Allied Roles


Browse Jobs

What is a Cytotechnologist?

A cytotechnologist is a laboratory professional who is an expert in human cells – diving deep to spot the culprits of diseases and anomalies. They play an important role in disease diagnosis by using a microscope to examine human cells. This process allows them to identify cancerous or precancerous lesions, infectious agents, and more. Cytotechnologists study cell samples obtained from various parts of the body and prepare them on slides using specialized techniques. They enable pathologists to diagnose and treat diseases earlier and more effectively. 

What does a Cytotechnologist Do?

Cytotechnologists inspect cell specimens to detect diseases. On a daily basis, these professionals perform the following tasks: 

  • Prepare and study slides of human cells
  • Scan for any cell abnormalities using microscopes
  • Mark suspicious cells and collaborate with pathologists to confirm their findings 
  • Collaborate with pathologists to provide accurate and timely diagnosis
  • Stay updated with  new screening and identification techniques

What skills does a Cytotechnologist need?

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What skills does a Cytotechnologist need?

Cytotechnologists must have a blend of technical and interpersonal skills, as well as an eagle eye for spotting microscopic anomalies. These skills can include:

  • People & communication skills: Working closely with other medical professionals requires strong communication skills so critical information can be delivered in a timely manner.
  • Attention to detail: Failing to identify an area of abnormal cells can have major consequences. Attention to detail and thoroughness is critical to this allied health role. 
  • Technical skills: A specialized skill set obtained from an accredited training program offers the necessary technical knowledge to examine samples and identify anomalies. A single slide can have tens of thousands of cells (or more!), so it’s important to be detail oriented.
  • Stamina: Spending long hours every day in a lab analyzing specimens under a microscope requires extra focus and stamina. 

Working as a cytotechnologist requires a high level of independence to complete meticulous work. If you’re more of a “behind the scenes” type of person, this role is an excellent choice.

Learn More About

Work settings for Cytotechnologists

Anywhere there is a lab, there is a cytotechnologist. They are most commonly employed by hospitals, universities, research labs, and private laboratories. Depending on the type of facility, a broader range of samples may be involved. 

A typical schedule involves eight-hour days, five days per week – with a significant amount of time spent sitting at microscopes. 

Common Cases Cytotechnologists Encounter

Cytotechnologists engage in cellular analysis to identify abnormalities. Key case types include:

  • Gynecological Cases: Primarily involving Pap smears for detecting cervical cancer.
  • Non-Gynecological Cases: Analyzing body fluids, respiratory, and urinary tract specimens.
  • Fine Needle Aspirations (FNA): Diagnosing tumors and other masses through aspirated material analysis.

These cases facilitate early disease detection and diagnosis, crucial for effective patient care and treatment planning.

How to Become A Cytotechnologist

Becoming a cytotechnologist requires a mix of formal education, hands-on training, and certification. Initially, one must enroll in a bachelor’s degree or post-bachelor’s certificate program that specializes in cytotechnology or a related field.

The education journey encompasses classroom learning and lab training where students get to accumulate hundreds of hours working with microscopes and other essential technologies, gearing them up for the real-world challenges in cytology. After graduation the Cytotechnologist (CT) credential is obtained by passing the certification exam, you’re ready to start working! 

How to Advance Your Career As A Cytotechnologist

The more experience you gain in the field, the more skilled and proficient you’ll become. Over time, you’ll develop a keen sense for detecting even the most difficult to spot abnormalities. Regular continuing education & training can advance your knowledge even further. 

There are a few ways to go when looking to advance your career as a cytotechnologist including: 

  • Supervisory roles: With years of experience and expertise, you might be considered for leadership or managerial roles in the lab. You can oversee a team of cytotechnologists and be responsible for quality control and other administrative tasks. 
  • Teaching: If you’re a natural mentor, teaching might be a fulfilling role to transition to after working in a lab. Many cytotechnologists find positions at colleges or teaching hospitals where they can guide students in the intricacies of cytology. 

Education Requirements & Helpful Certification

There are many educational institutions to choose from, spanning community colleges, universities, and technical schools, all offering cytotechnology programs. Most of these programs are designed to be completed in about a year, prepping students for certification.

The admission process in cytotechnology programs might include a few hurdles such as:

  • Meeting a specified overall grade point average (GPA) requirement.
  • Completion of certain undergraduate and prerequisite courses.
  • Undergoing an interview and pre-screening process.
  • Providing letters of recommendation from relevant individuals or entities.

To become a certified cytotechnologist, credentials must be obtained through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) by passing the certification exam. 

The CT(ASCP) examination covers a wide range of information including: 

  • Gynecological cytology
  • Non-gynecological cytology
  • Pathology, histology, and morphology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Body cavity fluids
  • Fine needle aspirations
  • Laboratory operations

Average Salary For Cytotechnologists

Based on real user-submitted data from, the median income for a cytotechnologist in the United States is $86,428 per year. Entry-level professionals can expect to make just above $70k per year, while senior roles earn just over $100k per year. 

Specialty Organizations & Communities

American Society for Cytotechnology (ASCT): The ASCT provides educational and networking opportunities for cytotechnologists and other cytopathology professionals. They also offer resources, advocacy, and continuing education opportunities.

American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP): While ASCP serves all professionals in the field of pathology, it includes resources, certifications, and professional development opportunities tailored specifically for cytotechnologists.

International Academy of Cytology (IAC): An organization with a global perspective, the IAC is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of cytology and promoting high standards of diagnostic cytopathology and research in cellular pathology.

Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology: Named in honor of Dr. George Papanicolaou, the pioneer of the Pap test, this society focuses on the promotion and enhancement of cytopathology. They offer educational resources, guidelines, and networking opportunities.

Ideal Personality Traits

Let's start building the life you want.

Join The Movement

Travel Cytotechnologist 101

Interested in a travel Cytotechnologist career? Here’s all you need to get started.

What is Travel Nurse?

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic

Typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Read More

What is a Cytotechnologist?

Further Travel Healthcare Resources

Here are some broad resources to help you in your travel healthcare career, applicable to Allied health roles as well as travel nursing.

Let's start building the life you want.

Get Started Today