Pathologist Technician: Job Description & Career Info

Pathologist technicians perform laboratory tests on body tissues, cells and fluids to help pathologists arrive at diagnoses. Keep reading to learn about the education, skills, salary and employment outlook for this career, to see if it's the right one for you.

View 15 Popular Schools »

Career Defined

Pathology technology concerns the tests, chemicals, procedures and laboratory machinery used to analyze biological samples. Most pathologist technicians work for hospital pathologists, testing laboratories or medical examiners, and a growing number are employed by police crime scene or forensic departments. Most will specialize in the technology used to analyze a particular discipline, such as blood, cells or the pathology of a specific organ.

How to Become a Pathologist Technician

Required Education

A certificate or associate's degree in medical technology or applied science is generally required to be a pathologist technician, but some high school graduates can get a trainee job, supervised by a pathologist, and work while earning a 2-year degree in science technology. In addition, there are a growing number of bachelor's degree programs in forensic science. Pathologist technicians need an understanding of the scientific theories and procedures of analysis, as well as how to operate and maintain testing equipment.

Skills Needed

Pathologist technicians need to be organized and have mechanical aptitude. Much of the job involves performing the same procedures over and over again, requiring stamina and dedication. Pathology technology results are often needed in medical care or as evidence in court cases, so precision and accuracy are important.

Career and Employment Outlook

Jobs for pathologist technicians trained as chemical or biological technicians are predicted to grow as fast as the average from 2012-2022, while growth for forensic technicians is expected to be slower than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov,. In 2012, the median annual wage was $39,750 for biological technicians, $42,920 for chemical technicians and $52,840 for forensic science technicians. According to the BLS, the median annual wage in 2012 for medical laboratory technicians was $37,240.

Alternate Career Options

Agricultural and Food Science Technician

By earning an associate's degree in animal science, biology, or a similar field, these techs pursue jobs assisting agricultural and food scientists. They analyze and measure food and agricultural products' quality. Slower than average employment growth of 3% was anticipated during the 2012-2022 decade, and an annual median salary of $34,070 was reported in 2012.

Environmental Science and Protection Technician

With associate's or bachelor's degrees in public health, environmental science or environmental health, these technicians complete field and lab testing to track changes in the environment and explore the causes of pollution, under the guidance of environmental specialists and scientists. Faster than average job growth of 19% was forecast by the BLS from 2012-2022. In 2012, the BLS noted a median wage of $41,240 per year for this profession.

Show me popular schools

Related to Pathologist Technician: Job Description & Career Info

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
MIT Department Helps Faculty Connect Innovation and Technology

The OpenCourseWare movement made the educational resources from the nation's top universities available to the world. MIT goes...

Maybe Technology in Schools Isn't the Answer

Packing classrooms full of the latest technology has become one of the hottest trends in education across the country. It seems...

Too Much Technology?

Computers, smart phones and other gadgets are ubiquitous in our lives. Ever-easier to carry around with us, it's a rare moment...

On College Campuses, Technology Is Moving Fast

In this year's Almanac of Higher Education, The Chronicle explores the rapidly expanding use of technology on college campuses...

Don't Pay for Technology: 25 Freebies for Students

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    • Minnesota (2)
    • New Jersey (1)
    • New York (3)
    • Texas (3)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Undergraduate Certificate in General Studies (Medical Assistants)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    During which term would you like to start?

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright