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Researching a Phlebotomist's Salary

By: CareerFactsheet.com- Updated: Jan. 09, 2013

Phlebotomy is a specialty within the medical laboratory technology field. Medical laboratory technologists and technicians work in health care and medical facilities and collect samples of body fluids, tissue, and other substances. Phlebotomists are responsible for collecting blood samples and drawing blood from patients for testing, transfusions, donations, or research.

The majority of phlebotomists are technicians who are draw blood. They may also be required to explain procedures to patients, provide aftercare and address any complications, collect, package and process samples of blood and other bodily fluids, and direct samples to appropriate departments for testing or processing. Phlebotomists may also be considered technologists when they have greater responsibility and supervise phlebotomy technicians. They may also perform tests and procedures under the supervision of another health care professional.

How Much Do Phlebotomists Earn?

Source I

Phlebotomists are classified as medical or clinical laboratory technicians by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to data from the Bureau, technicians earned a mean hourly wage of $18.73 and a mean annual wage of $38,960 in 2011. Similarly, technicians earned a median wage of $17.76 per hour and $36,950 per year. Some phlebotomists may be classified as medical or clinical laboratory technologists when they supervise technicians and conduct more complex tasks or procedures under the supervision of a physician.

Source II

According to the American Society of Clinical Pathologists’ Wage and Vacancy Survey, phlebotomy technicians earned an average annual salary of $28,080 and an hourly wage of $13.50 per hour in 2011, while phlebotomy supervisors earned on average $41,766 per year and $20.08 per hour.

Source III

According to the American Medical Technologists, typical hourly wages for phlebotomist working in a hospital are $12.50 ($26,000 per year), for a private clinic: $12.50 ($26,000 per year) and for a physician office laboratory: $13.00 ($27,040 per year).

Maximizing Earning Potential

As the technician's experience and education increases, he or she can expect to earn up to $17.50 per hour, with the potential to earn more than $40,000 per year.

To speed up this process phlebotomists technicians can enhance their earnings and employability by obtaining certain qualifications, such as certification and specialized training. They may also increase their income by pursuing supervisory roles in the medical laboratory technology field.

Many employers look for technicians and technologists that have certification. Certification by a third party verifies that a prospective employee is meets the minimum level of competency needed to safely and effectively perform their duties. Being certified also demonstrates to an employer that you are committed to your professional development and dedicated to being an effective technician or technologist. Phlebotomy technicians can also be certified in specialities in phlebotomy in order to pursue employment in higher paying positions. For example, certification can be obtained in donor phlebotomy technicians.

Phlebotomy technicians can also enhance their earning potential by receiving training in medical laboratory technology. While technician positions are considered entry-level jobs for phlebotomists, technologists have greater responsibilities. As a result, technologists earn significantly more than technicians. Certification may also assist in advancing into supervisory positions where earning potential is higher.

Earning potential can also be maximized by focusing job searches to states with the highest phlebotomy salaries. According to the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the highest paying states in 2011 were California, Illinois, Colorado, and Minnesota. By comparison, the lowest wages were found in New York, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

Becoming a Phlebotomist


Salaries

If you are considering a career in phlebotomy, you can receive your training in a number of ways. Many professionals in the health care field receive training to perform phlebotomy, including physicians, nurses, medical assistants, and paramedics. The option to complete dedicated training in phlebotomy is also available through dedicated programs or as part of your professional development.

Types of Training Programs

Prospective phlebotomists can complete an education program in related medical health care field to earn the qualifications necessary for entry level positions. Examples of commonly pursued programs are courses in medical assisting and, more commonly, medical laboratory technology. Medical laboratory technician programs can range in duration from several months to a year for diploma and certificate programs, and from two to four years for degree programs.

Many technicians obtain a certificate or associate’s degree in medical laboratory technology, while technologists opt for bachelor’s degree programs. Medical laboratory technology programs are offered a trade and technical schools, community and junior colleges, universities, and hospitals across the country.

Phlebotomists can also receive their training through specific programs in phlebotomy. This is especially common for individuals wishing to train as a phlebotomist to change careers or specialize in phlebotomy. Existing medical and health care professionals often are able to complete training in phlebotomy through certificate programs offered at hospitals. These programs can run from between several months and up to a year in duration. They are also available at trade and technical schools, as well as community and junior colleges.

Certification

Certification is looked upon highly by employers who look for dedicated and qualified phlebotomists. Certifying exams are available in basic medical laboratory technology. Specialty exams are also administered in phlebotomy and related fields. Certification is available from a variety of professional associations, including the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. In certain states licensing is also required. Depending on the jurisdiction, a combination of certification, work experience, and/or graduation from an accredited education program in a related field is often required to be licensed.

References

I. U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Outlook Handbook”, (May 2011), (www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292012.htm) accessed on: Jan. 09, 2013

II. American Society of Clinical Pathologists (www.ascp.org)

III. American Medical Technologists (http://www.americanmedtech.org/Certification/Phlebotomist.aspx) , accessed on: Jan. 09, 2013

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