Histotechnologist/Histologic Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Prepares histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists. May assist in research studies.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Stains tissue specimens with dyes or other chemicals to make cell details visible under microscopes.
  • Cuts sections of body tissues for microscopic examination using microtomes.
  • Embeds tissue specimens into paraffin wax blocks or infiltrates tissue specimens with wax.
  • Mounts tissue specimens on glass slides.
  • Examines slides under microscopes to ensure tissue preparation meets laboratory requirements.
  • Freezes tissue specimens.
  • Performs procedures associated with histochemistry to prepare specimens for immunofluorescence or microscopy.
  • Operates computerized laboratory equipment to dehydrate, decalcify, or microincinerate tissue samples.
  • Maintains laboratory equipment such as microscopes, mass spectrometers, microtomes, immunostainers, tissue processors, embedding centers, and water baths.
  • Supervises histology laboratory activities.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Charge Histotechnologist --
  • Clinical Laboratory Manager --
  • Facility Manager, Histology --
  • Histologic Technician --
  • Histology Specialist --
  • Histology Technician --
  • Histology Technologist --
  • Histotechnologist --
  • Histotechnologist Supervisor --
  • Pathology Supervisor --