Histotechnology - Occupational Bulletin
Summary of ProfessionUsing 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 RequirementsHistologic 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 InformationThe national average salary for histologic technicians vary by area of the country.
Career OutlookEmployment 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 OptionsA 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