Histology Technician

Job Description:

A Histology Technician prepares and examines tissue samples under a microscope to assist pathologists in diagnosing diseases and conditions.

Job Category:
Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences

What you will do:

As a histology technician, you will be:

  • Receiving tissue samples from surgeries or biopsies, and their primary role is to prepare these samples for microscopic examination.
  • Embedding tissue samples in paraffin wax or other embedding materials, allowing them to be thinly sliced for microscopic examination.
  • Using microtomes to cut thin tissue sections (slices) from the embedded samples, which are then mounted on glass slides for staining
  • Applying specific stains to tissue sections to highlight different structures and cell types, aiding pathologists in making diagnoses
  • Ensuring the quality and accuracy of prepared slides, as well as identifying any issues that might affect diagnosis
  • Regularly maintaining and calibrating laboratory equipment, including microtomes and staining machines
  • Accurately documenting all procedures and ensuring that patient records are complete and well-organised
  • Following safety protocols and maintaining a clean and safe working environment to prevent contamination or accidents
  • Collaborating with pathologists and other laboratory staff to provide accurate and timely results


You will need:

  • knowledge in anatomy and physiology
  • knowledge in histology techniques
  • competency in laboratory procedures, including the use of microscopes, tissue processors, and staining equipment
  • a strong educational background in histotechnology or a related field
  • knowledge of medical terminology
  • knowledge of safety protocols
  • knowledge in quality control and record-keeping in a laboratory environment
  • familiarity with laboratory information systems (LIS) and other software used for data entry and result reporting

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Histology Technician, GCSE (or equivalent) subjects that can be beneficial include:

  1. Science: Courses in biology and chemistry provide foundational knowledge for understanding laboratory techniques and biological processes.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for measurements and calculations in the laboratory.
  3. English: Strong communication skills are essential for documenting procedures and collaborating with colleagues.

While these subjects can be helpful, specific GCSE requirements can vary depending on the institution and the educational pathway you choose. It’s advisable to check with the histotechnology program you plan to enroll in for their specific admission requirements.

To become a Histology Technician, you typically need the following qualifications and requirements:


Start with a degree or certificate in histotechnology or a closely related field. Most Histology Technicians hold an associate degree, which is typically a two-year program. Some may pursue a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science with a specialisation in histotechnology.


Complete a clinical practicum or internship as part of your educational program, which provides hands-on experience in a laboratory setting.

Certification (Optional)

While not always required, many Histology Technicians choose to pursue certification to enhance their career prospects.

Licensure (Varies)

In some states or countries, licensure or registration may be required to practice as a Histology Technician. Check the regulations in your area.

Working Hours and Environment:

Histology Technicians work in laboratory settings, typically during regular daytime hours, but some may have shifts, including evenings and weekends, and occasionally be on-call for urgent cases.

Career Path & Progression:

With time and experience, some choose to pursue certification, such as the HT (ASCP) certification, which can enhance career prospects. Others may specialise in specific areas of histology, like dermatopathology or neuropathology, to expand their career options.

Advanced education, like a bachelor’s degree or advanced certifications, is an option for those seeking supervisory or teaching roles within the laboratory. Throughout their careers, Histology Technicians engage in continuing education to stay current with evolving techniques and technologies in the field.

The exact career trajectory may vary based on individual goals and opportunities within the histotechnology field.