What is the average cytotechnologist salary?
It can be hard to pinpoint specific salaries for cytotechnologists since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups them in with medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians. That said, these technologists and technicians earned a mean annual pay of $60,560, according to May 2014 BLS data. Of course, pay can vary by region and experience. This may explain the range of salaries, from $40,640 or less for the bottom 10 percent of professionals to $82,180 or higher for the top 10 percent, that the BLS lists for the career -- which is the same as hourly rates from $19.54 to $39.51. Some of the highest paying states for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians were California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont, reports the BLS.
Are there advancement opportunities in cytology?
One of the main drawing points to this profession is the standard daytime 9-5 schedule, which can't be enjoyed in many other fields of healthcare. Some cytotechnologists are comfortable screening pap test slides and have no desire to move up the professional ladder. However, for those cytotechs who want to advance, there is definitely opportunity available. One example is the position of a quality control (QC) cytotechnologist who double-checks the work of other cytotechs. Others move up to become the laboratory supervisor or manager. In these positions more paperwork is involved, and a lot of time is spent time handling regulatory responsibilities and gathering statistical data, rather than screening slides.
Typically in order to advance, experience in the field is the key factor. However, to move up to a position such as a lab manager, most employers require a master's degree in business or public health. Overall demand for medical and clinical laboratory technologists is expected to increase by 14 percent from 2012 to 2022. This growth, which is close to the average across all occupations, could result in 22,700 new positions over the decade. Driving demand will likely be an aging population that will need more laboratory procedures, including those that diagnose conditions like type 2 diabetes and cancer. Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians will also be needed to operate and maintain equipment.
- Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292011.htm
- Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm#tab-6