Cytogenetic Technologists
SOC: 29-2011.01


Analyze chromosomes found in biological specimens such as amniotic fluids, bone marrow, and blood to aid in the study, diagnosis, or treatment of genetic diseases.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
164,800 employed

Projected (2024):
187,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Clinical Cytogeneticist Scientist (CCS)
  • Clinical Laboratory Specialist in Cytogenetics (CLSp(CG))
  • Cytogenetic Technician
  • Cytogenetic Technologist
  • Cytogenetics Laboratory Manager (Cytogenetics Lab Manager)
  • Cytologist
  • Genetic Technologist
  • Head of Cytogenetics
  • Laboratory Specialist (Lab Specialist)
  • Laboratory Technologist (Lab Technologist)
  • Lead Cytogenetic Technologist
  • Lead Technologist in Cytogenetics
  • Medical Laboratory Specialist (Medical Lab Specialist)
  • Research Laboratory Specialist (Research Lab Specialist)
  • Senior Cytogenetic Technologist
  • Senior Cytogenetics Laboratory Director
  • Technical Specialist, Cytogenetics

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media

  • Tasks:

  • Develop and implement training programs for trainees, medical students, resident physicians or post-doctoral fellows.
  • Stain slides to make chromosomes visible for microscopy.
  • Summarize test results and report to appropriate authorities.
  • Select or prepare specimens and media for cell cultures using aseptic techniques, knowledge of medium components, or cell nutritional requirements.
  • Select banding methods to permit identification of chromosome pairs.
  • Identify appropriate methods of specimen collection, preservation, or transport.
  • Prepare slides of cell cultures following standard procedures.
  • Select appropriate methods of preparation and storage of media to maintain potential of hydrogen (pH), sterility, or ability to support growth.
  • Harvest cell cultures using substances such as mitotic arrestants, cell releasing agents, and cell fixatives.
  • Create chromosome images using computer imaging systems.
  • Determine optimal time sequences and methods for manual or robotic cell harvests.
  • Examine chromosomes found in biological specimens to detect abnormalities.
  • Recognize and report abnormalities in the color, size, shape, composition, or pattern of cells.
  • Communicate test results or technical information to patients, physicians, family members, or researchers.
  • Prepare biological specimens such as amniotic fluids, bone marrow, tumors, chorionic villi, and blood, for chromosome examinations.
  • Count numbers of chromosomes and identify the structural abnormalities by viewing culture slides through microscopes, light microscopes, or photomicroscopes.
  • Arrange and attach chromosomes in numbered pairs on karyotype charts, using standard genetics laboratory practices and nomenclature, to identify normal or abnormal chromosomes.
  • Analyze chromosomes found in biological specimens to aid diagnoses and treatments for genetic diseases such as congenital birth defects, fertility problems, and hematological disorders.
  • Input details of specimens into logs or computer systems.
  • Maintain laboratory equipment such as photomicroscopes, inverted microscopes, and standard darkroom equipment.
  • Supervise subordinate laboratory staff.
  • Select appropriate culturing system or procedure based on specimen type and reason for referral.
  • Describe chromosome, FISH and aCGH analysis results in Internations System of Cytogenetic Nomenclature (ISCN) language.
  • Extract, measure, dilute as appropriate, label, and prepare DNA for array analysis.
  • Input details of specimen processing, analysis, and technical issues into logs or laboratory information systems (LIS).
  • Apply prepared specimen and control to appropriate grid, run instrumentation, and produce analyzable results.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor quality control and quality assurance programs to ensure accurate and precise test performance and reports.
  • Evaluate appropriateness of received specimens for requested tests.
  • Communicate to responsible parties unacceptable specimens and suggest remediation for future submissions.
  • Archive case documentation and study materials as required by regulations and laws.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 1 ml pipettes
  • 10 ml pipettes
  • 2 ml cryovials
  • 25 ml pipettes
  • 35m petri dishes
  • 4 ml cryovials
  • Automated imaging systems
  • Automatic slide loading systems
  • Bench-top autoclaves
  • Benchtop drying chambers
  • Binocular compound microscopes
  • Biological containment hoods
  • Biological safety cabinets
  • Cell culture tubes
  • Cell harvesters
  • Computerized karotype equipment
  • Counting chambers
  • Denaturation/hybridization systems
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital image printers
  • Flat bottom microtiter plates
  • Floor model drying chambers
  • Fluorescent in situ hybridization FISH automation instruments
  • Fluorescent microscopes
  • Glass flasks
  • Glass water distillers
  • Heated magnetic stirrers
  • Hot air sterilizers
  • Hybridization ovens
  • Incubators
  • Interferometers
  • Inverted compound microscopes
  • Laboratory freezers
  • Laboratory microwave ovens
  • Laboratory refrigerators
  • Liquid nitrogen containers
  • Low speed refrigerated centrifuges
  • Masks
  • Media filtration systems
  • Mercury vapor lamps
  • Metaphase finding system software
  • Microarray scanners
  • Microscope camera adapters
  • Microscope filters
  • Microscope slides
  • pH meters
  • Phase contrast microscopes
  • Photomicroscopes
  • Pipette aids
  • Reference thermometers
  • Robotic harvesters
  • Safety gloves
  • Slide cassettes
  • Slide sorters
  • Steam autoclaves
  • Stereo microscopes
  • Tachometers
  • Test tube racks
  • Ultrasonic sterilization units
  • Uncooled charge-coupled device cameras
  • Vortex mixers
  • Water baths
  • Water deionizers
  • Cell Bioscience Automated Image Capture
  • Digital karyotyping software
  • Genetix CytoVision
  • Genial Genetics iPassport QMS
  • Genial Genetics Shire
  • Geniel Genetics iGene
  • Image analysis software
  • Image capture software
  • Lucia CGH
  • Lucia Comet Assay
  • Lucia FISH
  • Lucia Karyo
  • Lucia Metaphase Finder
  • Lucia MFISH
  • MetaSystems Isis Color Karyotyping
  • Microsoft Excel

  • healthcare practitioners and technical

    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800