Cytotechnologists are integral members of the health care team. With
the use of a microscope, cytotechnologists apply specific criteria to
decide whether the cells in a sample are normal, inflamed,
pre-cancerous, or malignant. Pathologists, medical doctors who examine
tissues and are responsible for the accuracy of laboratory tests, depend
upon the preliminary assessment of cytotechnologists to make final
diagnoses. As a result of the work that cytotechnologists perform,
physicians are often able to diagnose and treat cancer before symptoms
occur or before it is detected by other methods.
Cytotechnology is the study of the structure and function of cells.
Cytotechnology students learn to recognize abnormalities in cell
structures and microscopically evaluate body cell samples. They perform
a variety of diagnostic and research procedures in the cytopathology
laboratory, including processing and staining cell specimens and initial
microscopic evaluation of cellular material.
The role of a cytotechnologist extends beyond detecting cancer cells.
Their responsibilities also include quality improvement, laboratory
management and administration, teaching, research, and health education.
Career opportunities are excellent, and salaries are increasing due
to increased demand and high vacancy rates in many areas of the country.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17 percent increase in
job demand for cytotechnologists over the next three years. Expected
job placement for graduates is near 100 percent. Nationally, beginning
annual salaries range from $41,000 to $48,000, with an average salary of
$50,000, and the average salary for a cytotechnology supervisor is
$60,300. Sign-on bonuses and relocation packages are often available as
incentives from employers.
Cytotechnologists work in a variety of health care settings. These
settings include hospitals, clinics, universities, commercial
laboratories, public health organizations, and bio-technology
A CAREER IN CYTOTECHNOLOGY
OFFERS YOU SO MUCH
enjoy helping people and derive the personal reward associated with
saving lives from cancer.
help pathologists render diagnoses and allow surgeons and oncologists
(cancer doctors) to plan treatments.
- Cytotechnology is
ideal for people who are fascinated by looking through a microscope at
embrace challenge and responsibility.
are problem solvers and work well under pressure.
are reliable, set high standards for themselves, and expect quality in
the work that they perform.
are respected members of the health care team.