Job Search

Cytogenetic Technologist vs. Cytotechnologist: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Cytogenetic technologists and cytotechnologists are two medical professionals who work with cells. These professionals have different levels of education and responsibilities, but both play an important role in the field of cytogenetics. In this article, we compare and contrast these two job titles, discussing the similarities and differences between them.

What is a Cytogenetic Technologist?

Cytogenetic Technologists are medical professionals who analyze cells to look for chromosomal abnormalities. They prepare cell samples from patients and use a variety of techniques to examine the cells. This can include staining cells, looking at them under a microscope and taking photographs. Cytogenetic Technologists then interpret the results of their cell analysis and prepare reports for doctors. These reports can be used to diagnose conditions, plan treatments and track the progress of a patient’s condition.

What is a Cytotechnologist?

Cytotechnologists are medical laboratory professionals who examine cells to look for evidence of disease. They prepare cell samples from patients and use a microscope to look for abnormal cells. Cytotechnologists also may perform tests on cell samples to measure the activity of certain enzymes or proteins. Their findings may be used to diagnose cancer, viral infections or other conditions. Cytotechnologists typically work in hospitals, clinics or private laboratories.

Cytogenetic Technologist vs. Cytotechnologist

Here are the main differences between a cytogenetic technologist and a cytotechnologist.

Job Duties

Cytogenetic technologists perform various duties related to the analysis of chromosomes. They may prepare samples for testing, operate laboratory equipment and analyze results. Other duties may include preparing reports for physicians and communicating test results to patients and their families.

Cytotechnologists also perform duties related to the analysis of chromosomes, but they typically focus on analyzing samples from patients with cancer. These professionals may perform tests to determine how advanced a patient’s cancer is and what treatment options are most effective. Cytotechnologists may also prepare reports for physicians and communicate with patients about their test results.

Job Requirements

Cytogenetic technologists and cytotechnologists typically need a bachelor’s degree in medical technology, biology or another related field. They also must complete a one-year clinical internship to gain hands-on experience in the field. Some states require cytogenetic technologists and cytotechnologists to be licensed, but requirements vary by state. Certification is not required for either profession, but it may help technologists and cytotechnologists find jobs more easily. The American Board of Medical Genetics offers a certified genetic technologist credential for those who meet eligibility requirements, which include passing an exam.

Work Environment

Both cytotechnologists and cytogenetic technologists work in laboratories, where they use specialized equipment to analyze samples of blood, tissue or other bodily fluids. They may also perform some duties outside the laboratory, such as communicating with patients about their test results.

Cytotechnologists typically spend more time working in a laboratory than cytogenetic technologists do. This is because cytotechnologists often perform tasks that require them to process large amounts of data quickly. For example, they may run multiple tests on one sample of blood to determine whether it contains any viruses. In contrast, cytogenetic technologists usually complete fewer tests during each shift, so they have more time to communicate with patients and ensure that all of the results are accurate.


Both cytogenetic technologists and cytotechnologists use microscopes to examine cells, but they have different responsibilities. A cytogenetic technologist’s primary responsibility is to look for chromosomal abnormalities in cells, while a cytotechnologist’s primary responsibility is to screen cells for cancerous growths.

Both of these professionals need excellent attention to detail because they are looking for specific changes in cells that could indicate a problem. They also both need to be able to keep accurate records of their findings. Cytogenetic technologists may need to be able to use computers to input their data and create reports, while cytotechnologists may only need to be able to use basic office equipment, like a photocopier or fax machine.


The average salary for a cytogenetic technologist is $80,201 per year, while the average salary for a cytotechnologist is $83,587 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the location of the job, the level of experience of the professional and the type of employer.


Loan Originator vs. Underwriter: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Procurement Analyst vs. Buyer: What Are the Differences?