Stain, mount, and study cells to detect evidence of cancer, hormonal abnormalities, and other pathological conditions following established standards and practices.
- Technical Specialist, Cytology
- Staff Cytotechnologist
- Specimen Preparation Assistant
- Senior Cytotechnologist
- Cytotechnologist/Cytology Supervisor
- Cytotechnologist Supervisor
- Cytopathology Technologist
- Cytology Supervisor
- 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.
- Examine specimens to detect abnormal hormone conditions.
- Attend continuing education programs that address laboratory issues.
- Adjust, maintain, or repair laboratory equipment such as microscopes.
- Assign tasks or coordinate task assignments to ensure adequate performance of laboratory activities.
- Assist pathologists or other physicians to collect cell samples such as by fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies.
- 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.
- Maintain effective laboratory operations by adhering to standards of specimen collection, preparation, or laboratory safety.
People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.
This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.
People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Independence in their jobs.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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).
In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $80,500 with most people making between $44,330 and $115,530
During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 10,800 people in California. It is projected that there will be 12,900 employed in 2024.
This occupation will have about 210 openings due to growth and about 260 replacement openings for approximately 470 total annual openings.