Due to the ability to ‘fast track’ the educational requirements to become a Phlebotomist, many people are learning this career is a great way to begin earning a competitive wage in a fairly short period of time. For those starting out or even wishing to change their careers, Phlebotomy offers a great return for the educational investment when compared to other careers such as nursing or radiology.
Clinical Laboratory workers, including Phlebotomy will continue to enjoy growth at a rate of 14% beyond 2018
Healthcare continues to be one of the fastest growing fields, due to the increase in population as well as increased longetivity in our elderly. Included in that growth, certified Phlebotomists will always be in demand. To become a Phlebotomist, a one-semester to a one-year certification program must be completed. While certification is not a state requirement, except in California and Louisiana, most employers do require certification.
There are several certification and testing centers such as the Association of Phlebotomy Technicians, the National Phlebotomy Association and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. For those with no experience, requirements include one hundred blood collections as well as forty hours of classroom study, and one-hundred twenty hours of training. This ensures the future Phlebotomist is fully capable, trained and comfortable with all aspects of their profession.
Phlebotomists are employed in many healthcare settings. These include:
Doctors’ Offices Blood Donation Centers
Nursing Homes Mobile Collection / In Home
Specialty Centers Mobile Hospitals
Like any occupation, salary is an important consideration. Due to the different employment options for this career, there is a variance in salary ranges. If you are considering becoming a Phlebotomist, learning where, and how, you can make top dollar can put you on the right track for success.
Hospitals – Large (having 500 or more beds) In a large hospital, there is a laboratory on-site. This laboratory services the patients within the hospital, and may also provide laboratory services on an outpatient basis as well. There are typically several professions employed within the laboratory, such as Medical Technologists, Medical Technicians and Phlebotomists. The clinical personnel such as Medical Technologists are trained to perform the laboratory testing of blood, cells and body fluids. This is done using automated machines, microscopes, cell counters and computerized instruments. The Phlebotomist plays a central role in a laboratory by performing venipunctures on patients in the hospital, as well as outpatient services and bringing the collected blood to the laboratory for such testing.
In a large hospital setting, the beginning pay for a Phlebotomist ranges from $9.00 –$12.34 per hour. The starting wage can soon change, however, as many large hospitals provide Phlebotomists tiered or stepped increases. Overtime can also be obtained, paying as much as one and a half times the hourly wage. This translates into a monthly pay of $2139.00 and a yearly salary of $25,667.00. In just a few years, the salary can increase, up to $35,000 annually.
Hospitals – Small (having 100 or less beds) Some smaller hospitals do not have an on-site laboratory. To obtain laboratory testing of blood, cells and body fluids, specimens are shipped or transported to a laboratory that provides such testing. For those small hospitals that have an on-site laboratory, Phlebotomists will typically earn between $8.50 – $11.00 per hour. This translates into a starting salary of $22,800.00
Laboratories – Private labs service those smaller hospitals that do not have their own laboratory. In addition, these labs provide employment screening services such as urine drug screens. In a private laboratory setting, the typical pay for a Phlebotomist is between $9.00 – $12.00 an hour. For those laboratories in larger metropolitan areas, the hourly wage can increase to $14.00 per hour. This translates into a monthly pay of $2427.00 and a yearly salary of $29,120.00
Specialty Centers – Some Outpatient Clinics or Specialty Centers serve those who are under-privileged in the community, providing them with quality healthcare services they could not otherwise afford. Other Specialty Centers are so named because they are geared towards one particular area of healthcare such as an Orthopedic Specialty Center. Despite the different targeted patient groups, both utilize Phlebotomy as an integral part of their practice. Phlebotomists who work in outpatient clinics or specialty centers are paid an average of $9.00 – $13.36 per hour. This translates into a monthly pay of $2316.00 and a yearly starting salary of $27,789.00
Blood Donation Centers-For those seeking employment at a Blood Donation Center, such as the Red Cross, the average starting yearly salary is around $30,000.00. In addition to salary, there are other monetary offers such as cash bonuses.
Doctors’ Offices – Phlebotomists who work in a Physicians’ office typically earn between $9.00 – $11.00 per hour. Some employers offer Phlebotomists up to $13.00 per hour for fulltime employment within their offices. This salary can vary depending on the area, as well as state. Additional monetary compensation may include vacations, bonuses, as well as retirement options. This translates into a monthly pay of $2253.00 and a starting yearly salary of $27,040.00
Mobile Collection – Those who work as travelling Phlebotomists can earn a significantly higher salary than those who work in smaller hospitals or nursing homes. This type of work requires the Phlebotomist to work primarily alone, travelling to collect blood specimens and deliver them to laboratories. Mobile Phlebotomists are also able to obtain overtime regularly if needed, adding a substantial cap onto an already higher salary of $11.00- $15.00 per hour. Overtime can equal one and a half times the hourly wage, topping $25.00 an hour or more. This translates into a monthly pay of $2600.00 and a starting yearly salary of $31,200.00.
Nursing Homes-The salary for Phlebotomists who work in nursing homes varies by State. Those living in Indiana may enjoy a nursing home salary of around $35,000 annually, while other states may offer a higher salary.
Where you live can have an impact on your salary base as well. For those that work in larger cities, the pay for a Phlebotomist can average up to $2.76 more, around $13.72, than those positions offered in rural areas averaging $10.76.
As with any career, experience affects the salary range. Newly certified Phlebotomists may find a starting salary of $25,000 per year, while an experienced Phlebotomist may enjoy a salary of over $52,000.00 annually. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:
Year 1-4 $ 28,000.00
Year 5-9 $ 35,000.00
Year 10 + $ 41,000.00
While salary should be considered, other benefits can enhance the employment options such as:
Vacation Sick Time Tuition Reimbursement
Health Insurance Paid Holidays 401K Matching
For those Phlebotomists interested in continuing their education, obtaining their certification or Associate’s Degree, a two-year degree, as a Medical Laboratory Technician can also greatly increase their salary. Medical Laboratory Technicians work in many of the same places a Phlebotomist does, such as: Hospitals, Diagnostic Laboratories, Doctors’ offices and Clinics. In addition, Medical Laboratory Technicians also work in research facilities, blood banks, pharmaceutical labs and medical sales companies.
Medical Laboratory Technicians work in the laboratory, as Phlebotomists do. The Medical Lab Technician performs the less complicated testing that is performed on lab specimens. They can also specialize in areas such as Hematology and Microbiology. The average salary for Medical Laboratory Technicians is around $44,310.00 annually and can average up to $17.00 – $19.00 per hour.
Where you live can affect your salary……
Those interested in becoming a Phlebotomist will find certain states offer a higher salary than others, up to $26.00 an hour. This hourly wage translates into over $4000.00 per month and an annual salary of $54,080.00
The states offering the highest salary, up to $26.00 an hour, are:
New York Alaska Idaho
California Connecticut Montana
Washington DC Wyoming New Mexico
Utah Hawaii Arizona
Those states offering Phlebotomists the second-highest salary, an average of $18.00 an hour, are:
Maine New Hampshire Vermont
New York Pennsylvania Massachusetts
For those interested in joining the already booming healthcare profession, Phlebotomy is a great career that is in high demand. After a relatively short educational investment, Phlebotomists are offered a competitive starting salary, the ability to quickly advance, perks such as paid vacations, retirement and sick time, while working daily to help others.