Best American Cities for Histotechnologists (2020)

No matter the size of the city, every metropolitan area needs health professionals to provide the healthcare needs of its citizens. Histotechnologists are essential allied health professionals who play a pivotal role in helping pathologists diagnose diseases by preparing tissue samples for examination. In fact, “histo” is a Greek root which means “organic tissue” and when paired with the use of a microscope and other scientific equipment, histotechnologists can be best described as “organic tissue technologists.”

In short, histotechnologists prepare living tissue samples, such as human skin or plants, for examination under a microscope. By using precise cutting techniques and knowledge of dyes and chemicals, a histotechnologist aids clinical pathologists (among others) in determining if abnormalities are present in a tissue sample. This precision-oriented work requires a high level of accuracy to help a clinical health professional such as a doctor or a nurse choose an effective method of treatment and prevent misdiagnosis which could be emotionally and physically damaging for a patient.

Wherever medical tests are needed is where histotechnologists work. It should come as no surprise that histotechnologists work in a wide array of scientific and healthcare settings across the country, including hospitals, clinics, healthcare laboratories, dermatopathology labs, veterinary pathology labs, forensic pathology labs, and marine biology.

With a strong foundational education in high school sciences and math, histotechnologists can apply for a clinical education as a histotechnician. Histotechnologist programs are available through community colleges, on-the-job training at a hospital, or through a program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

The National Society for Histotechnology (NSH) keeps a list of accredited histotechnologist programs. Certification is not required nationally, but it is highly recommended to ensure high-quality levels of professionalism and stay competitive in saturated job markets. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) offers a globally-recognized certification for medical laboratory professionals and two certifications: HT for histotechnicians and HTL for histotechnologists.

So where is the best place for a histotechnologist to work? The answer depends! Factors such as desired pay, career mobility, and industry variety are important to consider. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps occupational employment statistics for clinical laboratory technologists and technicians—a career category that includes histotechnologists and is the primary source used to compile the lists below.

Here are 15 awesome cities for histotechnologists.

15 Best Cities for Working Histotechnologists

Five Top-Paying Cities for Histotechnologists

The nationwide average annual salary for histotechnologists is $53,120 (BLS 2019). For those focused on earning high salaries, here are the top five highest-paying metropolitan areas for histotechnologists.

  1. Vineland, New Jersey: A city with a small-town feel and relatively low cost of living, Vineland, New Jersey is the top-paying city in the nation for histotechnologists with an annual mean wage of $80,560. Only 40 miles away from Philadelphia, this city has a rural, small-town feel as well as nearby opportunities in Bridgeton, New Jersey.
  2. Carson City, Nevada: Desert-dwellers can enjoy the arts and culture of a city and easily access mountains on the weekends. The annual mean wage for histotechnologists is $78,400 and Reno is located 30 miles north of this growing metropolitan area. Lake Tahoe is also a nearby popular outdoor attraction
  3. Anchorage, Alaska: The regional center of America’s final frontier, this far north location is a paradise for winter wonderland enthusiasts. With an annual mean wage of $76,370 for histotechnologists, professionals can enjoy all the benefits of city, suburban, and outdoor life.
  4. San Luis Obispo, California: Residents here enjoy college-town living in central California equidistant between San Francisco and Los Angeles. With annual mean wages for histotechnicians at $75,180, those who desire a pleasant year-round climate can live comfortably in a place where the average median income is $44,894.
  5. Sacramento, California: This capital city of the Golden State is located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Histotechnicians earn annual mean wages of $73,530 and enjoy close proximity to outdoor recreation as well as mild winters. The metropolitan area also includes histotechnologist jobs in Roseville, Arden, and Arcade.

Five Cities with the Highest Concentration of Histotechnologists

Career mobility is an important factor for some and the BLS lists the top ten metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs for histotechnologists. The number of employed histotechnologists is presented along with the city’s location quotient: a ratio of the area of concentration of employment against the national average.

Here are five cities with the highest concentrations of histotechnologists.

  1. Burlington, North Carolina: A mid-sized city in close proximity to Greensboro and Durham-Chapel Hill, Burlington attracts outdoor recreation enthusiasts with its pleasant climate and ranks number one as the top employing metropolitan area of histotechnologists with 2,110 people employed and a location quotient of 15.3.
  2. Durham, North Carolina: Featuring a college-town feel with attractive residential options, Durham is Burlington’s neighbor city and 40 miles south of Virginia. With a strong economy to match, Durham is the second-ranked city for the highest concentration of histotechnologists with 2,360 employed and a location quotient of 3.39.
  3. Brunswick, Georgia: Lovers of small-town coastal cities will enjoy the local recreation opportunities and downtown charm of Brunswick. With 290 histotechnologists employed and a location quotient of 3.08, this “Gateway to the Golden Isles” is a quaint historic place that doubles as a major port of entry for the shrimp and chemical industries.
  4. Rochester, Minnesota: A mid-sized midwestern city 45 miles west of Wisconsin and 35 miles north of Iowa, Rochester attracts healthcare workers, outdoor enthusiasts, and is the location of one of the Mayo Clinic campuses. Rochester employs 770 histotechnologists with a location quotient of 6.57.
  5. Columbia, Missouri: A college town located between St. Louis and Kansas City, Columbia, Missouri features a low cost of living and healthy future economic projections driven by insurance and medical technology. Columbia employs 570 histotechnologists with a location quotient of 2.71.

Five Cities with the Highest Levels of Employment for Histotechnologists

High levels of employment in big metropolitan areas can translate to a greater variety of opportunities in industries. Histotechnologists wanting to gain experience in different work environments are advised to look for work in these five metropolitan areas with the highest level of employment.

  1. New York, New York: Unsurprisingly, the largest metropolitan area in the United States also employs the most number of histotechnologists at 18,490. Being the fourth-largest city in the world, the New York metro area includes Manhattan, Long Island, and Staten Island, and Newark, New Jersey and is considered a global arts and economic hub.
  2. Los Angeles, California: The coast-lined metropolitan area of LA is the second largest employer of histotechnologists at 11,240. Featuring warm weather, the entertainment industry, and a strong overall economic presence, LA has big-city amenities and outdoor recreation sprawled out between the Pacific Ocean and San Bernardino mountains.
  3. Chicago, Illinois: A major national center in the midwestern United States, Chicago employs the third-largest number of histotechnologists at 10,040. Featuring large art and cultural resources and more than 30 Fortune 500 companies, Chicago has a diverse economy, a historic downtown, and serves as a major air and rail travel hub.
  4. Boston, Massachusetts: The unofficial intellectual and historical capital of the United States, Boston employs the fourth-largest number of histotechnologists at 8,710. The metro area includes Cambridge and the northern suburbs of New Hampshire and features a large number of university research hospitals and laboratories.
  5. Dallas, Texas: Rhe regional metropolitan area of the southern United States, Dallas, and the “Metroplex” area of Fort Worth and Arlington, employs 8,240 histotechnologists. Surrounded by suburban areas, Dallas is developing rail-transit to make it easier for residents to more easily commute to its diverse economic and commercial centers.
Rachel Drummond
Rachel Drummond Writer

Rachel Drummond is a freelance writer, educator, and yogini from Oregon. She’s taught English to international university students in the United States and Japan for more than a decade and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. A dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Rachel is interested in exploring the nuanced philosophical aspects of contemplative physical practices and how they apply in daily life. She writes about this topic among others on her blog (Instagram: @oregon_yogini).