How to Become a Histotechnologist

What is a histotechnologist? Read on to find out and learn what careers are like and how to get started.

The Basics

What you'll do: Also known as histologic technologists or tissue technologists, you'll prepare slices of body tissue for examination by pathologists. As a histotechnologist, you'll be performing complex procedures for processing body tissue and make judgments concerning the quality of results.

Where you'll work: Most histotechnologists work in hospitals or clinical pathology labs, but you might also work in research laboratories, doctors' offices, for a pharmaceutical company or for a government agency.

Degree you'll need: Bachelor's degree

Median annual salary: $51,830*

Education and Training

In addition to histology and histochemistry, you'll learn processing techniques, preparation of specimens and microscopy.

Courses in histotechnology generally include the following:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Immunology
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Licensing and Certification

In order to become a histotechnologist, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree and certification from a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) or Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA) accredited program.

Regulations vary from state to state, but certification is highly recommended because many employers require it. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) offers national certification and testing, which earns histotechnologists the title Certified Histotechnologist (CHTL).

Sources:  Salary.com wage data published January 2014; Histology Technician.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Did You Know?

  • The first microscope capable of bringing cells and bacteria into view was invented by Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1674.
  • The average human adult possess about 25 square feet of skin.