Some community colleges offer associate's degree programs specifically in histology. Introductory courses in a histology program provide students with an advanced understanding of human anatomy, microbiology, and cellular biology. Students are also expected to gain a comprehensive understanding of laboratory procedures and safety during clinical lab training. Following graduation, a professional certification might be gained through the American Society for Clinical Pathology. A high school diploma or GED is a definite requirement for program admission.
Associate's Degree in Histology
Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in histotechnology spend their time in the classroom, clinical and laboratory settings, learning first-hand how to collect and prepare tissue samples for examination. Some courses that lead up to those skills include:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- General chemistry
- College mathematics
- Histology practicum
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Clinical laboratory technicians and technologists, in general, held 331,700 jobs in the U.S. in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects that job opportunities in this field will increase by 11% from 2018 to 2028. These technicians, including histotechnicians, primarily worked in general medical hospitals and diagnostic laboratory facilities. The median yearly salary for clinical laboratory technologists and technicians as of May 2018 was $52,330; those in hospitals made a mean average of $55,730, and those working in diagnostic labs earned a mean average of $52,870.
Certification and Continuing Education
The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) offers certification for both histotechnicians and histotechnologists. Histotechnicians who are interested in becoming histotechnologists can enroll in a bachelor's degree program in clinical laboratory science with an emphasis in histology. Master's degree programs in medical laboratory science are also available and offer courses or concentrations in the subject of histology.
Histotechnology associate's programs are available through some 2-year schools. They include hands-on training in tissue sampling techniques and can prepare graduates for entry-level lab positions. Graduates can also pursue voluntary certification as well as bachelor's degrees.