Careers in the Licensed Professions

Pathologists' Assistant

Pathologists' Assistant Print Profile PDF

Pathologists' assistants provide services under the supervision of a licensed physician who practices anatomic pathology—the visual and microscopic examination of human organs and tissues. Examples of services: 

  • prepare large tissue sections so they can be analyzed for disease
  • describe anatomic features and dissect surgical specimens
  • submit tissues for bio-banking or analysis
  • examine people who have died, including gathering and recording information for autopsy reports 

Note: these licensed professionals do not provide medical diagnoses or opinions.



Complete a bachelor’s or higher degree in a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) accredited pathologists’ assistant program.


Obtain a passing score on an examination acceptable to the Department, such as the pathologists' assistant certification exam of the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification

Visit the Office of the Professions for a listing of all options and requirements.




Salary and Projected Growth

  • Median salary: $89,999
  • Salary range: $75,000 to $100,000+
  • Projected growth: faster than average

Where Could I Work?

  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Private pathology laboratory
  • Forensic pathology labs and morgues
  • Government
  • Academia and research

Your Interests and Abilities

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Laboratory science
  • Handling and examining human bodies, organs and tissues

Professional Skills

  • Analytical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Fine motor skills
  • Leadership and teaching
  • Communication

What Interests You?

Match your interests and personality to career options! Explore a free career tool at

Tip: try searching for mentoring programs—talk to a pathologists' assistant about what they do and how they got started!

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Last Updated: January 14, 2020