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Cytotechnologists study microscopic cells for evidence of disease, such as cancer.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

Cytotechnologist, Cytology Manager



Cytotechnologists are laboratory professionals who study cells and cellular anomalies. Using a microscope, they examine slides of human cells for any indication that a cell is abnormal and/or diseased (i.e., cancerous or precancerous lesions, infectious agents, or inflammatory processes). Cytotechnologists often play a crucial role in helping patients to recover from illness, by identifying a disease while it is still at a treatable stage.

Cell specimens may be obtained from various body sites, such as the female reproductive tract, the lung, etc. Using special techniques, slides are first prepared from these specimens. Cytotechnologists then examine the slides microscopically, mark cellular changes that indicate disease, and submit a report to the pathologist for final evaluation.

Using the findings of cytotechnologists, the pathologist then is able to diagnose and treat disease -- in many cases, long before it could be detected otherwise. For instance, in recent years, fine needles are being used to aspirate lesions, even those that are deeply seated in the body. This has greatly enhanced the ability to find and diagnose tumors located in previously inaccessible sites.

If you enjoy independent, meticulous, microscopic work, and are comfortable with a high degree of responsibility, cytotechnology can provide great career satisfaction in a vital health-care role.

Cytotechnologists are employed in hospital laboratories, universities and private laboratories. After further study, you may advance to positions such as supervisor or educator. Opportunities in research, particularly on subjects pertinent to clinical diagnosis, may be available depending on where you are employed.


Educational Requirements

The minimum degree required for an entry-level position in this field is a bachelor's degree. In order to become a cytotechnologist, interested individuals must attend an accredited certification or master’s program in cytotechnology. Educational programs are either university-based or hospital-based and involve 1 or 2 years of instruction. Find an accredited cytotechnology program.


Median Salary 2023

According to, the average salary of a Cytotechnologist in 2023 was $87,087.


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Information retrieved from Mayo Clinic: Cytotechnologist, Bureau of Labor Statistics: Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, Science Buddies: Cytotechnologist and Cytotechnologist.

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