Phlebotomist Salary and Career Outlook
Health care as we know it could not exist without an array of trained individuals and support staff working behind the scenes. While the doctors and nurses provide direct patient care, they rely on medical and clinical laboratory technicians, including phlebotomists, to help them diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Phlebotomists are trained professionals who work specifically with blood samples. Generally, they help draw, prepare, and analyze blood in a laboratory setting. In addition, they are also commonly found at blood banks where they interview and screen potential donors.
Like other medical and clinical laboratory technicians, phlebotomists must be meticulous about the cleanliness of their work environment. In addition, good communication skills are important since phlebotomists must interact with patients while drawing blood samples.
Average Phlebotomist Salary, 2009 Statistics Revealed
While some phlebotomists are paid an annual salary, many others receive an hourly wage. In addition, when looking for the average phlebotomist salary in 2009, there are several different sources for this information. These include government statistics, as well as income reported by current phlebotomists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual income for medical and clinical laboratory technicians--a category that includes phlebotomists--was $37,860. Phlebotomist hourly wages may depend upon where you work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported phlebotomist wages in the following settings based on 2007 data from the American Society for Clinical Pathology:
- Hospital: $12.50
- Private clinic: $12.50
- Physician office laboratory: $13.00
These figures correlate with the real-world wages reported by phlebotomists on the site glassdoor.com. Employees at Labcorp are said to earn average wages of $12.82 while Red Cross phlebotomists reportedly earn $13.83 an hour. Another salary reporting site, Salary.com, estimates the average annual income of a phlebotomist as $28,977.
Although national figures are a good indicator of how much you can expect to earn as a phlebotomist, it is important to remember that wages can differ throughout the country. Some of the highest paid medical and clinical laboratory technicians work in:
- Champaign-Urbana, Illinois: $62,410
- Norwich-New London, Connecticut: $53,340
- Salinas, California: $52,050
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut: $52,040
- Barnstable Town, Massachusetts: $51,280
In addition, the highest concentrations of technicians can be found in Massachusetts, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
Complete Your Phlebotomist Training Online
One of the most appealing aspects of a career as a phlebotomist is how quickly you can get ready for employment. Rather than spending years in schools and possibly graduating with a heavy load of debt, most phlebotomist positions require only a short certification program. You can even do your phlebotomist training online for maximum convenience and flexibility.
After you complete the training, you will likely need to be licensed by your state before you are able to work as a phlebotomist. While some states require that you become certified prior to licensure, others do not. In addition, different states may set their own requirements as to which certifications they accept. For example, in California, only the following certifying organizations are recognized for phlebotomy:
- American Certification Agency
- American Medical Technologists
- American Society of Clinical Pathologists
- National Center for Competency Testing
- National Credentialing Agency for Clinical Laboratory Personnel
- National Healthcareer Association
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for medical and clinical laboratory technicians should increase by 16 percent from 2008-2018. As job opportunities grow, many career-minded individuals are discovering that becoming a phlebotomist is a smart way to enter the ever-expanding medical field.