The majority of cytotechnologists are employed by private medical laboratories hired by physicians to evaluate medical tests. Others work for hospitals, nursing homes, offices of physicians, public health facilities, ambulatory health care services, or university research institutions, while some may be employed by federal and state government agencies. Approximately 331,700 clinical laboratory technologists (including cytotechnologists) are employed in the United States.
Some universities and teaching hospitals have internship programs that can result in job offers upon graduation. Recruiters often visit universities and teaching hospitals in the months prior to a graduation in an effort to recruit cytotechnologists. Professional journals and online employment services often have ads that list opportunities for new employees. Many university and teaching hospitals have a placement service that helps their graduates obtain employment upon graduation.
Some cytotechnologists who work in larger labs may advance to supervisory positions. This type of advancement may be limited in smaller labs. Entering the teaching field and directing classes or supervising research may be another career advancement move. Some experienced cytotechnologists, along with other medical personnel, have opened their own laboratories. Obtaining additional education or training can open the door to other careers in the medical field.
Tips for Entry
Take science courses in school and participate in any activities that enable you to work with slides under a microscope.
Attend a four-year college that offers laboratory courses that will prepare you for a career in cytotechnology.
Use the resources of your career services office in college and attend job fairs to identify and speak with representatives of health care organizations that are hiring laboratory professionals in your field.