Pathologist Assistant Career Guide


It is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make sure patients get the required attention in a timely manner. Only fortunate souls get the chance to perform this kind of noble work which involves risk taking and lifesaving. Not everyone gets such an opportunity and those who are on the verge to avail it should not hold back. Thus for this purpose, it is important that candidates spend time researching the relevant healthcare sector they want to specialize in. A position that allows you to add value to this sector on a large scale is that of a pathologist assistant who is responsible for collecting samples of surgical pathology and examining blood-work.

Job Duties

The allied health workers providing services in anatomic pathology under supervision and direction are trained professionals. A pathologist assistant’s work includes carrying out autopsies and checkups of surgical pathology samples. Usually they perform administrative duties, dissection and preparation of specimens, preparation of tissues for histological processing, collection of clinical histories, photography of pertinent specimens and conduct postmortem exams. Since the job comprises of viewing and handling the specimens, it is not for those with weak hearts.

Pathologist assistants are also responsible for preparing reports and doing paperwork. They can teach courses such as physiology, anatomy and other inter-related coursework of biology. They also understand the procedures of laboratories along with training new employees. Those who have experience may guide the trainees on how to take specimens. Pathologist assistants eventually need to perform and record observations accurately.

Career Outlook

The demand for pathologist assistants is growing and the cost of healthcare continues to rise. Allied health personnel are seen as reliable sources for quality and affordable healthcare services. They usually get employment in various healthcare settings such as medical examiner offices, community and regional hospitals, private pathology laboratories and university medical centers. They might also get employed in more than one location such as medical centers and clinical groups, depending upon the scenario.


As recoded by National Salary Trend, in July 2012 the annual median salary of Pathologist Assistants was approximately $46,000.

Educational Requirements

To become a Pathologist Assistant, candidates need to have an undergraduate degree in science. This may help in taking admission in a bachelor’s degree program. Moreover, candidates then move on to acquire a two years master’s degree to specialize in this area. They may get certified from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Through certification, the level of competence could be demonstrated to the prospective employer. You may also opt for an online degree if you do not have enough time to continue with conventional campus based education. This may help you carry on with your work and at the same time allow you to complete education.

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