Histotechnology - Occupational Bulletin

Summary of Profession

Using a variety of high-tech equipment and detailed procedures, histologic technicians prepare slides of tissues for microscopic examination by a pathologist. A histologic technician is a medical laboratory technician who specializes in cutting and staining tissues for use on laboratory slides. The histologic technician is an important part of the team that helps diagnose disease.

Histologic technicians must work quickly and accurately, often while patients are still in surgery. Hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity are crucial for working with delicate instruments and equipment. If you are interested in the field of histology, high school courses in biology, chemistry, math and computer science are recommended.

Educational Requirements

Histologic technicians complete a one-year certificate program or a two-year associate degree program at a community or junior college. Both education tracks include practical laboratory experience. Certification as a histologic technician, HT(ASCP), is available after completing all requirements. These requirements include successful completion of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists examination.

Salary Information

The national average salary for histologic technicians vary by area of the country.

Career Outlook

Employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2012, as the volume of laboratory tests increases with population growth and the development of new types of tests.

Career Growth Options

A histologic technician who completes a bachelor's degree or attends an accredited histologic technology program can advance to a histotechnologist. These professionals perform more complex procedures and can also teach or be a laboratory supervisor.

For More Information

    National Society for Histotechnology
    4201 Northview Drive Suite 502
    Bowie, MD 20716-2604
    (301) 262-6221
    Website: http://www.nsh.org