Becoming a Pathologists’ Assistant

A Pathologists’ Assistant is trained to provide anatomic pathology services under the supervision of a licensed or certified Pathologist. He also performs all types of surgical, and autopsy functions of a Pathologist, but that excludes the medical diagnosis. They may also examine corpses in order to help determine the cause of death. Apart from that, sometimes they are given the responsibility of handling a pathological laboratory too.

The Pathologists’ Assistants also handle the following duties:

  • Prepare the description and dissection of human tissue surgical specimens
  • Make report on postmortem examinations
  • Arrange training of pathology residents and pathologists’ assistant students
  • Procure samples for biospecimen banking
  • Provide instructions of anatomy and physiology as well as autopsy techniques

Education Requirements:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in any life science subjects is mandatory for the Pathologists’ Assistant aspirants. The coursework may include physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, English etc. during the four-year degree program. The bachelor’s degree programs are linked to National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
  2. Certification: After completing the bachelor’s degree program, a certification from the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) will be required, as many states in the U.S. require a certificate along with degree program during recruitment of Pathologists” Assistants.
  3. Job Experience: Getting prior job experience is not mandatory, but will come as an extra advantage for the job aspirants. They can gain the job experience in any clinical settings or research laboratories.

Salary & Job Outlook:

The job outlook of Pathologists’ Assistant remains bright. However, salary may vary depending on the experience and qualification. The average salary remains $75,000 to $90,000 per year. However, experienced professionals in this field may earn up to $100,000 to $120,000 or even more.