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Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians
SOC Code: 29-2011.03

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, Histologic Technician, Histology Specialist, Histology Technician, Histology Technologist, Histotechnologist, Histotechnologist Supervisor, Pathology Supervisor

Tasks

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

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Microsoft Access
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Label making software - Brady Specimen Labeling System; Specimen labeling system software
  • Medical software - Cerner Millennium; Laboratory information system LIS; MEDITECH software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

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

Knowledge

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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.
  • 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 - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Work Context

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

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
48%Associate's degree
25%Bachelor's degree
10%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • 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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $24.89 hourly, $51,770 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 171,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 12,900

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