Certificate programs in histology help students learn how to work in medical diagnostic laboratories, preparing human body tissue samples for examination by medical professionals. Students in these programs participate in both classroom lectures and clinical laboratory experiences, where they're expected to gain an in-depth understanding of histologic techniques. Certificate programs should also prepare students to sit for the histotechnician certification examination. Online programs may be available at some schools.
Certificate in Histology
Students enrolled in a histology certificate program first learn about the concepts of histology through classroom lectures. They also learn how to identify various tissue types, make laboratory preparations, use proper specimen handling techniques and operate pathology equipment. They then learn how to apply those concepts to practical techniques through clinical experiences. Other than histology lab theory and techniques, some specific courses include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Laboratory equipment and safety
- Histology clinical practicum
- Tissue and nerves
- Specimen processing
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Medical and clinical laboratory technicians, including histotechnicians, totaled over 331,700 in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Employment of medical and clinical laboratory technicians in general is expected to rise by 11% between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than average growth. These professionals earned an average income of $52,330 per year in May 2018.
Certification and Continuing Education
Histotechnicians who are interested in becoming histotechnologists will need to complete a bachelor's degree program in the field. Histotechnicians can gain certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathologists by passing a national examination. Although certification is not strictly required in the profession, it is recommended and sought by many employers.
Histology certificate programs cover topics such as tissue preparation and specimen processing. These short-term programs can prepare students for entry-level work in the field as well as certification, which may not be required but can enhance job prospects.