Pathologists identify and diagnose the existence and stages of diseases. They also examine sources of infection in body tissues, fluids, secretions and other scientific specimens.

Where pathologists are employed

Pathologists work primarily in private pathology practices, hospital laboratories or government health laboratories. They may work in private practice on their own, in partnership with another pathologist, or in a group practice. Opportunities for general pathologists exist in community hospitals, large country towns and non-metropolitan centres.


Full-time pathologists in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for Pathologist

Job prospects

Employment opportunities depend on a variety of factors such as birth and death rates, population levels and movements, changing patterns of illness and injury, technological advances in health care, the trend towards preventative medicine and the cost to the patient of treatment and health insurance. In 2011 there were 112 people employed full-time as pathologists in South Australia compared with 51 in 2006.

How to become one

You need a degree in science and post graduate specialist training. At school consider doing English, biology, maths, chemistry and physics. For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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