Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: S1008 / Genetic Counselor
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 14

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Provides genetic education, counseling, and support to patients and/or families who have genetic disorders, birth defects, or who may be at risk for inherited conditions. Works as part of a multidisciplinary team including medical geneticists and nurse practitioners. May coordinate and support research activities within area of expertise.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Assesses family and medical history and counsels patients and/or families in cases of genetic disorders or birth defects.
  2. Discusses benefits and limitations of genetic testing options. Obtains informed consent from interested patients.
  3. Assists families in understanding genetic disorders in their families; probable course of the disorder, available management strategies, medical recommendations from the geneticist and recurrence risks.
  4. Documents in patient charts and develops follow-up recommendations for patient; documents cases and maintains appropriate records, ensuring confidentiality.
  5. Develops and presents educational and related programs as appropriate.
  6. Coordinates and supports the execution of research protocol as needed; including recruitment and assessment of research subjects, provision of patient advice and support, and maintenance of research records.
  7. Performs associated administrative or clerical tasks, which may include special projects, correspondence, and program funding activities.
  8. Teaches and supervises training activities of residents and/or other health care professionals.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Master's degree in Genetic Counseling or directly equivalent discipline. Certification/Licensure: Board eligible or board certified as a Genetic Counselor.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Ability to apply counseling methods and techniques.
  • Ability to effectively communicate medical information, test results, diagnoses and/or proposed treatment in a manner easily understood by the client.
  • Knowledge of human genetic disorders and birth defects.
  • Ability to use independent judgment and to manage and impart confidential information.
  • Ability to counsel patients and/or families in life management and coping skills.
  • Ability to maintain emotional stability to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.
  • Ability to educate patients and/or families as to the nature of disease and to provide instruction on proper care and treatment.
  • Knowledge of community support services and funding agencies.
  • Ability to supervise, advise, and train clinical professionals and/or students in area of expertise.
  • Ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.

Conditions of Employment

  • Must pass a pre-employment criminal background check.
  • May be subject to credentialing process; must maintain credentialed status, if applicable.
  • Must maintain certification and/or licensure status.
  • Employees who provide services or work in patient care or clinical areas are required to be in compliance with the University's influenza vaccination requirement.
  • Successful candidate must submit to a post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check. Additional health screenings may be required, dependent on the nature of the research conducted, as determined by Employee Occupational Health Services.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • No or very limited physical effort required.
  • No or very limited exposure to physical risk.
  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior/office work environment.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 07/11/2021