Increasing work responsibilities have spurred the need of assistant pathologists in variety of hospital setups. Consequently, the salary has risen consistently in the recent years.
Pathologist assistant’s job is hailed to be one of the prominent medical jobs in the US, when it comes to laboratory research and testing. Their earnings, like that of any other profession, vary, depending upon several factors.
Over the years, pathology has evolved as a broad field. This has triggered growth in this field leading to numerous career opportunities. Assistance in hospital jobs is required, when there is increasing work pressure and it’s difficult to maintain efficiency level at peak. These assistants help their superiors in carrying out daily experimental testing tasks in the hospitals and in healthcare units. This is just one dimension of their job profile. Since, pathology is a very diverse field, job profiles vary to a great extent. For instance, there is a field of speech pathology in which pathologists treat speech related problems. Then there are medical/clinical pathologists, who are dedicated towards laboratory tests, research, testing, and finding the causes of diseases.
It is this diversification that has also led to tremendous growth and demand for these professionals. Not to say, these burgeoning demands have also helped in increased salary. Briefed further are some duties and responsibilities of pathologist assistants.
- They help senior assistants in preparing and performing surgical specimens dissection.
- They work in surgical pathology, autopsy, or in a simple pathology clinic.
- They obtain various specimen like blood, tissue, and urine samples for analyzing complex medical problems. Toxicology, bacterial and viral cultures, all are studied by them in detail.
- If someone is an autopsy pathologist’s assistant, he/she will also help in postmortem examinations.
- They also perform administrative tasks like filling of reports and maintaining medical records.
Average Salary and Factors Affecting it
As stated earlier, the salary depends on different parameters and they are explained in detail below.
Certainly, higher the educational degrees you’ve got, better are the chances of your employment. Nonetheless, you must prove your competence in interviews and tests to ensure that you know what you have studied. Certifications, diplomas, and degrees greatly help in increasing the salary. Obviously, a diploma holder in autopsy pathology and a PhD in the same subject, can’t be treated equally. Generally, with a bachelor’s degree in these or related subjects, one can start with decent earning between US$40,000 to US$50,000 per year. Sometimes, a candidate with lower educational qualification may earn more than a candidate with a higher degree, however, here the work experience comes into play.
Since it is all about conducting tests and analysis, work experience forms a crucial component of salary negotiation. With considerable experience, you can always have a choice to search for better paying jobs. The salary of those with work experience of one to four years is between US$40,000 to US$76,000 yearly. Those who have worked for nearly 5 to 10 years, can earn anywhere between US$50,000 to US$80,000 per year. Being a senior pathologist after being promoted from assistant designation, makes you skilled enough to earn close to US$90,000 per year. You may also supervise and coordinate working activities in several laboratories. If you have interest in teaching, you can apply for some part-time faculty position in pathology schools. But all this comes at the price of at least a decade or two of work in this industry.
Higher the cost of living in a city, higher will be the salary. This is because all other vectors are simultaneously adjusted to the cost of living in a city. So you may find some assistants earning better than you in New York, while you’re working in some small city in the US. But the expenses in NY may be equally high owing to it being a financial hub and an expensive city.
The salary also depends on the employer hiring you. Generally, hospitals are biggest recruiters. Being in a private or public firm will also determine your salary. Forensic pathologist salary in federal investigative agencies may be higher than in private agencies. It all depends on funding of your employer.
If you’re intrigued by dissection of animals, human anatomy, and have courage to analyze postmortem reports, then this field is for you. With such a broad categorization of pathology, there are limitless options to choose from. As per BLS, there is good employment outlook for pathologist in the coming years, so you can make a good career in this field.