UNM Logo

Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: S1008 / Genetic Counselor
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: AE13

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.


Under indirect supervision, provides genetic education, counseling, and psychological support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders or who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. Identifies families at risk, interprets information about the disorder, analyzes inheritance patterns, and reviews available options with the family. May coordinate and support research activities within area of expertise.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Assesses family history, and counsels patients and/or families in cases of genetic disorders or birth defects; assists families to comprehend the diagnosis, probable course of the disorder, and available management strategies.
  2. Assists families to understand alternatives for dealing with risk of genetic disorders, choose the course of action they deem appropriate and act in accordance with that decision, and make the best possible adjustment to the disorder in an affected family member and/or to the risk of recurrence of that disorder.
  3. Provides mental health counseling to families and/or refers individuals and families to support services and funding agencies.
  4. Documents patient charts and develops follow-up recommendations for patients; 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 specific to the objectives of the individual position, to include 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.
  9. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Master's degree in Genetic Counseling or directly equivalent discipline; at least 1 year of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified. Certification/Licensure Board eligible for certification as a Genetic Counselor.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Ability to apply mental health counseling methods and techniques.
  • Ability to observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress.
  • 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.
  • Knowledge of the principles and procedures of clinical research.
  • Ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.

Conditions of Employment

  • Successful candidate must submit to post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check.
  • Must maintain certification status.

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: 03/20/2017