time to time. Often they will work as part of a team, coordinating research efforts with fellow geneticists and colleagues in related fields.
A typical Salary Range for this career is $44,320 - $139,440 annually.
The Median Income for this career is about $82,840 annually.
Evolutionary genetics requires advanced degrees and considerable experience. Students should prepare themselves by taking courses in science, especially biological sciences, and thinking ahead to training and education beyond a Bachelor's degree. To obtain a position of independence and authority, individuals must an advanced degree, specifically a Ph.D.
Certification & Licensing:
The Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics
The American Association for the Advancement of Science
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.