Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing patients’ blood and collecting other specimens so the laboratory can determine a diagnosis.
If you are considering working in this healthcare field, you are likely wondering, how much does a phlebotomist make?
In 2013, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) conducted a survey of clinical laboratories. The results showed that phlebotomists earned an average hourly wage of $15.60 or $32,448 annually. The highest paying employer was physicians’ offices with phlebotomists earning a yearly salary of $51,542, though medical and diagnostic labs employed the most in this field and paid an average salary of $32,220.
What Influences Salary?
Geographical location plays a large role in determining one’s salary. Those who work on the East or West Coast usually have a higher average annual salary than phlebotomists who work in the South or Southeast. Alaska is the highest paying state with an average yearly salary of $40,200, while Arkansas pays the least at $25,180 per year. Other low paying states include Alabama, Utah, Tennessee, West Virginia, South Dakota, and Missouri. Something else to consider when looking for employment, is that working in a city as opposed to a rural community is likely to bring you higher wages.
Certification is only required in Louisiana, Nevada, and California, though it’s important to mention that certified phlebotomists usually earn a higher salary and have more opportunities than non-certified phlebotomists. Those who have certification typically earn a starting hourly wage of $14.00, while their non-certified colleagues start at a rate of $12.00. As they gain experience, the difference in the hourly rate between certified and non-certified is more evident.
Like location, experience also plays an important role when it comes to determining salary, and it’s said that most salary increases happen during the first ten years of employment. After the tenth year, it’s best to apply for an advanced position or enroll in additional training courses in order to see an increase in salary.
Shifts and Working Hours
The pay is also determined by the hours phlebotomists work and how often. It’s quite common for those who work the night shift to earn a slightly higher salary than those who work daytime hours in a hospital setting.
When applying for a job, it’s important to consider the benefit package the potential employer offers. A good benefit package usually includes paid sick and vacation days, long and short-term disability, health insurance, life insurance, retirement benefits, and a 401(k) plan.
What States Have the Most Phlebotomists?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the states that employ the most phlebotomists are California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
The BLS reports that good employment opportunities are expected for phlebotomists due to a twenty-seven percent job growth between 2012 and 2022. The reason for the growth is an increase in the population and new technology.
How to Become a Phlebotomist
In order to work as a phlebotomist, you first have to complete a short-term certificate or associate’s program. The curriculum includes topics such as safety procedures, human relations, medical terminology, the basics of drawing blood, human anatomy, and medical information systems.
Phlebotomists have a variety of tasks they perform on a daily basis such as:
- Confirming a patient’s identity
- Obtaining blood specimens by performing fingersticks and venipuncture
- Maintaining a daily log of collections performed
- Performing bedside glucose tests
- Keeping the work environment safe and secure by complying with legal policies
- Notifying supervisors of unresolved orders
- Tracking collected specimens
In two years or less, you can gain employment as a phlebotomist. If you have any questions regarding the salary or about training programs, please contact us.