Are cytotechnologist job opportunities growing or declining?

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Host

Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most cytotechnologist opportunities?

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Ritu Patel in Beamsville, Ontario

89 months ago

give me more detail about cytotechnnlogist field. And also about future job aspectof cytotechnologist

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John in Reno, Nevada

78 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most cytotechnologist opportunities?

Cytotech jobs are definitely declining due to the new imaging technique. California has an 80 slide per day rule for normal screening, but for imaging, it has been raised to 200 per day! I know that LabCorp has too many cytotechs at the moment and doesn't use any on-calls at all.

I don't think this is a viable career path for the future.

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Don in Little Rock, Arkansas

77 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most cytotechnologist opportunities?

Cytology schools are closing around the country. The need for cytotechnologist is declining without a question. There are also less students graduating with CT. supply will ultimately be less than demand. Which will eventually lead to a shortage similar to that in years passed where the CT salaries increased dramatically.

Also there are other opportunities for a cytotechnologist such as molecular diagnostics.

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Thomas in New York, New York

77 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most cytotechnologist opportunities?

I have been a cytotechnologist approx. 15 years. This field is definitely on the decline as far as jobs and growth in the northeast region. Opportunities only lie in the private labs and not in hospitals. Hospitals usually employed 3 or 4 cytotechnolohigts and people usually don't leave their positions. Also with the FDA approved gardasil and automated screening machines, demand and salary will drop for new cytotechnologists. Life was good as a cytotechnologist in the late 80's and 90's but times has change.
I would definitely suggest the fields of a physician assistant, pathologist assistant as alternatives to go into.

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Thomas in New York, New York

77 months ago

John in Reno, Nevada said: Cytotech jobs are definitely declining due to the new imaging technique. California has an 80 slide per day rule for normal screening, but for imaging, it has been raised to 200 per day! I know that LabCorp has too many cytotechs at the moment and doesn't use any on-calls at all.

I don't think this is a viable career path for the future.

I definitely agree with this post. Being a cytotechnologist is lousy these days. Opportunities are few and very limited job growth. You either work at a private lab or be unemploy. Hospital jobs are few and those who have them aren't leaving.

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Jenny in Lawrenceville, Georgia

76 months ago

To Laid Off! I agree! I would be willing to put up a lawsuit against those CPAP policies. It is horrible and I thought that was tacky of them to lay you guys off! This place is shameful and you should go to nursing school! I hope things are going well for you these days. The supervisors all horrible and I hate most of the techs that work there as well! I use to work for them, but I was one of the smarter ones that left and went elsewhere. May God Bless You!

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Laid off in Memphis, TN

76 months ago

I'm out of the cytology field now and happily working as a Natural Hoof Care Practitioner (specialized farrier). I'll most likely never return to cytology or the health care field. Being laid off was stressful, but now if I don't like the way a client is behaving I can just refuse service. Luckily, though, my customers are happy and I've only been kicked twice so far....LOL! My cytology education has been a great help in understanding equine ailments and general health issues that affect their hooves. And my body is slowly returning back to muscle instead of the flab it developed after 12 years of sitting in that chair all stessed out. Yep, my panic attacks are gone too. Thanks Quest Diagnostics for laying me off. Good bye, and good riddance

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Peter in New York, New York

74 months ago

Going into a career as a Cytotechnologist now is not a wise investment. This field was hot in the late 80's and early 90's where salaries were high due to the CLIA '88 regulation. The CLIA 1988 regulation put a cap on the amount of slides a Cytotech may screen which created a shortage at the time. It is now twenty years later and the shortage problem is no longer the case. Salaries has stabilized and some has gone down due to few opportunities in the field. Cytotech jobs are mainly at the private labs such as Quest, LabCorp, etc.. I have worked in these labs starting out 15 years ago and they are nothing but sweatshops. These labs expect you to screen the maximum allowed slides per day for a low salary. As far as hospital opportunities, jobs are few since most Cytotechs who have them do not leave. Hospitals usually employed two to four cytotechs. Private labs employed 50 to 100 cytotechs. Another thing, career advancement is nonexistant in this field. You either get promoted to being a lead cytotech or supervisor but chances are slim. Too much politics and jealousy among cytotechs to land these rare positions. Salary ranges can be easily obtain through salary.com and put in your geographical region.
Again, don't think about this dying field with automation and an approved vaccine, Gardasil, now available.

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Bryan in Indianapolis, Indiana

74 months ago

This career path has a lot of ups and downs just like any other career. At this time, the market for a cytotechnologist may be saturated, however many of the tech's from the 80's and 90's are soon to be retiring and there will be more opportunities...not to mention the aging of the baby-boomers and the demand on the healthcare system. I feel this profession will continue to be steady and expand into more advanced technologies, which will still require morphology. Automation(imager)is good, but it still takes a well-trained Tech to read them. Some people think that this field is limited to screening Paps, and that is false. Fine needle continues to grow and NON-GYN's will always need interprepation. Schools are closing accross the country, but perhaps because the field is in transition or turning the corner into more molecular methods than traditional cytology. Now, the vaccine may have been FDA approved, but it only protects against HPV types 16, 18....there are over 100 types of HPV for which nearly 30 types have been linked to Cervical Neoplasia. To date, there is only a RISK associated with HPV and cervical cancer, no concrete evidence that HPV is the only causes cytologic atypia. The vaccine only works if you have not had the virus also. Besides if the vaccine is sucessful, it will take a good 15-30 years for it to incorporate into society. There are way too many variables associated with these two vaccines...I wouldn't put your eggs in one basket so to speak.
I wouldn't discourage anybody from the profession.

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Thomas in Flushing, New York

74 months ago

Bryan, my intentions were never to discourage anyone from entering this field. It is a point of view from a cytotech who has spent more than 15 years already in this field.
Where should I begin? Lets start with your comment " At this time, the market for a cytotechnologist may be saturated, however many of the tech's from the 80's and 90's are soon to be retiring" Bryan, if the field is currently saturated, why would anyone spend their time and money entering this profession? And your comment that techs from the 80's and 90's will soon be retiring is naive. The 1980's and 1990's were not long ago. I am working and know quite a few cyotechs from that era and most are not even close to full retirement age of 65.
"Some people think that this field is limited to screening Paps, and that is false." Bryan, i have worked in private labs, and it is strictly 99 percent pap smears. The FNA and non-gyn experiences are in hospital positions. Unfortunately, most cytotechs graduating these days will land in private labs. Jobs are scare in the hospital settings since most employed about two to six cytotechs. Private labs employed from 50-100 cyototechs depending on size. My experiences working at private labs were not pleasant. They are nothing but sweatshops where quantity is more important than quality in screening. Basically, what ever the maximum slides allowed per day screening is your minimum at private labs. Also, salaries has gone down due to saturation in this field.
"Schools are closing accross the country, but perhaps because the field is in transition." Bryan, schools are closing because demand for this profession is not there like it was 20 years ago.
"If the vaccine is successful, it will take a good 15-30 years for it to incorporate into society." Bryan, why would any young perspective cytotech enter this field after this comment. Are you telling the perspective 23 year old that you may possibly work till 38 to maybe even 53 before the vaccine is proven.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Columbus, Indiana

74 months ago

It can still be a rewarding career if you work in a hospital setting, which I luckily do.

What has been unfortunant is LabCorp and Quest taking all the GYN business from the hospitals. Hospital based cytology labs are the only ones with any kind of a future. LabCorp and Quest are making cytotechs very one dimensional since all they do is paps there. Those companies have no interest in cytotechs doing anything else but screening paps. As volumes drop, they will just lay people off. I keep hoping LabCorp and Quest continue to provide bad service and the tide turns against them.

Thanks to client billing and other unethical practices, they thrive because they are cheap. Doctor's offices seem to care more about money than quality so they send stuff to LabCorp and Quest. Hopefully, as more and more states do away with client billing, we can get cytology back into the hospital setting where cytotechs can grow and feel a direct link to the work that they do.

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Peter in New York, New York

74 months ago

Sam Kaiserblade in Columbus, Indiana said: It can still be a rewarding career if you work in a hospital setting, which I luckily do.

What has been unfortunant is LabCorp and Quest taking all the GYN business from the hospitals. Hospital based cytology labs are the only ones with any kind of a future. LabCorp and Quest are making cytotechs very one dimensional since all they do is paps there. Those companies have no interest in cytotechs doing anything else but screening paps. As volumes drop, they will just lay people off. I keep hoping LabCorp and Quest continue to provide bad service and the tide turns against them.

Thanks to client billing and other unethical practices, they thrive because they are cheap. Doctor's offices seem to care more about money than quality so they send stuff to LabCorp and Quest. Hopefully, as more and more states do away with client billing, we can get cytology back into the hospital setting where cytotechs can grow and feel a direct link to the work that they do.

Again, you reiterated what I have been posting about being a cytotech these days which is "It can still be a rewarding career if you work in a hospital setting, which I luckily do."
There are very few hospital positions available since most who have them are not leaving for private labs. Even you acknowledged that you are a lucky one being employed at a hispital. So, for new graduates coming out with no experience, the choices are mainly limited to private labs. Also, the possibility of career advancements within this field is very limited. I highly do not recommend this field to anybody. Maybe 20 years ago but not now.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Columbus, Indiana

74 months ago

Peter in New York, New York said: Again, you reiterated what I have been posting about being a cytotech these days which is "It can still be a rewarding career if you work in a hospital setting, which I luckily do."
There are very few hospital positions available since most who have them are not leaving for private labs. Even you acknowledged that you are a lucky one being employed at a hispital. So, for new graduates coming out with no experience, the choices are mainly limited to private labs. Also, the possibility of career advancements within this field is very limited. I highly do not recommend this field to anybody. Maybe 20 years ago but not now.

Yea, I agree totally. It is VERY tough market and I am brutally honest with job shadowers when they come. I detest private labs. They have ruined the field because of the unrealistic productivity they expect and their unethical billing practices.

I don't feel that a cytotech degree is worthless like the majority of college degrees are. At least there are some jobs for it and will be for the foreseeable future. The gyn sreening program isn't going away anytime soon. I know countless people in other fields saying the exact same things about limited opportunities, no chance of advancement etc.

The cytotech educators need to get their act together and teach more than one marketable skill. I think cross training in histology would be a good idea. There are many histotech jobs out there with few quality people to fill them. It would make graduates much more valuble and at least give them a few other options for work (research, mohs dr offices etc). Histotech salary will probably catch up and surpass cytotech salary before too long.

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Amber in Mira Loma, California

73 months ago

I agree with some of these posts. I'm in my 20s and graduated from a cytotech school last year. I now only work per diem as a cytotech; literally 4-10 hours a week doing cytology. Out of our 6 grads, only 2 have full-time jobs in the area and 1 had to move out of state to find a full-time. I'm lucky that I at least work in a hospital setting, but I'm not even working full-time due to lack of volume. Before I did the CT program, I went to a HT program. Now I'm certified in both and have a back up. To make up for the lack of hours as a cytotech, I mostly work as a histotech. It s u c k s that I'm now in debt of $30,000 when I could have just worked full-time as a HT and went to school for a different BS degree. I'm now thinking of leaving the cytotech field because it's so difficult to find a full-time job. Surprisingly, I make about the same amount of money as a HT in comparison to a CT.

I DISPISE reference labs (I've worked in one previously as a HT). They don't care about patients or employees, only the bottom line.

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Bryan in Indianapolis, Indiana

73 months ago

Hi Amber, I was wandering if you care to share what reference lab you worked for (i.e. tell us which labs NOT to work for to help new and other cytotechs). If not I understand. I am a recent graduate from a very good school in the midwest and was offered a job already. However, half of the class still doesn't have jobs lined up yet so we can relate. It's very cut-throat out here and I had to travel 4 states for a position. If you are the kind of person to start a new life elsewhere, this path may be good for you. Being crossed-trained in HT is very smart and if you have the opportunity to do so, do it. Later down the line, you will be a more desirable candidate for better positions. Good luck,

Bryan

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Timothy in East Elmhurst, New York

73 months ago

Amber in Mira Loma, California said: I agree with some of these posts. I'm in my 20s and graduated from a cytotech school last year. I now only work per diem as a cytotech; literally 4-10 hours a week doing cytology. Out of our 6 grads, only 2 have full-time jobs in the area and 1 had to move out of state to find a full-time. I'm lucky that I at least work in a hospital setting, but I'm not even working full-time due to lack of volume. Before I did the CT program, I went to a HT program. Now I'm certified in both and have a back up. To make up for the lack of hours as a cytotech, I mostly work as a histotech. It s u c k s that I'm now in debt of $30,000 when I could have just worked full-time as a HT and went to school for a different BS degree. I'm now thinking of leaving the cytotech field because it's so difficult to find a full-time job. Surprisingly, I make about the same amount of money as a HT in comparison to a CT.

I DISPISE reference labs (I've worked in one previously as a HT). They don't care about patients or employees, only the bottom line.

Why in the world is Cytology schools still in existence? This field is no longer hot and supply far outweighs demand. I've been doing since this 1991 and demand was there because of the CLIA 1988 regulation. Today is 2008, twenty years later, and the ship has sailed for any incoming Cytotechs looking for the pot of gold these days. Salaries were high at one time when there was a demand but these days you'll be lucky to hang on to your present job. I currently work in a hospital and fortunate to do so. I started out working at Quest and then switch over to Labcorp. The private labs are really bad in the sense that they expect you to screen the full amount of slides allowable per day at a meager wage. Also, when business is lost at the lab, expect to get laid off which happened to me. I totally do not recommend anyone to spend money on a useless degree such as Cytology.

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Crystal in Durham, North Carolina

73 months ago

Thomas, do you know anything about NY Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan? Do you know anything about the salary there? Anything will help. I noticed that there is a cytotech job opening quite frequently. Please email me at csaunder@unch.unc.edu.
Thanks,
Crystal

Thomas in New York, New York said: I have been a cytotechnologist approx. 15 years. This field is definitely on the decline as far as jobs and growth in the northeast region. Opportunities only lie in the private labs and not in hospitals. Hospitals usually employed 3 or 4 cytotechnolohigts and people usually don't leave their positions. Also with the FDA approved gardasil and automated screening machines, demand and salary will drop for new cytotechnologists. Life was good as a cytotechnologist in the late 80's and 90's but times has change.
I would definitely suggest the fields of a physician assistant, pathologist assistant as alternatives to go into.

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Timothy in East Elmhurst, New York

73 months ago

Crystal in Durham, North Carolina said: Thomas, do you know anything about NY Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan? Do you know anything about the salary there? Anything will help. I noticed that there is a cytotech job opening quite frequently. Please email me at csaunder@unch.unc.edu.
Thanks,
Crystal

Just read your post.
I have a former colleague who is working there at the present moment. This is what she told me about the place; There is always a reason why this position, especially a hospital position, keeps popping up every so often.
Supervisor at this hospital is difficult to work for. Environment and stress level is incredibly strain. Many of the workers are afraid to say anything since jobs within the field is limited. As far as salaries, it correlates to your experience. If I had to guess, maybe mid 40k with no experience. (I had heard they wanted someone with experience.) This salary is lower middle income living in NYC. Keep in mind that, Manhatten is one of the most expensive places to relocate into. Your paying for name not space, if your used to that, living in Manhatten. If still interested, give it a try. Others before you did and left...

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Crystal in Durham, North Carolina

73 months ago

Thanks a lot. Everything I assumed was correct. That was very helpful.

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Amber in Diamond Bar, California

73 months ago

Bryan in Indianapolis, Indiana said: Hi Amber, I was wandering if you care to share what reference lab you worked for (i.e. tell us which labs NOT to work for to help new and other cytotechs). If not I understand. I am a recent graduate from a very good school in the midwest and was offered a job already. However, half of the class still doesn't have jobs lined up yet so we can relate. It's very cut-throat out here and I had to travel 4 states for a position. If you are the kind of person to start a new life elsewhere, this path may be good for you. Being crossed-trained in HT is very smart and if you have the opportunity to do so, do it. Later down the line, you will be a more desirable candidate for better positions. Good luck,

Bryan

Simply put, don't work at Quest (at least not in Southern Calfornia). I recently heard they will be introducing automated screening in 2 SoCal locations so I presume layoffs will be here in the near future. Also, the turnover rate is extremely high (well this is true for Histotechs)--17 in the last year.

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Amber in Diamond Bar, California

73 months ago

Timothy in East Elmhurst, New York said: Why in the world is Cytology schools still in existence? This field is no longer hot and supply far outweighs demand. I've been doing since this 1991 and demand was there because of the CLIA 1988 regulation. Today is 2008, twenty years later, and the ship has sailed for any incoming Cytotechs looking for the pot of gold these days. Salaries were high at one time when there was a demand but these days you'll be lucky to hang on to your present job. I currently work in a hospital and fortunate to do so. I started out working at Quest and then switch over to Labcorp. The private labs are really bad in the sense that they expect you to screen the full amount of slides allowable per day at a meager wage. Also, when business is lost at the lab, expect to get laid off which happened to me. I totally do not recommend anyone to spend money on a useless degree such as Cytology.

I totally agree with you. When I first started, it seemed like there would be jobs available, especially with an older population of Cytotechs but since the work is not unreasonably hard on one's body, you can probably still be 80 years old and screening! LOL. J/K. Yeah, I'm thinking of going into the other side of these fields, working for a reputable manufacturer of products, but we'll see.

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Timothy in East Elmhurst, New York

72 months ago

Here is futher proof from the ASCP organization that Cytology is not a field one should look into:
As you may well be aware, medicine and, along with it, Pathology are undergoing major changes. These changes are already impacting cytology and the profession of cytotechnology. New technologies, like molecular testing (HPV testing in particular) and HPV vaccination, will further impact cytology. Some of the manufacturer-inspired media blitz has had unintended consequences in the form of closure of the schools of cytotechnology. This is of concern and, if not corrected, we could face a severe shortage with public health consequences in the future.

The American Society of Cytopathology put together a task force to look into this issue. Although we know what the current status of schools and enrollments is, we have no idea of the actual workforce out in the real world. With that in mind, the American Society of Cytopathology and the American Society for Clinical Pathology designed a simple survey. As a registered cytotechnologist with the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, you will be receiving this survey in the near future. Please respond to the survey as soon as you receive it. The future of our profession and public health depends upon you.

In order to participate, you may either:

1.
Click on this link

or

2.
Copy-paste the entire following link between quote marks (NOT including the quote marks) in a web browser
" research.zarca.com/k/SsUXPSsQPsPsPsP "

Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Dina R. Mody, M.D.

President, American Society of Cytopathology

E. Blair Holladay , Ph.D., SCT(ASCP)CM

Vice President for Scientific Activities; ASCP

Executive Director; Board of Registry

American Society for Clinical Pathology

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Med Tech Student in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

72 months ago

Is it just as bad for med technologists?

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Wilbur23 in Syosset, New York

72 months ago

Timothy in East Elmhurst, New York said: Here is futher proof from the ASCP organization that Cytology is not a field one should look into:
As you may well be aware, medicine and, along with it, Pathology are undergoing major changes. These changes are already impacting cytology and the profession of cytotechnology. New technologies, like molecular testing (HPV testing in particular) and HPV vaccination, will further impact cytology. Some of the manufacturer-inspired media blitz has had unintended consequences in the form of closure of the schools of cytotechnology. This is of concern and, if not corrected, we could face a severe shortage with public health consequences in the future.

The American Society of Cytopathology put together a task force to look into this issue. Although we know what the current status of schools and enrollments is, we have no idea of the actual workforce out in the real world. With that in mind, the American Society of Cytopathology and the American Society for Clinical Pathology designed a simple survey. As a registered cytotechnologist with the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, you will be receiving this survey in the near future. Please respond to the survey as soon as you receive it. The future of our profession and public health depends upon you.

In order to participate, you may either:

1.
Click on this link

or

2.
Copy-paste the entire following link between quote marks (NOT including the quote marks) in a web browser
" research.zarca.com/k/SsUXPSsQPsPsPsP "

Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Dina R. Mody, M.D.

President, American Society of Cytopathology

E. Blair Holladay , Ph.D., SCT(ASCP)CM

Vice President for Scientific Activities; ASCP

Executive Director; Board of Registry

American Society for Clinical Pathology

Thanks for confirming my views on the current state of being a cytotech these days. The party is over.

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Jamie in Springfield, Missouri

72 months ago

Timothy in East Elmhurst, New York said: Here is futher proof from the ASCP organization that Cytology is not a field one should look into:
As you may well be aware, medicine and, along with it, Pathology are undergoing major changes. These changes are already impacting cytology and the profession of cytotechnology. New technologies, like molecular testing (HPV testing in particular) and HPV vaccination, will further impact cytology. Some of the manufacturer-inspired media blitz has had unintended consequences in the form of closure of the schools of cytotechnology. This is of concern and, if not corrected, we could face a severe shortage with public health consequences in the future.

The American Society of Cytopathology put together a task force to look into this issue. Although we know what the current status of schools and enrollments is, we have no idea of the actual workforce out in the real world. With that in mind, the American Society of Cytopathology and the American Society for Clinical Pathology designed a simple survey. As a registered cytotechnologist with the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, you will be receiving this survey in the near future. Please respond to the survey as soon as you receive it. The future of our profession and public health depends upon you.

I received this in an email from the ASCP as well. But I don't think that this email is implying that the field is dying. I think that it is implying that there is a strong concern for the future of the health care field because there may not be enough qualified cytotechs in the future. I have only been in the field for three years and I must say that there are many jobs out there, you just have to be willling to relocate to get them, as with any good job opportunity. I received an amazing job offer at a hospital before I even graduated cytology school. However, I have to move over one state to get it. But it's the best decision I ever made.

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Jamie in Springfield, Missouri

72 months ago

I received this in an email from the ASCP as well. But I don't think that this email is implying that the field is dying. I think that it is implying that there is a strong concern for the future of the health care field because there may not be enough qualified cytotechs in the future. I have only been in the field for three years and I must say that there are many jobs out there, you just have to be willing to relocate to get them, as with any good job opportunity. I received an amazing job offer at a hospital before I even graduated cytology school. However, I have to move to another state to get it. But it's the best decision I ever made.

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gary in Wichita, Kansas

72 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most cytotechnologist opportunities?

Jobs in this industry are definately on the decline. The advent of HPV vaccine, technological advances, and corporate laboratory pap mills have significantly impacted the number of cytotechnologist needed. There are far too many graduates every year for the number of availble positions. If you are considering this field I highly suggest that you consider other medical fields where the need is far greater. Good luck.

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Jamie in Springfield, Missouri

72 months ago

gary in Wichita, Kansas said: Jobs in this industry are definately on the decline. The advent of HPV vaccine, technological advances, and corporate laboratory pap mills have significantly impacted the number of cytotechnologist needed. There are far too many graduates every year for the number of availble positions. If you are considering this field I highly suggest that you consider other medical fields where the need is far greater. Good luck.

Gary- May I ask which lab you work at in Wichita? I am originally from there and I would like to eventually move back there someday to be closer to family. However, I checked out the cytology scene there before I graduated and there was absolutely nothing available. All the positions in the whole city were filled (I was told this by a supervisor at St. Francis hospital). I find that to be very odd because there seem to be numerous positions available in other large cities. Do you know why this is? Or do you know of anything or any upcoming positions that might be available in the future??

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Mary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

I just graduated from Cytotech school in June. There are no jobs here-except casual pool or part-time and of course they want experience. I was warned it would be tough here, but it is bad. I can't in good conscience recommend that anybody go into Cytology. Unfortunately, the writing is on the wall. Cytology is dying out due to advanced molecular techniques and vaccines. These are the wave of the future. In school, we were subjected to numerous seminars trying to evaluate the "future of Cytology"(if any).
On the other hand, there is a severe shortage of Histotechs. I wish I had gone to school for that instead. They really should start cross training people in both, if they don't want to close their Cyto school. I guess Cyto jobs are more prevalent in states like Texas. FNA's might survive for awhile, but I think it is still bleak for the whole field. My advice to young people who are considering this field-DON'T DO IT!!!! I feel I made a huge mistake. Become a Histotech and be employable.

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Steven in New York, New York

72 months ago

Mary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: I just graduated from Cytotech school in June. There are no jobs here-except casual pool or part-time and of course they want experience. I was warned it would be tough here, but it is bad. I can't in good conscience recommend that anybody go into Cytology. Unfortunately, the writing is on the wall. Cytology is dying out due to advanced molecular techniques and vaccines. These are the wave of the future. In school, we were subjected to numerous seminars trying to evaluate the "future of Cytology"(if any).
On the other hand, there is a severe shortage of Histotechs. I wish I had gone to school for that instead. They really should start cross training people in both, if they don't want to close their Cyto school. I guess Cyto jobs are more prevalent in states like Texas. FNA's might survive for awhile, but I think it is still bleak for the whole field. My advice to young people who are considering this field-DON'T DO IT!!!! I feel I made a huge mistake. Become a Histotech and be employable.

I strongly advise anyone to go to Cytology school now. What made you do this? The educational coordinators of Cytology programs should be hooked up to lie detectors when they tell anyone that jobs are plentiful and the field is growing. I guess they have to say this so that can keep their cushiony jobs at these programs.
Histology jobs, I agree, are plentiful but the salaries are very low compared to Cytology. Unfortunately cytology jobs are decreasing. If you're a currently a cytotech, it is hard to switch over to being a histotech with the salary being so low. Most histotechs, I know, are working two jobs to make ends meet.
Anyway, good luck on your search for a job. You may have to move to another state.

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Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts

72 months ago

Bryan in Indianapolis, Indiana said: This career path has a lot of ups and downs just like any other career. At this time, the market for a cytotechnologist may be saturated, however many of the tech's from the 80's and 90's are soon to be retiring and there will be more opportunities...not to mention the aging of the baby-boomers and the demand on the healthcare system. I feel this profession will continue to be steady and expand into more advanced technologies, which will sti
thank you Bryan, I am older and just now beginning a cytotechnology program. you had the only positive comment which up until reading what you have written I was becoming scared about my future. I do agree with you in regards to the vaccine issue. it is going to take generations to wipe out HPV.although it seems to me that cytotechnology is evolving into more of molecular pathology. Any advise? and what are your predictions about future jobs when I graduate in one year?

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Mary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

Does anyone reading this know what the job market and salaries are like for pathology assistants? I have read alot of conflicting things on-line. This is what I thought of doing before I went into Cytology. Of course, now I am so burned out the thought of going through two more years of school is unbearable. But, if anyone has any reliable information, please respond.

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Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts

72 months ago

I think it would be a good idea to contact a school and ask program directors. I think it is important to know that a lot of your class work is attending some lectures with the medical students so the program may be a nice challenge for some and not so appropriate for others. Two years? I am older and I am still in school learning cytology. Go for it you are going to be that age no matter what you do. Two years is over before you know it.

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Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts

72 months ago

Mary, also I think you need to be willing to relocate to get a cytotechnology job. Maybe you should think about that possibility.

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Mary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts said: Mary, also I think you need to be willing to relocate to get a cytotechnology job. Maybe you should think about that possibility.

Christine,
I, and most likely anyone who goes into Cytology will probably have to re-locate to get a job. I hesitate to ask a program director of a P.A. program for reliable information, since it has been my experience that they find it hard to be objective. Often, the salaries they quote are over inflated and unrealistic. I got burned once with Cytology; I can't afford for it to happen again. But, thank-you for your input.

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Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts

72 months ago

You may want to consider looking into Physician Assistant programs. I am educated as a Physician Assistant and I assure you that you won't have any difficulties finding a job. In fact you can make 100,000 as a CT supervisor. I am in the cytology program beginning next month because I want to eventually land in Africa doing both PA and cytology in woman's health. But I want to find a job in cytology for 2 years to better learn the skill. I am becoming fearful that even with re-locating I may meet with some difficulties. If you need guidance into a physician assistant program I can help.

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Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts

72 months ago

CT=cardiothoracic not cytology to be clear.

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Mary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

Christine,
I was going to ask why you would go to Cytology school if you were already trained as a physician's assistant. But, you explained it, and I think your goal is quite admirable. I think physician's assistant programs are at least 5 yrs. Right? I don't know how much credit I would get for my bachelor's in Biology. Plus, I don't think I want to deal with patients. But again, thanks for responding.

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Jamie in Springfield, Missouri

72 months ago

Christine,
Can you please tell me what the salary range for Pysician Assistant is? I make an exceptional salary right now working as a cytotechnologist but I am a little concerned about the future of the field, so I have been looking into other career opportunities. I have been looking into different Master's programs...Master of Physician Assistant and Master of Health Care Administration. I currently make around 65K with my Bachelors in cytotechnology and I would only want to go back to school if I could justify it with a higher salary job. Also, what is the work load like for a PA?

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James in New York, New York

72 months ago

Jamie in Springfield, Missouri said: Christine,
Can you please tell me what the salary range for Pysician Assistant is? I make an exceptional salary right now working as a cytotechnologist but I am a little concerned about the future of the field, so I have been looking into other career opportunities. I have been looking into different Master's programs...Master of Physician Assistant and Master of Health Care Administration. I currently make around 65K with my Bachelors in cytotechnology and I would only want to go back to school if I could justify it with a higher salary job. Also, what is the work load like for a PA?

65K, exceptional salary?! I hope you're kidding. I don't know the cost of living in Missouri but in NYC that is lower middle income. You'll just barely make your rent or mortgage payments each month with that salary.
As for the field of Cytology, I totally regret getting into it. Opportunities are few and exists only in the big private labs. I, like you, am looking for other options.
The demand seems to be in Histology, Medical technologists. Most places, if you subscribe to the Advance magazine for lab professionals, are advertising vacant openings for these fields. Cytology positions are almost nonexistent.

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Christine in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

72 months ago

A lot of your credits can go towards the PA program and after your BS you have two years full time or three years part time. I love the microscope and I imagine you do too. I recommend the PA program and trying to go into neurosurgery they would happily accept you with your skill and you can state that during your application process. As a PA there are man capacities one can choose from.

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Christine in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

72 months ago

I would love to live in Springfield Mo after I graduate my sister lives there. Are there any job opportunities that you can suggest for me?

You make a good salary as it is. If you are looking for the money part of the profession I am not sure that I would change. If it better suits your personality do it. There probably is more earning potential as a PA. As of three years ago I believe there were 9 PA's who owned their own practices and there income was quite good I am sure. It is what you make it and very different from one PA to the other. Starting is probably the same as a cytotech but as a PA and become skilled and liked by your patients you make yourself valuable-just a different world with the two different professions.

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Jamie in Springfield, Missouri

72 months ago

James in New York, New York said: 65K, exceptional salary?! I hope you're kidding. I don't know the cost of living in Missouri but in NYC that is lower middle income. You'll just barely make your rent or mortgage payments each month with that salary.
As for the field of Cytology, I totally regret getting into it. Opportunities are few and exists only in the big private labs. I, like you, am looking for other options.
The demand seems to be in Histology, Medical technologists. Most places, if you subscribe to the Advance magazine for lab professionals, are advertising vacant openings for these fields. Cytology positions are almost nonexistent.

James- Can I ask what you make on average as a cytotech in NYC? In the midwest, 65K is considered a very good salary for having a bachelors degree. And I am positive that the cost of living anywhere in Missouri is considerably lower than NYC. Also, I only have three years of experience out of school. I should be making closer to 70K in the next few years with raises and such. Do you think I am being underpaid? Are salaries on the east coast much better for cytotechs (factored in with the cost of living)?

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Jamie in Springfield, Missouri

72 months ago

Christine,
I know of one position available right now in Springfield. It is at a hospital called St. Johns. I know they have a pretty large volume, so I am sure the work would be semi-demanding. However, it is known to be a very good hospital. They have a website to apply...www.stjohns.com

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James in New York, New York

72 months ago

Salaries range from about 70K to 80K in the NYC area. This may sound great to most people but you have to factor in taxes and the exorbitant cost of living in this area. California salaries for cytotechs are similar but again cost of living is extremely high. If you have only three years in the field and already making 65K, it is above average. In NYC, it is about 60-63k. I know this because I am a supervisor at a hospital. By the way, do you work at a private lab, Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp? That salary seems a bit high for hospitals in the Midwest.
Again, to all potential cytotechs, this is not a field one should look into. Maybe 20 years ago where demand was there but it is no longer the case.

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Mary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

James in New York, New York said: Salaries range from about 70K to 80K in the NYC area. This may sound great to most people but you have to factor in taxes and the exorbitant cost of living in this area. California salaries for cytotechs are similar but again cost of living is extremely high. If you have only three years in the field and already making 65K, it is above average. In NYC, it is about 60-63k. I know this because I am a supervisor at a hospital. By the way, do you work at a private lab, Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp? That salary seems a bit high for hospitals in the Midwest.
Again, to all potential cytotechs, this is not a field one should look into. Maybe 20 years ago where demand was there but it is no longer the case.

That is the thing. It depends on where you live that will determine what you will earn as a Cytotech or anything else for that matter. 65K plus sounds fabulous to me. Cytotechs right out of school here in Pittsburgh(if they can get a job) are only being offered $17.??/hr. at a hospital. What does that work out to? 34-35K before taxes!!!! But, the cost-of-living is very reasonable here.

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Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts

72 months ago

34-35K is a disgrace. the national average is 50K

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Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts

72 months ago

I have a year of training to do but I will keep this in mind when I finish in one year. thanks

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Mary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

72 months ago

Christine in Chicopee, Massachusetts said: 34-35K is a disgrace. the national average is 50K

Christine,
That is a disgrace, isn't it!!!! I was just thinking-could the cost of living in Springfield, MO be that much more than Pittsburgh that employers here can justify such a low wage for Cytotechs? I can't believe some of the salaries in other parts of the country. Pittsburgh has always been a place where salaries are lower than the national average, but I am starting to wonder if a low cost-of-living is really the reason and not just plain cheapness on the part of employers who have been able to get away with it.

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