Clinical Laboratory Science

The state of Florida recognizes registration by the American Society for Clinical Pathology in lieu of a licensure exam.

According to the Florida Hospital Association, cytotechnologists earned an average of $61,883 in 2009.

Educational Programs
None in Florida.

Professional Associations
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society for Cytotechnology
American Society of Cytopathology
International Academy of Cytology

Cytology is the study of the formation, structure and function of cells. Cytotechnologists are trained technologists to work with pathologists to detect changes in cellular material from all body sites in the early diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. Physicians use the information supplied by the cytotechnologists to make a diagnosis.

Cytotechnologists work with a wide variety of laboratory specimen preparations and a basic knowledge of contemporary procedures and technologies such as image analysis, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, molecular diagnostic procedures, and automation. The cytotechnologist's role extends beyond the detection of malignancy and includes such issues as quality improvement, laboratory management, teaching, research, and consumer/patient education. They should have excellent concentration and good judgment capabilities.


Areas of Specialization

Work Environment
They may work in hospitals, private laboratories, research or teaching positions. Cytotechnologists always work under the supervision of a pathologist.

Job Outlook
The number of medical and clinical laboratory techs employed in Florida in 2006 was 6,536. An annual average growth rate of 2.9 percent is projected until 2014.

A cytotechnologist with a baccalaureate degree and five years experience, a master's degree and four years experience, or a doctorate degree and three years experience can qualify to be a specialist in cytotechnology. These specialists are skilled in examining all types of body specimens, including needle aspirates. Senior cytotechnologists, supervisors or educators are generally specialists in cytotechnology.

Length of Training/Requirements
A bachelor's degree with three years of college education plus one calendar year of special instruction in cytotechnology is required for entry level competency. The curriculum emphasizes embryology, cytology as applied in clinical medicine, clinical medicine, human anatomy, cytophysiology, endocrinology, cytochemistry, parasitology, microbiology, histology, and inflammatory diseases. A bachelor's degree is required to take the registry examination of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Continuing education hours are required every two years for license renewal in the state of Florida.

Updated: 2009