What Can I Do with an Associate Degree in Histology?

If you are interested in the effects of diseases on tissue and want to work in health care, you might try exploring the field of histology. Read on to explore career options available with an associate's degree in this field. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Careers for Histology Associate's Holders

Histology is the study of cellular structure and tissue anatomy in plants and animals. If you want to work in this field, an associate's degree in histologic technology will qualify you to work as a histologic technician, or histotechnician. Many community as well as junior colleges offer Associate of Applied Science degrees in histology or Associate of Science degrees in histology technology.

Important Facts About Associate's Degrees in Histology

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED equivalent
Degree Fields Histology, histotechnology
Online Availability Some programs are available online
Common Courses Functional histology, introduction to histotechnology, anatomy and physiology
Median Salary (2019) $52,039 (for histologic technicians)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 13% growth (for all medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians)**

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties of Histotechnicians

The most common career path you could pursue with this degree is that of a histology technician. As such, you'd work with histologists and other scientists in research laboratories. You'd prepare tissue, blood and fluid samples for histologists or pathologists to examine under a microscope, looking for signs of abnormality or disease. You might work in a public health department, clinical research laboratory, hospital laboratory or government agency.

Certification and Licensing

If you want to improve your employment opportunities or pursue professional certification, most organizations require that you earn your degree from a program accredited through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Once you've completed your degree, you can take a certification test administered by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in this field. You might also have to become licensed to work as a histotechnician in your state. To find out your state's requirements, you should check with its board of licensing or board of health.

Additional Education Options

To advance in the field of histology, you might want to become a histologic technologist and pursue a bachelor's degree in a related field, like biology or medical technology. Depending on your major, a bachelor's degree could also open up opportunities in other areas of allied health or clinical laboratory science, such as clinical chemistry or cytotechnology. If you're more interested in working with animals, you might look into pursuing a degree in veterinary science. On the other hand, if you'd like to work more directly with human patients, you might want to pursue a training program for physician's assistants or pursue a degree in nursing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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