Histology technicians (HTs) and histotechnologists (HTLs) are experts in slide preparation for use by pathologists and scientists. Histology is the microscopic study of tissues and their structures. They prepare tissue sections for microscopic slide preparation for pathologists or other medical scientists. They section, stain and coverslip microscopic tissue sections on slides to identify signs of disease, illness, or malignancies in the body. The tissue may be human, animal, or plant in origin.
The histotechnologist may specialize in more complex techniques such as enzyme histochemistry, immuno-histo chemistry and electron microscopy.
Histologic technicians have a wide choice of practice settings. Hospitals, for-profit laboratories, clinics, and public health facilities. Other opportunities for histologic technicians are in industrial research, veterinary pathology, marine biology, and forensic pathology.
Overall employment of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. An increase in the aging population is expected to lead to a greater need to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes, through laboratory procedures.
Programs for certified histotechnologist are four years and lead to a bachelor’s degree.
Histologic technicians complete a 12-month program, usually at a community college offering a diploma, or can complete on-the-job training and then take an examination.
Licensure is not required in the state of Connecticut. Prerequisite: The Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists gives a national certification exam. Students take this exam after meeting their academic and laboratory education requirements. Those who pass the exam for histologic technician may use the initials HT (ASCP) after their name to show they are proficient in their field.
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
1861 International Drive, Suite 200
McLean, VA 22102
Society for Histotechnology
3545 Ellicott Mills Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043