A phlebotomist is a health care professional who specializes in the drawing of blood. Phlebotomists often also prepare and/or perform blood tests in medical labs. The training to become a phlebotomist is not too extensive, but becoming a certified phlebotomist requires 40 hours of classroom training and 120 hours of hands-on internship practicing drawing blood.
Salary Range for Phlebotomists
According to Payscale.com, new phlebotomists can expect to make between $11 and $15 an hour depending on their location. Phlebotomists with 10+ years of experience can earn $15 to $18 hour or more if they are in a supervisory position.
Most phlebotomists work in doctors offices or hospitals and usually are offered a reasonably good benefits package as part of the job. Some benefits package include full insurance and up to four weeks of vacation after a decade or longer on the job.
Most phlebotomists work directly with patients, so they do need good manners and social skills, but they work in climate-controlled offices and the work is not physically stressful. The job does require standing and moving around a lot, with relatively little sitting or desk work except for some basic patient and sample-related data entry.
Job Outlook for Phlebotomists
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for clinical lab technicians (including phlebotomists) is very bright, as the health care area is expected to continue to expand as the population of Europe and the U.S. ages.
Types of Certifications
There are three organizations in the U.S. that offer phlebotomy certifications: the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the Association of Phlebotomy Technicians (APT) and the National Phlebotomy Association (NPA). Depending on the organization, after you complete the certification you are either a Certified Phlebotomist or a Registered Phlebotomy Technician.
2016 Salary Information for Phlebotomists
Phlebotomists earned a median annual salary of $32,710 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, phlebotomists earned a 25th percentile salary of $27,350, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $38,800, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 122,700 people were employed in the U.S. as phlebotomists.