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Cytogenetic Technologist

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What Does it Take to Be a Cytogenetic Technologist?

Career Description Analyze chromosomes found in biological specimens such as amniotic fluids, bone marrow, and blood to aid in the study, diagnosis, or treatment of genetic diseases.

What Do Cytogenetic Technologists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Identify appropriate methods of specimen collection, preservation, or transport.
  • Communicate to responsible parties unacceptable specimens and suggest remediation for future submissions.
  • Stain slides to make chromosomes visible for microscopy.
  • Summarize test results and report to appropriate authorities.
  • Extract, measure, dilute as appropriate, label, and prepare DNA for array analysis.
  • Describe chromosome, FISH and aCGH analysis results in Internations System of Cytogenetic Nomenclature (ISCN) language.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Cytogenetic Technologist?

Below is a list of the skills most Cytogenetic Technologists say are important on the job.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Cytogenetic Technologist Jobs

  • Cytogenetics Technologist
  • Cardiovascular Laboratory Specialist
  • Clinical Cytogeneticist Scientist (CCS)
  • Lead Technologist in Cytogenetics
  • Research Laboratory Specialist (Research Lab Specialist)

Is There Going to be Demand for Cytogenetic Technologists?

There were about 171,400 jobs for Cytogenetic Technologist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 19,800 new jobs for Cytogenetic Technologist by 2026. There will be an estimated 12,900 positions for Cytogenetic Technologist per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Cytogenetic Technologist are Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Connecticut, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools do Cytogenetic Technologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Cytogenetic Technologists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Image analysis software

How do I Become a Cytogenetic Technologist?

Are there Cytogenetic Technologists education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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References:

Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla via U.S. Air Force photo

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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