Histology Technician Education and Career Pathway
If you are interested in becoming a histology technician, then you will be expected to have acquired certain education, obtain certification, and advance your career in any of the various career pathways available to a histology technician.
Why Choose Histology Technician Career?
There are many reasons why you should consider becoming a histology technician, including:
- You can earn an average salary of $45,000 per year with an education as low as high school diploma.
- There are lots of job opportunities available.
- It’s one of the most rewarding careers that you can choose.
- You can work from home.
- You don’t need special training to be successful.
Histology Technician Education Requirements
These are the educational requirements you need to meet to become a histology technician:
- High School Diploma or GED.
- At least 1-year experience working in laboratory setting.
- Knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology.
Histology Technician Continuing Education
The following courses are recommended for those who want to advance their career in histology:
- Anatomy & Physiology I – This course covers the structure and function of the human body.
- Anatomy & Physiologic II – This course covers the major systems of the body.
- Microbiology – This course teaches students about bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.
- General Chemistry I – This course covers chemistry concepts such as atoms and molecules, chemical reactions, acids and bases, and solids, liquids, and gases.
- General Biology – This course covers the principles of biology, life processes, cell division, genetics, evolution, ecology, and population dynamics.
Histology Technician Certification/License
To obtain certification as a histology technician, you must pass the National Board Examination (NBE) administered by the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).
To get certified, you must have at least 2 years of experience in the field.
Histology Technician Career Pathways
Here are some of the different career pathways for a histology technician:
- Dialysis technician
A dialysis technician works in a hospital or clinic where he or she performs various procedures on patients undergoing treatment for kidney failure.
These include inserting tubes into the patient’s veins and arteries to remove blood and replace it with sterile solution.
2. Medical technologists
A medical technologist assists doctors in performing tests and examinations. He or she may prepare samples for testing, operate equipment, collect data, or do other tasks related to medical services.
3. Medical transcriptionist
A medical transcriptionist records dictated information from physicians and healthcare providers using dictation software.
After recording the information, they type it up and make sure everything is correct before submitting it to the physician.
4. Nursing assistant
A nursing assistant helps care for patients during routine activities such as bathing, feeding, dressing, and moving them around.
He or she also checks vital signs, monitors medications, and provides emotional support.
5. Physical therapist
A physical therapist is someone who diagnoses and treats people with injuries and illnesses involving muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and skin.
His or her job duties include helping patients recover after an injury or surgery, prescribing exercises for rehabilitation, and evaluating how well a person has recovered.
- Respiratory therapist
- Surgical technologist
- X-ray technician
- Pharmacy technician
- Veterinary technician
How to Advance your Histology Technician Career
There are many ways to advance your career as a histology technician, including:
- Online courses
You can start by getting training through online courses offered by the ASCLS. The following is a list of online courses offered by the American Society of clinical laboratory science (ASCLS):
- ASCLS Certified Histotechnology Technician Course – This course will provide you with the skills needed to work in histology laboratories.
It includes topics such as specimen collection, processing, staining, interpretation, reporting, and documentation.
- ASCLS Certified Microbiology Technician Course – This course teaches students about microbiology principles and techniques used in diagnostic microbiology.
Topics covered include cell biology, bacterial culture methods, molecular diagnostics, and antimicrobial resistance.
- ASCLS Certification in Clinical Chemistry – This course covers basic concepts and applications of chemistry used in clinical laboratories.
Students learn about chemical analysis, sample preparation, instrument operation, calibration, quality control, and proficiency testing.
- ASCLEP Test Prep Courses – These test prep courses cover the same topics that are taught in college level biology classes.
They are designed to help students pass their high school biology exams.
2. Laboratory management
If you want to manage a lab, then you need to have a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or in a related field.
You must be able to demonstrate your knowledge of basic scientific principles, laboratory safety procedures, and analytical methodologies.
3. Medical technology
Medical technology is another way to advance your career as histology technician. In this case, you need to complete a medical technology program at a community or technical college.
To get started, you should take some prerequisites courses before enrolling in the medical technology program.
Some of these prerequisites include anatomy, physiology, pathology, genetics, and pharmacology.
4. Master’s Degree
A Master’s degree in Histology is ideal if you want to become a professor. Your education would include courses on tissue morphology, histochemical stains, immunohistochemical stains, electron microscopy, cytogenetics, and molecular biology.
5. Doctorate Degree
A Doctorate degree in Histology is also an option for those who want to become professors.
However, it takes longer than obtaining a Master’s degree. You would need to earn a Ph.D. in Histology after earning a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a four-year institution.
How to find a Good Histology Technician School
If you are looking for some good histology technician schools, then here are some suggestions:
- Ask around
You can ask people who graduated from the histology technician schools you are interested in attending.
Also, you can look up information about the programs available at different colleges and universities.
2. Check out websites
The best place to find information about histology technician schools is on the internet. You can use search engines like Google and Yahoo to find useful information.
3. Attend local events
Some colleges hold annual conferences where they share information about job opportunities.
If there isn’t one near you, you can contact the department head of the histology technician program you want to attend.
They will be able to tell you more about the conference.
4. Contact the admissions office
Some histology technician schools offer scholarships to applicants with good grades and GPA scores.
If you don’t qualify for any scholarship, you can still apply by sending them a letter explaining why you deserve financial aid.
5. Talk to faculty members
It is important to talk to current histology technicians because they know what kinds of jobs are available in the field.
They may even give you advice about which schools to choose.
6. Look online
There are many websites that list all kinds of careers. One such website is monster.com.
This site has links to thousands of companies that hire workers every day. By looking through their listings, you can find the ones that match your qualifications.
How to be Successful in your Histology Technician Career
If you want to be successful in your histology technician career, then consider these excellent ideas:
- Be flexible
Your job as a histologist technician is not always going to be easy. Sometimes, you might have to work overtime or go into the lab late at night.
But if you keep yourself flexible, you won’t feel stressed when things do not go according to plan.
2. Learn new skills
If you want to stay relevant in your profession, then you need to learn new skills. For example, you could start learning how to operate computerized equipment.
Or maybe you should take some classes in medical terminology so that you can communicate better with doctors.
3. Get experience
If you want to advance in your career, then you need to get experience. If you want to make a name for yourself, then you should try to get some awards and recognition.
4. Stay current
As a histology technician, you must be well informed about the latest developments in the field.
To remain competitive, you should read articles about the latest research findings. And you should keep abreast of news items in order to stay connected with other professionals.
5. Keep learning
As long as you are working in this field, you should continue to improve your knowledge.
In addition to reading books, magazines, and newspapers, you should also watch educational videos. These will help you understand the concepts behind the procedures you perform.
You should build relationships with other professionals in your field. It is very likely that you will meet people who can recommend you to employers.
So, it is important that you network with these individuals.
What Does a Histology Technician Do?
A histology technician is responsible for a variety of duties connected to the preparation of tissue samples for microscopic inspection. The most common tasks they do include:
- Preparing slides from paraffin-embedded tissues
- Examining slides under a microscope
- Staining slides
- Fixing cells on glass slides
- Cutting sections of tissue
- Making special stains
- Storing tissue specimens
- Processing tissue specimens
- Analyzing results
Qualities of a Good Histology Technician
There are certain qualities that a good histology technician needs to have. Some of them are listed below:
The first thing that you need to be able to do as a histology technician is to know what you are doing. You should be familiar with the various techniques used in the preparation of tissue samples.
A good histology technician should be skilled enough to prepare slides from paraffin embedded tissue. He/she should also be capable of examining tissue samples using a microscope.
As a histology technician, it is essential that you maintain an open mind. This means that you should never judge others based on their race, gender, religion, etc.
4. Must be able to follow instructions
This includes following written directions and being able to repeat steps correctly. You should also be able to follow verbal instructions.
5. Should be organized
It is essential that you organize your workspace. You should have all the necessary supplies at hand when needed.
Also, you should ensure that everything is clean and free of clutter.
Histology Technician Salary
According to salary.com, the starting income for a histology technician ranges from $51,200 to $62,776 per year, with a median starting salary of $57,087.
Histology Technician Job Outlook
Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, which include histology, are expected to expand by 7% between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you want to become a histology technician, then you need to work hard and develop the skills and qualities required.
You should make sure that you study hard so you can meet the educational requirements to advance your career and achieve success.