This job has expired

Histopathology Technologist- Open Continuous Announcement

Washington, D.C
Closing date
Sep 27, 2023

Duties to include but not limited to:

- Performs a broad range of laboratory procedures including all processing from wet tissue to slide preparation involving anatomic pathology, i.e. surgical pathology, and autopsy pathology.

- Evaluates and solves problems related to collection and processing of biological specimens for diagnostic evaluation considering physiologic processes and requirements

- Identifies the need for and perform fixation techniques that are non-routine such as lymph node preparations and bone decalcification

- Performs frozen section preparations

- Assists with the collection and processing of kidney biopsies.

- Adheres to practices and regulations governing safety in the laboratory.

- Operates the microtome to achieve tissue sections of the thickness required for variety of tissue types and test methods.

- Performs routine and special histochemical stains as requested by the pathologist

- Trains and performs cross coverage duties in the Immunohistochemistry laboratory including fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and chromogenic in-situhybridization (CISH) as well as FISH analysis when needed.

- Operates and performs routine maintenance of instruments, troubleshoots, and resolves problems.

- Performs quality control and assurance procedures well as troubleshoot quality control problems including examining slides under a microscope to ensure tissue preparation meets laboratory requirements.

- File blocks, slides, and residual tissue and maintains them in accordance with record retention guidelines.

- Packages, appropriately records, and distributes a variety send out request in accordance with established laboratory procedures.

- Incorporates principles of educational methodology in the instruction and training ofnew employees and students and in the laboratory's internship/continuing education program.

- Communicates effectively and courteously while working as a healthcare team member.

- Organizes work and sets priorities to meet deadlines.

- Maintains an adequate stock of supplies in the various areas of the laboratory and indicates when supplies are low.

- Assists in autopsy procedures and the maintenance of the autopsy suite, as needed.

- Other duties as assigned.

This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT until October 27, 2023. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and qualified candidates will be considered for this vacancy.

Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 7:00am-3:30pm
Compressed/Flexible:Not Authorized
Telework: Not Authorized
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
PCS Appraised Value Offer (AVO): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • English Language Proficiency: Histopathology Technologists must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C.
  • Education:
Successful completion of a full four-year course of study from an accredited college or university, leading to a bachelor's or higher degree, that included a major study in an academic field related to health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of a histopathology technologist, such as, but not limited to clinical biology, microbiology, physiology, pre-medical, medical lab technology, chemistry, immunology, physiology, anatomy;
Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university with a combination of 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of biology and chemistry (must include credit hours in both);
Successful completion of two years of progressively higher level graduate education, leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree, with a major study in an academic field related to health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the position of histopathology technologist, such as clinical biology, microbiology, physiology, premedical, medical lab technology, chemistry, immunology, physiology, anatomy.

Foreign Education. To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization approved by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials, and such education must have been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. programs.

Certification: Candidates must currently possess the histotechnologist (HTL) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification. The ASCP requires completion of one of the following for a candidate to be considered "board eligible" to take the certification exam:
(a) Successful completion of a histotechnician or histotechnology program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS);
(b) One year of full time experience in all of the following: fixation, embedding, microtomy, processing, and staining in a histopathology (clinical, veterinary, industry, or research) laboratory.

Grade Determinations: GS-9 (Full Performance Level)

Experience. Must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level, which is directly related to the position to be filled.

Assignment. At the full performance level, the histopathology technologist independently performs a full range of routine and specialized tests. Utilize information technology systems to apply histopathology techniques and broad scientific principles from the fields of biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. The histopathology technologist acts as a technical resource, troubleshooting a variety of specialized lab tests, identifying suboptimal issues, and uses independent judgment and resources to resolve concerns. The histopathology technologist ensures goals are met by prioritizing work, as necessary, in times of short staffing, or heavy workload, and by performing simultaneous tasks. The histopathology technologist uses professional skills in applying anatomic pathology principles, practices, concepts, and theories to perform new or difficult specialized testing methods, such as immunohistochemical, histochemical, and frozen section techniques.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:

(a) Knowledge of laboratory information technology systems and inter-connectivity.
(b) Knowledge of histopathology techniques, chemistry, anatomy and physiology principles, theories, concepts, and methodologies sufficient to process specimens, and the ability to perform a full range of routine specialized tests.
(c) Ability to identify and test suboptimal specimens and take corrective action to minimize or eliminate impact on a patient's sample.
(d) Ability to organize, coordinate, and prioritize simultaneous work assignments; both individual and team related.
(e) Skill in applying professional, anatomic pathology principles, practices, concepts, and theories in performing new or difficult specialized testing methods or techniques.

Preferred Experience:
1. Experience performing special stains and immunohistochemistry.
2. Experience performing routine maintenance on laboratory equipment.
3. Experience processing both surgical pathology and cytopathology specimens, including fixation, orientation, embedding, cutting and staining.

Grandfathering Provision:

All histopathology technologists employed in VHA in this occupational series or in another occupational series, who perform the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of this qualification standard, are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the grade held, including positive education and certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to the position, the following provisions apply:
(1) Histopathology technologists who do not meet the basic requirements for education and certification may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance level, or demoted within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the full performance level or placed in a supervisory or managerial position.
(2) Histopathology technologists who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or receive a new appointment on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.
(3) Histopathology technologists initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain education and/or certification that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard, must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation.
(4) If histopathology technologists, who are grandfathered under this provision, leave the occupation then those employees lose grandfathered protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the
histopathology technologist occupation in this series.

References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/118 November 25, 2019, PART II, APPENDIX G65, II-G65-2

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-9 . The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-9.

Physical Requirements: The position will include moderate lifting, (15-44 pounds), moderate carrying (15-44 pounds), reaching above shoulder, use of fingers, walking (8 hours), and standing (8 hours), ability to distinguish basic colors and shades.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert