The histology technician is also known as histotechnician, generally works in a laboratory under the direct supervision of pathologists and other laboratory managers. They obtain tissue specimens from various body tissues to perform microscopic examination. Histology technician’s job is to obtain thinly cut, cross-sectioned tissue specimens, applying various dyes or stains to stabilize the tissue slide specimens, maintain histology equipment, record data and they assist various healthcare specialists by diagnosing or ruling out the condition. In general, histology technicians examine the tissue specimens and assist some researchers including physicians to treat patients. In addition, they also collect and prepare the tissue samples before processing them to pathologists.
On successful completion of 2 year histology technician program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science at a technical institute, the candidate should obtain the program completion certificate or diploma. The candidate should then apply for the board examination from the American Society for Clinical Pathology. On eligibility, one can schedule the exam that is officially conducted by the Pearson Professional Centers and pass the examination for histology technician certification. Then, the candidate can become a certified histology technician by obtaining one’s certification credential from the American Society for Clinical Pathology which is valid for 3 years which can be maintained by completing the continuing education requirements.
To become a histology technician (histotechnician), one should complete an entry-level education (high school diploma or its equivalent) and enroll in an accredited histology technician program that usually lasts for 5 years. One can also gain sufficient knowledge and skills from bachelor’s degrees or associate’s degree program in human histology that usually lasts for about 2 years. Alternately, one can pursue histotechnician certification program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science at a technical institute, community college, hospitals and universities. During this program, the candidate should attend classroom lectures and clinical training sessions for the duration ranging from few weeks to several months to gain clinical experience. In addition, one should complete on-the-job training by finishing the allotted number of hours. On successful completion of program, one can obtain certificate from the American Society for Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average hourly wage for a histology technician has been around $22.44 per hour and an average annual salary is around $46,680 per year. Read more about histology technician salary.