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Summary Report for:
29-2011.03 - Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians

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

Sample of reported job titles: Charge Histotechnologist; Clinical Laboratory Manager; Facility Manager, Histology; Histologic Technician; Histology Specialist; Histology Technician; Histology Technologist; Histotechnologist; Histotechnologist Supervisor; Pathology Supervisor

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Stain tissue specimens with dyes or other chemicals to make cell details visible under microscopes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Cut sections of body tissues for microscopic examination using microtomes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mount tissue specimens on glass slides. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Embed tissue specimens into paraffin wax blocks or infiltrate tissue specimens with wax. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine slides under microscopes to ensure tissue preparation meets laboratory requirements. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Freeze tissue specimens. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform procedures associated with histochemistry to prepare specimens for immunofluorescence or microscopy. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate computerized laboratory equipment to dehydrate, decalcify, or microincinerate tissue samples. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain laboratory equipment such as microscopes, mass spectrometers, microtomes, immunostainers, tissue processors, embedding centers, and water baths. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify tissue structures or cell components to be used in the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Supervise histology laboratory activities. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare or use prepared tissue specimens for teaching, research or diagnostic purposes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Teach students or other staff. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Automated cover slipping equipment — Automated coverslippers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Benchtop centrifuges — Cytocentrifuges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drying cabinets or ovens — Drying ovens; Slide dryers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • General purpose refrigerators or refrigerator freezers — Laboratory refrigerators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Histological hones or straps or compounds — Knife sharpeners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Histological knives or knife holders or blades — Anti-roll plates; Histology diamond knives; Histology glass knives See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Histology or cytology slide stainers — Slide stainers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Histology or tissue cassette cabinets — Tissue block storage drawers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Label making machines — Label printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory balances — Electronic laboratory balances See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory microwave ovens See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory staining dishes or jars — Staining dishes; Staining trays See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Microscope slide cabinets — Microscope slide drawers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Microtomes — Rotary microtomes; Sled microtomes; Ultramicrotomes; Vibratomes (see all 10 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • pH meters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tissue culture incubators — Incubators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tissue embedding stations — Tissue embedding equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tissue flotation baths See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tissue processors — Automated tissue sectioning systems; Manual tissue choppers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ultra cold or ultralow upright cabinets or freezers — Specimen freezers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Water baths See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Label making software — Brady Specimen Labeling System; Specimen labeling system software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Medical software — Cerner Millennium; Laboratory information system LIS software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Prepare biological specimens for laboratory analysis. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze laboratory specimens to detect abnormalities or other problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate laboratory equipment to analyze medical samples. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze laboratory findings. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain medical laboratory equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Train medical providers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Supervise technical medical personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 78% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 84% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 88% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 83% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 68% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 80% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 65% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 65% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 65% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 45% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 58% responded “Extremely serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 65% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 60% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 48% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 55% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 43% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 50% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 39% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 53% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 26% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 58% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 35% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Degree of Automation — 55% responded “Moderately automated.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 95% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Fairly important.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience 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.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
48   Associate's degree
25   Bachelor's degree
10   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RIC

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists.
Employment data collected from Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists.
Industry data collected from Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists.

Median wages (2014) $28.57 hourly, $59,430 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 164,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 65,800
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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