Histotechnicians are clinical laboratory technicians who prepare very thin body tissue samples to be studied under a microscope. These samples are examined by a pathologist.
The job of a histotechnician is quite sensitive and can be risky too because they have to deal with infectious samples as well. If you want to work as a histotechnician, then read this article.
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The job outlook for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians is quite positive as per the data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. These professionals are expected to enjoy a 7% growth in job opportunities between 2019 and 2029.
Steps to Become a Histotechnician in the US
If you want to work as a histotechnician in the US, you will have to complete the following steps:
Get the Required Education
Aspiring histotechnicians have to complete math and science courses in high school. After that, there are two options available to you. The first option is to complete a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) accredited histotechnician program. It can take you around a year to complete these programs. The second option is to get an associate's degree, which will include histology training in a health facility. You can also work in a laboratory on a part-time basis while you are attending school as that might give you an edge in the job market.
Get the State License
Some US states make it mandatory for histotechnicians to get a state-issued license. In certain states you will have to apply for a license, while in other states, you will have to obtain the license from the laboratory you work in. Requirements to get these licenses might vary so, please check all the details before applying for the job.
While not mandatory, a lot of employers prefer histotechnicians with additional certifications. If you decide to get the ASCP certification, you will have to clear the organization's histotechnician exam. To qualify for this exam, you will have to pass a histotechnician program accredited by the NAACLS or complete a specified number of college credit hours.
If you have college credits but have not passed the accredited program, you will need one year experience of working in a laboratory. On top of that, you should also have experience with processing, staining, fixation, and microtomy over the last ten years.
To keep your certification, you will have to complete a Certification Maintenance Program every three years.
Duration to Become a Histotechnician in the US
The duration to become a histotechnician will vary according to the educational path you choose, the state licensure requirements, and the certifications you decided to obtain.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Histotechnician in the US?
Complete high school with courses in math and science.
Meet the educational requirements.
Obtain a state license (if applicable).
How Much Can I Earn as a Histotechnician in the US?
$54,780 was the mean annual income of Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians working in the US in 2019.