SOC: 29-2011.02


Stain, mount, and study cells to detect evidence of cancer, hormonal abnormalities, and other pathological conditions following established standards and practices.

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:

  • Certified Cytotechnologist
  • Cytologist
  • Cytology Laboratory Manager (Cytology Lab Manager)
  • Cytology Manager
  • Cytology Supervisor
  • Cytopathology Technologist
  • Cytotechnologist
  • Cytotechnologist Supervisor
  • Cytotechnologist/Cytology Supervisor
  • Cytotechnologist/Histotechnologist
  • Senior Cytotechnologist
  • Specimen Preparation Assistant
  • Staff Cytotechnologist
  • Technical Specialist, Cytology

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed


    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.


    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or 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
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • 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
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media

  • Tasks:

  • Examine cell samples to detect abnormalities in the color, shape, or size of cellular components and patterns.
  • Examine specimens using microscopes to evaluate specimen quality.
  • Prepare and analyze samples, such as Papanicolaou (PAP) smear body fluids and fine needle aspirations (FNAs), to detect abnormal conditions.
  • Provide patient clinical data or microscopic findings to assist pathologists in the preparation of pathology reports.
  • Assist pathologists or other physicians to collect cell samples such as by fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies.
  • Examine specimens to detect abnormal hormone conditions.
  • Document specimens by verifying patients' and specimens' information.
  • Maintain effective laboratory operations by adhering to standards of specimen collection, preparation, or laboratory safety.
  • Perform karyotyping or organizing of chromosomes according to standardized ideograms.
  • Prepare cell samples by applying special staining techniques, such as chromosomal staining, to differentiate cells or cell components.
  • Submit slides with abnormal cell structures to pathologists for further examination.
  • Adjust, maintain, or repair laboratory equipment such as microscopes.
  • Assign tasks or coordinate task assignments to ensure adequate performance of laboratory activities.
  • Attend continuing education programs that address laboratory issues.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Analytical balances
  • Autoclaves
  • Automatic coverslippers
  • Automatic slide stainers
  • Automatic tissue processors
  • Beakers
  • Centrifuge tubes
  • Centrifuges
  • Compound light microscopes
  • Confocal microscopes
  • Conical flasks
  • Cytocentrifuges
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Distilled water units
  • Electronic sterilizers
  • Fine needles
  • Flow cytometers
  • Fluorescent microscopes
  • Funnels
  • Glass pipettes
  • Laboratory binocular microscopes
  • Laboratory refrigerators
  • Laboratory water baths
  • Magnetic shakers
  • Measuring cylinders
  • Paraffin dispensers
  • Personal computers
  • Radiant heaters
  • Round bottom flasks
  • Slide filing cabinets
  • Stereo microscopes
  • Stereoscopic magnifiers
  • Antek HealthWare LabDAQ
  • Aspyra CyberLAB
  • Cerner Millennium PathNet
  • Clinical Software Solutions CLIN1 Suite
  • ClinLab LIS
  • Comp Pro Med Polytech
  • CPSI CPSI System
  • CSS CLS-2000
  • Custom Software Systems StarLab
  • Elekta Impac Software IntelliLab
  • EpicLab Laboratory Information System
  • eTeleNext LIS
  • Fletcher-Flora Health Care Systems FFlex eSuite LIS
  • Fletcher-Flora Health Care Systems LabPak LIS
  • Fortius Lab Systems Clinical LIS
  • GE Healthcare Centricity Laboratory
  • Healthvision TDSynergy LIS
  • HEX Laboratory Systems LAB/HEX
  • Laboratory information system LIS software
  • LabSoft LabNet
  • McKesson Horizon Lab
  • MEDITECH software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Multidata Computer Systems MultiTech
  • NeTLIMS AutoLIMS Core Lab
  • Omnitech OMNILAB
  • Orchard Software Orchard Harvest LIS
  • Psyche Systems LabWeb
  • Quality Software Systems LabHealth software
  • SCC Soft Computer SoftLab
  • Schuyler House SchuyLab
  • Seacoast Laboratory Data Systems SurroundLab Plus
  • Siemens NOVIUS Lab
  • Sunquest Information Systems Sunquest Laboratory

  • healthcare practitioners and technical

    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800