A histotechnician (HT) is an individual who is trained in the preparation and staining of tissue slides for microscopic examination and disease diagnosis by the pathologist. Histotechnicians may preserve organs for later examination and perform enzyme and immunohistochemistry techniques. Histotechnicians may also assist the pathologist in the preparation of frozen tissue sections which are used to provide rapid diagnosis.
If you are considering a career in histotechnology, some good traits to have are:
- Being a problem solver.
- Having attention to detail.
- Having an interest in science.
- Enjoying challenges and responsibility.
This is a great career path for someone who wants to be a professional in the medical field but would rather work behind the scenes in a laboratory.
A four-year degree is not required to be a histotechnician. Many students find employment with an Associate of Applied Science degree in histotechnology.
If students do pursue a bachelor's degree in a science field, they can be eligible for a higher level of certification once they complete the histotechnologist (HTL) certification exam. This allows them to do more complex techniques in areas such as immunohistochemistry, enzyme histochemistry and electron microscopy.
Those who pursue a master's degree in the field may find careers as a pathologist assistant.
A fast track into the field is available for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in biology or chemistry. Contact the program director for more information.
Click here to view the program director's presentation about histotechnology.