Cytogenetic Technologists are
laboratory specialist that prepare, examine, and analyze chromosomes found
in biological specimens like blood, amniotic fluids, and bone marrow. This
is done in order to diagnose and treat genetic diseases such as congenital
birth defects, fertility problems and hematological disorders. Some
responsibilities of a cytogenetic technologist include slide preparation,
microscopy, photomicroscopy, computer image analysis, karyotyping, and
culturing and harvesting procedures. They are also responsible for keeping
accurate records used for communicating with physicians, family members,
and researchers requesting technical information or test results.
Cytogenetic technologists must also be knowledgeable of standard genetics
laboratory practices and nomenclature to identify normal or abnormal
chromosomes. Other beneficial attributes include paying close attention to
detail, effective communication skill, and the ability to work with a
variety of other healthcare professionals. Some cytogenetic technologists
may supervise subordinate laboratory personnel.
technologists usually work in hospitals, clinics, and private
laboratories. Other places of employment exist in research laboratories,
educational institutions, public health facilities, and government
facilities. They work with a variety of lab equipment and are often seated
for long periods of time while they perform their duties.
High School Preparation:
High school students interested in a
career as a cytogenetic technology should take courses in biology,
algebra, chemistry, physics, geometry, health occupations/medical
professions education, computer skills, English, and physical science.
interested in cytogenetic technology should be careful about selecting an
educational program because prospective employers may have preferences as
to program accreditation. Students must receive bachelor's degree in
cytogenetic technology or cytogenetics from an accredited institution. The
Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology gives a
national certification exam that students take after meeting their
academic and laboratory education requirements. Optional certification is
also available from the National Credentialing Agency.
interested in cytogenetic technology should contact schools for
information concerning admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study click here.
Employment opportunities for
cytogenetic technologists are expected to be numerous in the near-future,
with a projected increase of new job openings between 10% - 20% over the
next ten years. The volume of laboratory tests will increase with
population growth and the development of new tests. The rapidly growing
elderly population will be another reason for this growth, since older
people tend to have more medical problems that will require more lab work.
New advancements in powerful diagnostic tests will also add to a rise in
employment in this sector.
Average Annual Salary
$29,700 - $49,900
Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT)
P.O. Box 15945-288
Lenexa, KS 66285-5945
Phone: (913) 541-0497
Fax: (913) 599-5340
National Credentialing Agency (NCA)
P.O. Box 15945-289
Lenexa, KS 66285
Fax: (913) 599-5340
American Society of Cytopathology
400 W. 9th Street, Suite 201
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 429-8802