4 minute read

Histological Technician Job Description, Career as a Histological Technician, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Training/Educational Requirements: Associate degree

Median Salary: $45,617 annually

Job Prospects: Very good

Job Description

A histological technician prepares slides of body tissue to be used for observation. They work in conjunction with a healthcare team or medical staff to ensure the tissue is obtained in the appropriate manner, and work on the necessary steps of preparation. They help the rest of the lab staff in any responsibilities required to prepare for observation of all tissue samples.

A histological technician ensures the specimens taken are acceptable and are sustainable in the required observation and diagnosis. They also take in samples for outside laboratories or third parties, and ensure they are sustainable and fit for observation.

Their role is one of preparation, since they aren’t the ones necessarily involved in either the observation or the diagnosis. They serve as an important first checkpoint to ensure appropriate samples are taken and received, and request additional samples if needed. They are trained to understand what makes an appropriate tissue sample, which is the main focus of their job. They provide customer service by answering questions that come into the laboratory.

Since this is a training role, histological technicians are involved in fundamental responsibilities required for the lab. They set up or clean up the lab, work on inventory levels for required products, and help with whatever the medical or laboratory staff require. They learn on the job, and become experts in providing answers regarding the processes and procedures used to analyze the tissue samples that come in for observation. As they gain experience, they help in training new employees or those learning this job.

Training/Educational Requirements

The typical educational requirement for a histological technician is an associate degree. Some states require histological technicians to have at least one year of clinical laboratory work so they understand how the process and environment works. Though it is not a requirement everywhere, some states also require histological technicians to obtain certification in this area.

Some of the best training for this role comes on the job. Since this is more of an entry-level position, histological technicians usually learn from observation and practice under more seasoned workers. They provide support while being involved in various procedures as part of the learning process. While the education requirement is important at the beginning, some of the best training comes from working in this role directly.

How to Get Hired

The best way to get hired as a histological technician is to have the necessary educational requirement. Having a solid education and at least one year of experience is the best preparation to getting hired. Additionally, if possible, getting the necessary certification adds to the credibility and marketability of the histological technician, increasing their chances of getting hired.

Any experience gained working in a diagnostic laboratory helps a histological technician get hired. Working in different environments, while demonstrating the required experience and skills helps the right candidates get hired much faster. Showing aptitude in dealing with inquiries and becoming an expert at the processes and procedures within this environment is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

Since histological technician positions fall within the healthcare industry, job growth is exceptionally high. It’s in an area of high concentration which contributes to excellent opportunities for those entering this field. Those who have proven experience working as a histological technician can expect to find more opportunities in a variety of environments.

Since this is a job an individual sticks with for the long-term, histological technicians need to be well-versed. In addition, they can use this position as a springboard to other opportunities within the field, lending way to excellent opportunities for growth. There are many career paths histological technicians can take, with many job openings within them. This is a great area to work within currently, and shows promise of growth no matter the status of the economy.

Working Environment

The typical working environment for a histological technician is a laboratory, but the specific type and function varies widely. Histological technicians work in a hospital laboratory, a government agency, a medical institution, a public health department, or a research institution. While there are differences in all of these environments, they all maintain some sort of laboratory presence. Histological technicians work normal hours, even though they may work different shifts at the beginning of their career.

The environment can be stressful or hectic at times since histological technicians handle different specimens. In times of great activity, there is some stress, however, it is usually an even-keeled environment with structure. This is usually an excellent learning environment, where histological technicians ask questions and learn how various procedures work. This contributes to becoming capable within their field and role.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a histological technician is around $45,617 per year. The salary range varies anywhere between $41,412 and $50,096 a year, depending on the employer, experience, and the work environment. This range is attributed to all of these factors, and fluctuates depending on the geographical location. Histological technicians typically receive standard benefits including paid vacation and holidays, as well as medical coverage as part of their compensation.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHealth & Medicine