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Summary Report for:
29-2011.02 - Cytotechnologists

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

Sample of reported job titles: Cytology Laboratory Manager (Cytology Lab Manager); Cytology Manager; Cytology Supervisor; Cytotechnologist; Cytotechnologist Supervisor; Cytotechnologist/Cytology Supervisor; Cytotechnologist/Histotechnologist; Senior Cytotechnologist; Staff Cytotechnologist; Technical Specialist, Cytology

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

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

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Benchtop centrifuges — Centrifuges; Cytocentrifuges
Binocular light compound microscopes — Compound light microscopes; Laboratory binocular microscopes
Distillation pipings or columns or fittings — Distilled water units
Fluorescent microscopes
General purpose refrigerators or refrigerator freezers — Laboratory refrigerators
Histology paraffin — Paraffin dispensers
Laboratory flasks — Conical flasks; Round bottom flasks
Microbiology analyzers — Flow cytometers
Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Autoclaves; Electronic sterilizers

Technology used in this occupation:

Medical software — Aspyra CyberLAB; CPSI CPSI System; Fortius Lab Systems Clinical LIS; Sunquest Information Systems Sunquest Laboratory

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Knowledge

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.

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Skills

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Abilities

Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

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Work Context

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education 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).
Related Experience 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.
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.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
62   Post-baccalaureate certificate Help
38   Bachelor's degree

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: IR

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Related Occupations

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29-2011.00 Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
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29-2011.03 Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians Bright Outlook
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29-2099.01 Neurodiagnostic Technologists Bright Outlook
31-9092.00 Medical Assistants Bright Outlook

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists.
Employment data collected from Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists.
Industry data collected from Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists.

Median wages (2013) $28.09 hourly, $58,430 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 164,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 65,800
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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