What Is a Histotechnologist?

Histotechnologists play an important role in the examination of tissue samples. Read below to find out more about the duties and possible work environments of histotechnologists. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Basic Duties of a Histotechnologist

Because laboratory tests play such an important role in the effective diagnosis of disease, histotechnologists form a crucial part of a medical team. Histotechnologists are responsible for the preparation of human or animal tissue samples. They're typically trained in a variety of tissue preparation techniques, including freezing, dehydration, decalcification, microincineration, sectioning, wax embedding and staining. They also might be responsible for placing tissue samples on a slide before the samples are examined under a microscope by a pathologist.

In addition to being used to diagnose disease, the samples prepared by histotechnologists might be used for teaching and research. Depending on the particular work environment, a histotechnologist's job duties also might include documenting results and maintaining lab equipment.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $59,430 (for medical and clinical laboratory technologists)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 14% (for medical and clinical laboratory technologists)
Key Skills Physical stamina, ability to use technology, dexterity
Similar Occupations Biological technician, chemical technician

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment

Most histotechnologists work in the pathology laboratory of a hospital or medical clinic. Because surgical teams sometimes await the examination of tissue samples during a procedure, histotechnologists often work under pressure. This requires them to execute their tasks with great speed and accuracy. A histotechnologist also might work in a research laboratory, doctor's office, veterinarian's office or government agency. In addition to working with human or animal tissue samples, histotechnologists might find employment working with plant tissue samples.

Education and Licensure

Students interested in this career typically need a bachelor's degree in histotechnology or a related field. Some states require licensure for histotechnologists, which might require that applicants train under a certified pathologist and pass a certification exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).

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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