What do histology personnel do?

Histologists and histologic technicians prepare tissue samples for examination by a pathologist. Their work is an essential part of determining whether a patient is suffering from a disease dysfunction or malignancy.

What might histology personnel do in a workday?

  • Prepare sections of human, animal or plant tissue for diagnostic, research, or teaching purposes.
  • Process tissue and embed into paraffin blocks, then mount thinly-sliced tissue sections onto a glass slide for microscopic study.
  • Stain tissue to differentiate various structures or components. The slide is then evaluated by a pathologist or other scientific investigator.
  • Supervise and manage a histology laboratory.

Developing a career in histology?

Histologists/ histotechnologists receive more training and perform more complex procedures than histologic technicians. Histologic technicians perform routine specimen preparation procedures and assist histologists.

Most histology personnel work in clinical pathology labs; some may work in veterinary, plant or marine histology, pharmacology, and medical or research laboratories.

How much salary do histotechnologists earn?

  • Histotechnologist:  $36,000-$52,450

How do I become a histotechnologist or histologic technician?

Students intending to pursue one of these careers should prepare by taking challenging high school courses in science, math, and English.

Histotechnologists must either have a bachelor's degree in an approved major (e.g. biology, chemistry) and one year of experience in a histopathology lab or complete a formal histotechnology educational program. They also must pass a national exam.

There are three paths to becoming a histologic technician. Students can earn a high school diploma and complete two years of clinical laboratory experience in histopathology. They can complete accredited program in histotechnology, or they can earn an associate degree and complete one year of clinical lab experience in histotechnology. They also must pass a national exam. Certification may be obtained from the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Where else can I learn about becoming a histologist or histologic technician?

National Society for Histotechnology
10320 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 804 / Columbia, MD  21044
tel: 443-535-4060  /  web: http://nsh.org

American Society for Clinical Pathology
33W. Monroe Street Suite 1600 / Chicago, IL  60603

Educational Institutions in Virginia for Histology: