Cytogenetics

Two of the career titles available in the area of cytogenetics are cytogenetic technologist and geneticist. These careers differ in many areas, from educational requirements to licensing standards. Keep reading to learn more about this field.

Is Cytogenetics for Me?

Career Summary

Cytogenetics is the study of chromosomes, their abnormalities and how these abnormalities affect human development and cause diseases. Cytogenetic analysis can be used to identify congenital birth defects, cancer, infertility and hematological disorders. Job titles for those working in cytogenetics include cytogenetic technologist and geneticist.

Work Duties

Cytogenetic technologists, also known as medical laboratory specialists, prepare biological specimens for chromosome testing. In this position, you may use cell counters, microscopes and computerized equipment to carry out these tests. With experience, you may advance to a leadership position and oversee laboratory technicians. As a geneticist, you will specialize in the study and research of inheritable traits at the biological level. You may harvest, examine and analyze chromosomes for abnormalities. You may be in charge of an entire lab and oversee other geneticists, as well as technicians and technologists.

Salaries and Employment Outlook

In May 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical and clinical laboratory technologists earned a median annual salary of $57,580. That same year, biophysicists and biochemists, the groups that encompass geneticists, earned median salaries of $81,480 annually.

The BLS projected that job opportunities for medical and clinical laboratory technologists will increase 14%, while employment opportunities for biophysicists and biochemists are expected to increase by 19% during the 2012-2022 decade. Both of these growth rates are considered to be faster than the average compared to other occupations during that period.

How Can I Work in Cytogenetics?

Education Requirements

Cytogenetic technologists often have a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science or a related field. These degree programs typically include sequences in microbiology and biochemistry, as well as standalone courses in histology, immunology and urinalysis. Clinical rotations are also included in these curricula. According to the American Board of Medical Genetics, to become a clinical cytogeneticist, you must complete a doctoral or equivalent degree and a postdoctoral fellowship. A Ph.D. in Genetics is also acceptable.

Licensing

The BLS indicates that some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. This process may include earning a bachelor's degree and passing an exam. In some states, earning a certification, such as the one offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology's Board of Certification, may be required for licensure.

For geneticists, the BLS states that any medical scientist who has medical interaction with a patient must also be a licensed physician. If you don't wish to carry out these types of procedures then you may still need to meet standards similar to other laboratory professionals.

Related Articles for Cytogenetics

  • Cytogenetics Certification and Education Programs

    Cytogenetic technologists help diagnose genetic disorders. Read on to learn more about the education and training paths that can prepare you for licensing and certification.
  • Master's Degrees in Cytogenetics

    A genetics or genetic counseling master's degree program could allow you to take cytogenetics classes and work as a microbiologist, biochemist or genetic counselor. Learn about options in the field.

View More Articles

Related Videos

  • Careers in Computer and Digital Forensics - Video

    Professionals working in computer forensics, computer science and digital forensics gather digital artifacts and information. Other areas in this professional field include database forensics, mobile device forensics and firewall forensics.
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • American National University

    American National University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American National University:

    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Kentucky: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively
    • Ohio: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering
    • Tennessee: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville
    • Virginia: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Parkersburg, Salem
    • West Virginia: Danville, Lexington, Pikeville, Shively, Kettering, Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, Nashville, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Parkersburg, Salem, Princeton
  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Argosy University

    Argosy University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Argosy University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »