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Cytotechnologist

Overview and Key Facts

Microscope
Education
Education
Bachelor's degree
Median Pay
Median Pay
$57,800
Job Growth
Job Growth
6.60%
(Above US Average)
Jobs in 2031
Jobs in 2031
351,000

What Do They Do?

A cytotechnologist could...

Overview Listen to this section

When a patient gets sick, his or her doctor will take sample cells from the affected part of his or her body and send them to a lab for testing to figure out what is wrong. This is where the cytotechnologist steps in. The cytotechnologist will take the sample cells, make slides from them, and examine the slides under a microscope. Cytotechnologists are trained to detect abnormalities in cells that come from all body sites in order to to make a diagnosis of cancer or other diseases. These professionals help pathologists and doctors diagnose diseases early, thus saving lives.
Kelly is a cytotechnologist, and in this video, she describes her first experience looking at a sample slide and how she gets "lost" in a slide.

Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Cytotechnologist?


  1. Critical Thinking: ?
  2. Active Listening: ?
  3. Reading Comprehension: ?
  4. Active Learning: ?
  5. Judgment and Decision Making: ?

Core Tasks

Think about if you'd like the typical tasks a Cytotechnologist might do:
  • Submit slides with abnormal cell structures to pathologists for further examination.
  • Document specimens by verifying patients' and specimens' information.
  • Examine cell samples to detect abnormalities in the color, shape, or size of cellular components and patterns.
  • Provide patient clinical data or microscopic findings to assist pathologists in the preparation of pathology reports.
  • Maintain effective laboratory operations by adhering to standards of specimen collection, preparation, or laboratory safety.
  • Prepare and analyze samples, such as Papanicolaou (PAP) smear body fluids and fine needle aspirations (FNAs), to detect abnormal conditions.
  • Examine specimens, using microscopes, to evaluate specimen quality.
  • Assist pathologists or other physicians to collect cell samples by fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy or other method.
  • Assign tasks or coordinate task assignments to ensure adequate performance of laboratory activities.
  • Adjust, maintain, or repair laboratory equipment, such as microscopes.
  • Attend continuing education programs that address laboratory issues.
  • Examine specimens to detect abnormal hormone conditions.

Salary & Job Openings

Steps to Get There: Becoming a Cytotechnologist

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On the Job

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