Career Discovery Tool
Science Buddies

Pathologist

Overview and Key Facts

Samples in lab
Education
Education
Doctoral or professional degree
Median Pay
Median Pay
$208,000
Job Growth
Job Growth
2.40%
(Below US Average)
Jobs in 2031
Jobs in 2031
287,500

What Do They Do?

A pathologist could...

Overview Listen to this section

Do you enjoy solving mysteries? Getting to the end of a "who did it" mystery novel can be lots of fun! But are there mysteries in real life? You bet there are! A pathologist is a medical detective, and their job is to figure out the root cause of real-life medical puzzles. Pathologists work in a wide range of fields and can help diagnose types of cancer, find out what killed a person, and investigate how disease progresses on a molecular level. If you enjoy employing cool logic to solve mysteries, then you should seriously consider a career as a pathologist.
Watch this video where Dr. Adrienne Morey shares what her typical day is like as an anatomic pathologist.

Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Pathologist?


  1. Reading Comprehension: ?
  2. Writing: ?
  3. Critical Thinking: ?
  4. Active Listening: ?
  5. Complex Problem Solving: ?

Core Tasks

Think about if you'd like the typical tasks a Pathologist might do:
  • Diagnose diseases or study medical conditions, using techniques such as gross pathology, histology, cytology, cytopathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, flow cytometry, or molecular biology.
  • Examine microscopic samples to identify diseases or other abnormalities.
  • Write pathology reports summarizing analyses, results, and conclusions.
  • Communicate pathologic findings to surgeons or other physicians.
  • Identify the etiology, pathogenesis, morphological change, and clinical significance of diseases.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in pathology.
  • Consult with physicians about ordering and interpreting tests or providing treatments.
  • Analyze and interpret results from tests, such as microbial or parasite tests, urine analyses, hormonal assays, fine needle aspirations (FNAs), and polymerase chain reactions (PCRs).
  • Review cases by analyzing autopsies, laboratory findings, or case investigation reports.
  • Manage medical laboratories.
  • Develop or adopt new tests or instruments to improve diagnosis of diseases.
  • Educate physicians, students, and other personnel in medical laboratory professions, such as medical technology, cytotechnology, or histotechnology.
  • Plan and supervise the work of the pathology staff, residents, or visiting pathologists.
  • Perform autopsies to determine causes of deaths.

Salary & Job Openings

Steps to Get There: Becoming a Pathologist

Try it Out with an Activity or Project

On the Job

More Information

Please create a free account to view this career and access our full library of over 160 STEM careers.

Students    Teachers / Parents

With a free account you will have access to our full library of over 160 STEM careers. Each career profile includes detailed information to help you learn about a career and the requirements to get there. You can explore:

  • salary information by state
  • recommended high school coursework
  • fun projects and activities to test out a career
  • videos and interviews with professionals in the field
  • details on what a day on the job is like
Top
Free science fair projects.