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Home > Healthcare Careers > Clinical Laboratory Science > Cytotechnologist

What does a cytotechnologist do?

Cytotechnologists are specially trained laboratory technologists who study the structure and function of cells in the human body. They examine cell samples under a microscope to detect any changes that could indicate a disease, such as cancer.

What a Cytotechnologist might do in a workday?

  • Prepare slides of cell samples for examination.
  • Examine smears of cell samples on slides using a microscope.
  • Detect and report abnormalities in the color, size and shape of cellular components and patterns.
  • Use automated equipment and instruments, including microscopes, to prepare samples for microscopic study.
  • Analyze test results with pathologists.
  • May assist physicians with collecting cell samples.

Developing a Career as a Cytgo totechnologist

Most cytotechnologists work in hospitals, clinics or private laboratories under the supervision of pathologists. Some may work in universities as professors or researchers.

How much salary do cytotechnologists make?


How do I become a cytotechnologist?

Students intending to pursue a career as a cytotechnologist should prepare by taking challenging high school courses in science, math and English. Students must complete three years of college prior to entering a 12- to 21-month program in cytotechnology (offered at a college or hospital) or attend a post-baccalaureate certificate program at a college or university.

Where else can I learn about a career in cytotechnology?

Professional Associations 

American Society for Cytotechnology

1500 Sunday Drive, Suite 102

Raleigh, NC 27607

(919) 861-5571

(800) 948-3947

American Society of Cytopathology

100 W. 10th St., Suite 605

Wilmington, DE 19801

(302) 543-6583

American Society for Clinical Pathology

33 W. Monroe St., Suite 1600

Chicago, IL 60603

(312) 541-4999

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