Health Science > Diagnostic Services

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists. May assist in research studies.

Common job titles of Histotechnologists include:

Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 47.5% said they needed a Associate's Degree.

  • 25% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.


    Cut sections of body tissues for microscopic examination, using microtomes.

    Prepare or use prepared tissue specimens for teaching, research or diagnostic purposes.

    Freeze tissue specimens.

    Identify tissue structures or cell components to be used in the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases.

    Maintain laboratory equipment, such as microscopes, mass spectrometers, microtomes, immunostainers, tissue processors, embedding centers, and water baths.

    Examine slides under microscopes to ensure tissue preparation meets laboratory requirements.

    Embed tissue specimens into paraffin wax blocks or infiltrate tissue specimens with wax.

    Mount tissue specimens on glass slides.

    Stain tissue specimens with dyes or other chemicals to make cell details visible under microscopes.

    Operate computerized laboratory equipment to dehydrate, decalcify, or microincinerate tissue samples.

    Supervise histology laboratory activities.

    Perform procedures associated with histochemistry to prepare specimens for immunofluorescence or microscopy.

    Teach students or other staff.

    Perform electron microscopy or mass spectrometry to analyze specimens.


Water baths



Tissue processors

Tissue flotation baths

Tissue embedding equipment

Tissue block storage drawers

All Tools

Staining trays

Staining dishes

Specimen freezers

Slide stainers

Slide dryers

Sled microtomes

Saw microtomes

Rotary microtomes

pH meters

Paraffin microtomes

Microscope slide drawers

Manual tissue choppers

Laser microtomes

Laboratory refrigerators

Laboratory microwave ovens

Label printers

Knife sharpeners


Histology glass knives

Histology diamond knives

Electronic laboratory balances

Drying ovens

Desktop computers


Cryostat microtomes

Clinical freezing microtomes

Back sledge microtomes

Automated tissue sectioning systems

Automated coverslippers

Anti-roll plates


MEDITECH software

Brady Specimen Labeling System

Cerner Millennium

Laboratory information system LIS

Presentation software

Specimen labeling system software

Spreadsheet software


Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Finger Dexterity

Identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Cognitive Abilities › Perceptual Abilities › Flexibility of Closure

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

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