Histotechnologist Career Plan
The following steps are designed as a general guide for those considering a career in histotechnology.
Become a Histotechnologist
Take a general college prep curriculum that includes chemistry, biology, and computer science. Master the art of writing lab reports. Earn good grades as this will help you get into a competitive four year program. (An associate program will earn you the lower designation of histotechnician.)
Also use your high school years to get a bit of experience in the field. Participate in the Health Occupations Student Association or other health-focused club. Consider attending a health careers camp. There are also some interesting web sites you can visit to explore histology. These include Histology World and HistoTalk. You may also want to participate in science competitions like the Biology Olympiad.
Research histotechnology degree programs. Your program must be accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). You will also want to consider internship opportunities, overall program reputation, and any special features.
There are a variety of options. You can earn a bachelor’s of science in biology with a specialization in histotechology — a few such programs have been accredited by the NAACLS. You can also opt to do a biology degree first and then a shorter histotechnology program later. Your undergraduate degree program should include both chemistry and biology courses. The post-baccalaureate histotechnology program may be completed in less than one calendar year.
Complete required classes and internship hours. In your internship, you will practice fixation, staining, microtomy, processing.
Pursue certification and begin searching for a position. The National Society for Histotechnology has a career center for members. You can post a resume and create job alerts. You can also find samples of curriculum vitae and resumes.
Personality Traits: Barry University refers to histotechnologists as “laboratory detectives”. One characteristic of histotechnologists is that they like problem solving. According to the National Society for Histotechnology, other characteristics are accuracy and good communication skills.