Nursing Education
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Cytogenetic Technologist


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.

Work Environment:

Cytogenetic 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.

College Requirements:

Individuals 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.

Students interested in cytogenetic technology should contact schools for information concerning admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

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



Salary Range

$29,700 - $49,900


Professional Organizations:


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

(913) 438-5110,

ext. 4647
Fax: (913) 599-5340


American Society of Cytopathology
400 W. 9th Street, Suite 201
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 429-8802


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