How To Become An Embryologist
An embryologist specializes in the study of reproduction. They are often employed in fertility clinics and hospitals, to assist patients who are experiencing problems with reproduction. An embryologist will discuss the many treatment options that a patient has. They can help with in vitro fertilization, retrieve eggs from a patient, retrieving sperm samples from a patient, conducting tests on samples, and working with embryos.
Animal embryology is another branch of study. This field deals with animal reproduction. Many zoos, farms, wildlife preservations and other places hire animal embryologists to assist with their breeding programs and ensure that their animals keep reproducing.
Why Become An Embryologist
Many people dream of being able to have children some day; when they are unable to, they can become depressed and wonder what is wrong with them. It is very common to have reproductive issues. As an embryologist, you will be able to help patients understand their options. You will provide a number of tests in a fertilization clinic or a hospital. You may also help the patient undergo in vitro fertilization, if they choose. All the while, you must be a patient, compassionate person who can support the client in their time of need.
This is a great field where you will be able to help your patients have the child they always dreamed of. On the other hand, embryology can also be a controversial career choice; many people believe that people should not interfere with the reproduction process.
An Embryologist should possess the following skills and qualities:
- Medical Knowledge
- Good Researcher
- Good Communicator
- Detail Oriented
- Problem Solver
Embryologist Work Environment
An embryologist works in a fertility clinic. Patients who come to them are referred by a general practitioner of fertility specialist. The clinic is a laboratory setting, in which embryologists are collecting samples, testing samples, and other very detailed procedures. This all involves using proper equipment in the laboratory. Embryologists must be detail oriented and have great hand-eye coordination. Embryologists must work quickly and efficiently to handle the specimens under the proper care.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for medical scientists was $80,000 in 2014. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track data specifically from embryologists.
The median salary for an embryologist may differ, depending on a variety of factors such as experience, education, location, industry, and more.
Embryologist Career Outlook
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical scientists will see a growth in employment of eight percent between 2014 and 2024. This is average compared to other career fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track data specifically from embryologists.
There are millions of people in the United States who are experiencing difficulty with reproducing. These people require the expertise of an embryologist to help them have children. Due to the volume of people who are experiencing infertility issues, it is expected that embryology is a field that is going to continue to see career growth in the future.
To start a career in embryology, you will first want to obtain your bachelor’s degree. Enroll in a four-year college or university and graduate with a degree in a specialization such as biology, human physiology, medical biology, life science, or a related field. These will give you the foundation to begin a path in this field.
While you are in college, apply for internships with fertility clinics in your area. This will give you a first-hand look to see what a day is like for an embryologist. During your internship, you will get a better sense if this is what you want to do. You will also have the ability to network with people in your industry, which will make it easier to get a job as an embryologist.
After graduation, consider applying to graduate school. While this is not a requirement to become an embryologist, a master’s degree could qualify you for additional employment opportunities. There are master’s programs in embryology available, where you will learn about biochemistry, in vitro fertilization, molecular biology, infertility, and genetics, to name a few. This coursework is helpful to take if you are serious about a career as an embryologist. There are PhD programs available as well. A doctorate can take up to five years to complete, while a master’s degree requires two additional years after college.