How to get a job in pathology

Your workplace can vary between hospitals, community health centres, research institutes, the government or private industry

Pathology includes the collection and testing of biological products such as blood, urine and other fluids and tissue samples. Working in a pathology lab can be a high-pressure environment, but also stimulating and exciting as it's so varied.

How to be a Pathologist?

Could it be the right career for you?

Do you have the right personal skills, interests and abilities to make you a great fit for a job in pathology? A natural interest in science, especially biology is an important one. It's also important to have a fairly strong stomach. When you deal daily with biological products such as blood, urine, skin and stool samples, being easily squeamish won't help you.

You should also be accurate, reliable and responsible as patients' lives can depend on your work. The ability to work well under pressure is also desirable.

Careers in Pathology

A career in pathology means you'll be working closely with medical professionals such as doctors and pathologists in a clinical setting. Your workplace can vary between hospitals, community health centres, research institutes, the government or private industry. Best of all, you'll be doing your bit to help other people through potentially difficult or anxious medical situations.

Pathology professionals are at the forefront of healthcare research and medical science.

Pathology training and qualifications

Certificates in Pathology

TAFE NSW's Certificate III in Pathology Collection or Certificate III in Pathology Assistance would get you started as a pathology assistant and specimen collector. This is an ideal course for anyone just starting out in the area of pathology as it has no entry requirements.

Diplomas in Pathology

To further your pathology career, you can go on to study a Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Pathology Testing). This Diploma can also help you gain entry to further study at university.

Jobs in Pathology

Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical Lab Technicians work as part of a team with doctors, scientists and lab assistants. They conduct tests and other procedures used to diagnose and treat diseases. These include microbiological, haematological, histological, chemical pathology, immunohaematology and molecular biology tests and procedures.

Specimen Collection Officer

Specimen collection officers collect blood and other samples (e.g. urine, tissue samples and fluids and swabs) from clients and patients. They're also responsible for the performance of respiratory function and urea breath tests.

Lab Aides and Pathology Assistants

Laboratory aides and pathology assistants prepare samples of body tissue and fluids taken from patients for analysis. They also make up chemical solutions, sterilise equipment, label and sort tissue samples and dispose of chemical or biological waste.

Click here to find out more about studying laboratory science with TAFE NSW, and download your free Course Guide.