Cytotechnologists (CTs) are health professionals who use microscopes to examine cell samples removed from all body sites to determine the presence of cancer or benign disease.  They work closely with a pathologist (medical specialist in clinical pathology) to detect and interpret microscopic abnormalities and to correlate cellular findings with patient information.

Some of the responsibilities of Cytotechnologists include:

  • Analysis of microscopic cellular changes for early detection of cancer and treatment
  • Examining cells from the cervix for signs of cancer or infection (PAP smear)
  • Examining cells from other body sites including breast, lung and liver
  • Performing special stains and molecular techniques to identify cellular abnormalities
  • Using microscopy as well as computer image analysis and instrumentation in the practice of cytology

Because of the work of Cytotechnologists, physicians are frequently able to diagnose and treat cancer early before symptoms occur.

Educational Requirements:

Employment Opportunities and Salaries:

Starting salaries

Salary information by region may be obtained at  

 For more information on Cytotechnology Programs visit our NJ Clinical Laboratory Educational Programs page

Photo reprinted with permission from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Chicago, IL.

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