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What Does it Take to Be a Pathologist?

Occupation Description Diagnose presence and stage of diseases using laboratory techniques and patient specimens. Study the nature, cause, and development of diseases. May perform autopsies.

List of Pathologist Job Duties

  • Write pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.
  • Manage medical laboratories.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.
  • Obtain specimens by performing procedures such as biopsies or fine need aspirations (FNAs) of superficial nodules.
  • Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, or molecular biology.
  • Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.

Skills Needed to be a Pathologist

When polled, Pathologists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Types of Pathologist

  • Molecular Pathologist
  • Clinical Laboratory Medical Director
  • Chemical Pathologist
  • Anatomic Pathologist
  • Pathology Laboratory Director

What Kind of Pathologist Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 372,400 jobs for Pathologist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 42,300 new jobs for Pathologist by 2026. The BLS estimates 14,300 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Pathologist are Arizona, Alaska, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Pathologists Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Pathologists ranges between about $60,280 and $208,000 a year.

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Pathologists who work in Alaska, Arizona, or Colorado, make the highest salaries.

How much do Pathologists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $183,510
Alaska $244,220
Arizona $229,090
Arkansas $165,290
California $208,740
Colorado $219,310
Connecticut $221,870
Delaware $216,600
District of Columbia $182,910
Florida $205,020
Georgia $235,060
Hawaii $228,470
Idaho $241,670
Illinois $183,780
Indiana $237,470
Iowa $219,300
Kansas $191,430
Kentucky $223,770
Louisiana $183,920
Maine $257,550
Maryland $196,210
Massachusetts $207,990
Michigan $181,760
Minnesota $245,040
Mississippi $174,340
Missouri $203,440
Montana $247,260
Nebraska $161,880
Nevada $227,500
New Hampshire $275,840
New Jersey $208,820
New Mexico $229,100
New York $171,060
North Carolina $198,040
North Dakota $266,510
Ohio $212,160
Oklahoma $155,130
Oregon $202,750
Pennsylvania $195,810
Rhode Island $209,580
South Carolina $185,210
South Dakota $227,710
Tennessee $231,960
Texas $199,370
Utah $218,210
Vermont $176,520
Virginia $199,080
Washington $239,080
West Virginia $222,270
Wisconsin $239,610
Wyoming $234,610

What Tools & Technology do Pathologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Pathologists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Laboratory information system LIS
  • Sunquest Information Systems Sunquest Laboratory
  • STARLIMS
  • CPSI CPSI System
  • Orchard Software Orchard Harvest LIS
  • Healthvision TDSynergy LIS
  • Clinical Software Solutions CLIN1 Suite
  • Comp Pro Med Polytech
  • Custom Software Systems StarLab
  • Elekta Impac Software IntelliLab
  • EpicLab Laboratory Information System
  • Fletcher-Flora Health Care Systems FFlex eSuite LIS
  • Fletcher-Flora Health Care Systems LabPak LIS
  • GE Healthcare Centricity Laboratory
  • HEX Laboratory Systems LAB/HEX
  • ClinLab LIS
  • Iatric Systems MobiLab
  • LabSoft LabNet

Becoming a Pathologist

What education is needed to be a Pathologist?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Pathologists Work

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Pathologist might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Pathologist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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