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Pathology Technician Training Programs

Find out what a pathology technician does on a daily basis. Learn about professional certifications available in the field along with employment outlook and the median salary.

How Much Training Will I Need?

The requirements for this position vary by employer, but the OPM reports that you should have an educational background in related areas, such as cytotechnology, microbiology, chemistry or other biological sciences. You can find degree programs at all levels that offer science and biology courses, as well as the opportunity to train on equipment and conduct laboratory work. You can also gain experience in some programs by completing a clinical internship.

Educational RequirementsCourses in chemistry, microbiology, cytotechnology and biological sciences
CertificationVoluntary exam through the American Society for Clinical Pathology
Job DutiesAutopsy preparation, tissue sample research, administrative work
Median Salary (2019) $82,946 (for pathology assistants)*

Source: *Salary.com

What Certification Is Available?

Although not required by all employers, you can find voluntary certification, such as the pathologists' assistant specialist credential offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. You will need to complete a bachelor's degree program and an accredited pathologists' assistant program. These assistant programs generally require clinical rotations and cover topics like pathology, biochemistry and microbiology. In some states you may also need a license to work as a pathologists' assistant.

What Is a Pathology Technician?

Pathology technicians may also be referred to as pathologists' assistants. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) notes that your work as a pathology technician can incorporate the duties of histopathology or cytology technicians.

You will primarily work alongside pathologists in a laboratory environment, which can be found in hospitals, veterinary pathology centers or research facilities. Working as a technician or assistant, you may help pathologists prepare for an autopsy, research the findings of tissue samples and perform administrative duties.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 12% increase in employment for clinical laboratory technologists between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). The BLS notes that you will be able to find the majority of jobs in hospitals. According to Salary.com, the median salary for pathology assistants was $82,946 in July 2019 (www1.salary.com)