A Career as a Cytotechnologist

Cytotechnologists use their knowledge of cells and their expertise with the microscope to identify the presence of cancer, precancerous lesions, benign tumors and microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. Working with pathologists and physicians, cytotechnologists play a significant role in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Professional Workplace

While most cytotechnologists work in hospital/private cytopathology laboratories, some opt to join research laboratories where they perform image analysis, fluorescent in situ hybridization or other new diagnostic technologies. Those interested in computer technology use their laboratory knowledge and skills in the management of laboratory information systems. Individuals interested in teaching find rewarding careers as educators.


Please see the Health Professions Student Catalog for:

  • A review of the objectives of the MD Anderson Program in Cytotechnology
  • More information about careers in cytotechnology


According to the salary survey conducted by the Office of Academic Affairs at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the average annual starting salary for a staff cytotechnologist is $56,000, while the salary for a senior cytotechnologist may start at about $68,000.