Pathologist | Selby College
Skip to main content


Pathologists are doctors who diagnose disease by examining cells and tissue samples, and sometimes through performing autopsies.

Potential salary

£31,365 to £91,004

Employment by 2024


Working hours

38 to 40 a week

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As part of your day-to-day duties, you might:

  • examine the results of blood tests, smear tests and tissue removal
  • explain test results and giving advice on further medical assessments
  • treat diseases and making sure blood transfusions are safe
  • develop vaccines against infectious diseases and inherited conditions
  • research and developing new tests and treatments
  • organise work in laboratories and supervising other laboratory staff
  • attend meetings with other health professionals to discuss the treatment of individual patients

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

With experience, you may go on to lead a team or manage a department.

With experience and entry on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register, you could apply for senior (or consultant) roles.

You could also progress to teaching and training students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals.

You can find out more about a career in pathology from The Royal College of Pathologists.

Powered by Pathways.