Re: MT's in Histology

From:Lee & Peggy Wenk

I'm not an MT, but I would like to respond from what I THINK I know about this.
In most labs in the US, Clinical Pathology has both MT (baccalaureate degree) and MLT (associate degree). In most labs in the US, the histology lab has just HT (histologic technicians). And traditionally the HT have had only a high school diploma. There are very few HTL (histotechnologists) with the baccalaureate degree. Many labs do not even have a HTL position created.
So, for most MTs, if they want to work in histology, they have to go from a technologist/baccalaureate position to a technician/high school-associate degree position. So there is a drop in pay.
From the 2000 ASCP Wage and Salary Survey, the median starting and top salaries were:
MT - $14.00 - 20.50
HT - $12.00 - 17.30
HTL - $13.90 - 19.90
(Around the Detroit area, wages currently are $2-3/hour higher for all positions.)
So, if the hospital that she will be working in, only employs HT, regardless of their educational background, she will be taking a $4000-6000 drop in wages per year.
And just because someone has a baccalaureate degree, does not necessarily mean the lab will pay them as a histotechnologist. If everyone does the same work, everyone gets the same pay. And in our case, everyone would be paid as a histologic technician.
As for how they get training in histology - just like most of the people in histology - on the job (OJT). She finds a lab that needs a histotech, but can't find someone already trained in histotechnology to hire. So the lab hires someone, shows then how to section, do some stains, use the equipment. It's usually up to the person to read the books to find out the theory and chemistry, and to learn about the rest of the procedures that are not done in the lab they have been hired in.
This is another reason for the difference in pay. The majority of MT and MLT have been trained in an accredited program. The majority of HT (85% who take the HT exam) come through the OJT route.
So, this is what I THINK I know, with a few opinions thrown in.
Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
Schools of Histotechnology
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073
----- Original Message -----
From: Barbara Murray
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 1:52 PM
Subject: MT's in Histology

We have an MT that is interested in histology training. She has been informed that she will have to take a cut in salary to do this.
If any MT's are histotechs, would you please tell me what route you took with your training
and was there a decrease in salary to do this.
Thanks so much and have a great day!
Barbara A. Murray, HT. (ASCP)
The Alaska Native Medical Center
Pathology Dept.
Anchorage, Alaska 99508

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