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The complete career guide to be a Histotechnologist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $61,860
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 14%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

Histotechnologists are skilled professionals in the allied health industry. They use their knowledge of histologic technology to prepare tissue for examination by scientists or pathologists. Their work helps to either diagnose a disease, further research or instruct others in the subject area.

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What is a Histotechnologist?


Under general supervision, a histotechnologist must complete the following duties:

  • Monitor and operate all laboratory equipment, which includes performing regular quality checks and preventative maintenance, while also replenishing existing stock.
  • Help pathologists with dissecting various tissue specimens, by setting up the laboratory, required instruments and chemical solutions.
  • Receive, record and conduct different routine histological processes like sectioning, staining and labelling on surgical or autopsy tissue specimens.
  • Establish and carefully maintain accurate records of quality control data, reports and procedures; define reference points on positive and negative controls.
  • Actively take part in training or recruiting other laboratory staff, creating and implementing new protocols and research ideas.

Day In The Life

Histotechnologists work as part of a laboratory team blending science and technology, usually under the supervision of a pathologist or senior scientist. The primary purpose of this role is to focus on diagnosing diseases accurately and conduct innovative research on tissue samples. To execute this, you will be working frequently with different automated equipment, chemical solutions like stains or dyes, microscopic glass slides and other fragile instruments.

The samples that a histotechnologist prepares to identify tissues or cell structures might also be useful for teaching and research purposes, apart from assisting with diagnosing diseases. You might contribute to less common tissue testing via molecular pathology, electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. If your work environment is related to research and development, you may also have to document project results frequently and maintain lab equipment when needed.

Work Schedule

The standard work schedule for a histotechnologist is usually about forty hours a week. However, if you are working at a hospital or medical clinic that is open twenty-four hours in a day, you can be working long nights and on rotational shifts. It is also not unusual to be working over the weekend and holidays, but you will likely have days off in the middle of the week. Since time is of the essence when surgical teams are waiting to hear back from the lab, you must be comfortable working in high-stress situations under short timelines without compromising on performance.

Growth Of The Job

The job outlook for histotechnologists has been growing steadily since 2004. The number of vacant positions for this type of role has been increasing by 8.72% nationwide during that time, with an annual growth rate of around 1.45%. In addition, an expected growth of 16% in demand will be seen for the decade 2014 to 2024. The main reason for growth can be accounted to advancements in medicine and better provisions for high quality healthcare. This influences the demand rate for histotechnologists and other lab technicians to perform tests that will assist with diagnostics for multiple locations.

Typical Employers

As a histotechnologist, you can expect to work with the pathology lab of a hospital – state, local or private, diagnostic and medical healthcare facilities, private industry research, forensic pathology or at physician’s offices. Depending on the location and scope of the role, histotechnologists might join positions with educational institutions like universities, colleges and professional schools. Histotechnologists may also choose to work with animal tissue samples at a veterinarian’s office or at a government research agency.

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How To Become a Histotechnologist

In order to excel at a career in histotechnology, an aspiring applicant must have a solid foundation in subject areas like biology, mathematics and chemistry. To join entry-level positions in this field, you must have at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in histotechnology or a related discipline. Along with coursework in histological technology, you will have to build your knowledge of chemistry, immunology, anatomy, biology, and molecular biology. A clinical education is also required from an accredited histotechnologist program or the bachelor’s degree program in order to qualify.

You can enhance your marketability by getting certified, which is voluntary but indicates advanced mastery of histological concepts in accordance with the national standards indicated by the National Society of histotechnology. Certificationxams administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) comprise of two parts: practical and written. After passing the examination, histotechnologists can use the initials HTL(ASCP). Maintaining this credential via continued education will also allow you to track current trends in the profession.

Histotechnologist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Histotechnologist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Histotechnologist's can make an average annual salary of $61,860, or $30 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $51,080 or $25 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #254 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Histotechnologists

  • 2.3%   Doctorate
  • 6.5%   Masters
  • 44.1%   Bachelors
  • 17.2%   Associates
  • 19%   College
  • 9.5%   High School
  • 1.4%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Histotechnologist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 23,100 jobs for a total of 187,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 14% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #114 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Histotechnologists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 80,500 5,600 6%
Medical and diagnostic laboratories 28,500 9,500 10%
Offices of physicians 12,600 2,900 3%

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