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Become A Histotechnician

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Working As A Histotechnician

  • Processing Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Repetitive

  • $50,555

    Average Salary

What Does A Histotechnician Do

Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Duties

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform detailed manual tests, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.

Technologists in small laboratories perform many types of tests; in large laboratories, they sometimes specialize. The following are examples of types of specialized medical laboratory technologists:

Blood bank technologists, or immunohematology technologists, collect blood, classify it by type, and prepare blood and its components for transfusions. 

Clinical chemistry technologists prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids. 

Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells with a microscope for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth. 

Immunology technologists examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies. 

Microbiology technologists examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples.

Like technologists, medical laboratory technicians may work in several areas of the laboratory or specialize in one particular area. For example, histotechnicians cut and stain tissue specimens for pathologists, who are doctors who study the cause and development of diseases at a microscopic level.

Technologists and technicians often specialize after they have worked in a particular area for a long time or have received advanced education or training in that area.

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How To Become A Histotechnician

Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Technicians usually need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some states require technologists and technicians to be licensed.

Education

An entry-level job for technologists usually requires a bachelor's degree in medical technology or life sciences.

A bachelor’s degree program in medical laboratory technology, also known as a medical laboratory scientist degree, includes courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, math, and statistics. Coursework emphasizes laboratory skills, including safety procedures and lab management.

The courses may be offered through a university or hospital-based program that students attend during their senior year of college. College graduates who major in other sciences and meet a program’s prerequisites, such as having completed required courses in biology and chemistry or maintaining a certain GPA, also may apply to a medical laboratory science program.

Medical laboratory technicians often complete an associate’s degree program in clinical laboratory science. A limited number of 1-year certificate programs are available from hospitals, and admission requirements vary. The Armed Forces and vocational or technical schools also may offer certificate programs for medical laboratory technicians. Technician coursework addresses the theoretical and practical aspects of each of the major laboratory disciplines.

High school students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical laboratory sciences should take classes in chemistry, biology, and math.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require laboratory personnel to be licensed. Requirements vary by state and specialty. For specific requirements, contact state departments of health, state boards of occupational licensing, or visit The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Certification of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is required for licensure in some states. Although certification is not required to enter the occupation in all cases, employers typically prefer to hire certified technologists and technicians.

Medical laboratory technologists and technicians can obtain a general certification as a medical laboratory technologist or technician, respectively, or a certification in a specialty, such as cytotechnology or medical biology. Most credentialing institutions require that technologists complete an accredited education program in order to qualify to sit for an exam. For more credentialing information, visit the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must understand how to operate complex machinery.

Detail oriented. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians must follow exact instructions in order to perform tests or procedures correctly.

Dexterity. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians need to be skilled with their hands. They work closely with needles and precise laboratory instruments and must handle these tools effectively.

Physical stamina. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians may work on their feet for long periods while collecting samples. They may need to lift or turn disabled patients to collect samples for testing.

Advancement

After additional education, work experience, or certification, technologists and technicians may specialize in one of many areas of laboratory science, such as immunology, histotechnology, or clinical chemistry. Some medical laboratory technicians advance to technologist positions after gaining experience and additional education.

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Histotechnician Demographics

Gender

Female

73.2%

Male

24.5%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

59.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.8%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

80.0%

Polish

10.0%

Arabic

10.0%

Histotechnician Education

Schools

Mt San Antonio College

10.3%

Darton State College

8.6%

Argosy University-Twin Cities

8.6%

Harford Community College

8.6%

Keiser University

8.6%

Southern Connecticut State University

5.2%

Old Dominion University

5.2%

Chippewa Valley Technical College

3.4%

State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill

3.4%

Clover Park Technical College

3.4%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.4%

Temple University

3.4%

Goodwin College

3.4%

Texas Tech University

3.4%

Youngstown State University

3.4%

McLennan Community College

3.4%

Ocean County College

3.4%

Pima Community College

3.4%

Drexel University

3.4%

Delaware Technical and Community College

3.4%
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Majors

Biology

27.7%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

16.8%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

10.3%

Medical Assisting Services

5.2%

Medical Technician

4.5%

Business

4.5%

Health Sciences And Services

3.9%

Nursing

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Pharmacy

2.6%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.6%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

2.6%

Education

2.6%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Chemistry

1.9%

Natural Sciences

1.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.3%

Public Health

1.3%

Microbiology

1.3%

Mathematics

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.7%

Other

23.4%

Associate

18.0%

Certificate

11.3%

Masters

6.8%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

0.5%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Histotechnician?

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Top Skills for A Histotechnician

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  1. Laboratory Equipment
  2. Microtomy
  3. Cell Culture
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Exercised rapid creativity in problem solving and troubleshooting of laboratory equipment.
  • Perform microtomy techniques on human and animal tissue according to laboratory protocols.
  • Performed routine Histotechnician duties under very little supervision.
  • Created MSDS and SOP manuals for Special Stains area and maintained the MSDS for the routine histology laboratory.
  • Maintained logbooks and performed data entry for surgical pathology.

What is it like to work as a Histotechnician

4.0

Histotechnologist

June 16, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Histotechnician.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Histotechnician?

I love my work. I make art everyday, I enjoy being good at it and knowing that I help people and am a huge part of the diagnosis process. I’m thankful to have fallen into histology... Show More

What do you NOT like?

In general histotechs are under appreciated and that can affect the group atmosphere at work. I’ve worked with a lot of bitter histotechs. They’re great people, but after many years become angry and bitter. Hard to be around. I still love my job though... Show More

How Would You Rate Working As a Histotechnician?

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CAREERS IN BIOLOGY SCIENCE – B.Sc,M.Sc,Science technician, Research,Job Opportunities,Salary Package

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