What is a Cytotechnologist?

The prefix "cyto" means "cell." The use of technology—or more specifically a microscope—to study cells is cytotechnology. As a cytotechnologist you will prepare and examine body cells under the microscope to detect abnormalities that may be important to the early diagnosis of cancer or other diseases. The field is perhaps best known for the Pap test, an evaluation of cells from the uterine cervix. But cytotechnology techniques can also identify precancerous or cancer cells in virtually any area of the body.

Types of Work Environments

  • Hospitals
  • Private laboratories
  • Research laboratories

Education Requirements

Cytotechnologist have a four-year Bachelor's degree in cytotechnology, biology, or a closely related field from a college or university. Cytotechnologists must pass a certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology upon successful completion of a CAAHEP accredited cytotechnology program.

Salary Range

According to salary.com, the median salary of cytotechnologists is between $72,383 and $87,073 per year.

Professional Organization

The American Society for Clinical Pathology

American Society for Cytopathology

American Society for Cytotechnology

  • Considering a career in Cytotechnology? Watch this video from the American Society for Cytotechnology to learn more