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Phlebotomists are important members of the healthcare team who draw blood for patient lab tests. If a doctor, nurse practitioner, or other healthcare provider wants to know the status of a patient's health or wants to make an accurate diagnosis, they rely on skilled phlebotomists to draw the required blood specimen.
The role of phlebotomist can be an entry-level healthcare position. An individual already working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA), medical assistant (MA), or emergency medical technician (EMT) can add to their marketability and professionalism by becoming certified in phlebotomy.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that phlebotomist positions could see an above average 22% job growth between 2020 and 2030, with over 19,000 new positions expected to be added each year. Read on to learn about the average phlebotomist salary, certification opportunities, and the states where they earn the most.
Average Salary for Phlebotomists
According to Payscale data from July 2022, the average phlebotomist salary is $35,630 per year, or $15.94 an hour. Phlebotomists can earn anywhere from $25,000 to $47,000 annually, depending on work setting, education, and experience.
By comparison, medical assistants earn an average of $37,190 annually, clinical laboratory technicians earn $57,800, and dental assistants make an average of $38,660 per year.
Phlebotomists in cities like New York or San Francisco usually earn more than those in Tulsa or Little Rock. Cost of living in coastal cities tends to be much higher.
Jobs that may pay a greater phlebotomist salary might include government agencies, such as the Veterans Administration. Many insurance companies also hire phlebotomists on a contract basis.
Like any career, the more experience you have as a phlebotomist, the more opportunities you may have to earn a higher salary. Becoming certified can also lead to an increased salary. Earning a promotion to a supervisory or management position is another way to earn more.
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The Highest-Paying States for Phlebotomists
In the table below, note that California, the District of Columbia, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington are the five states with the highest average annual phlebotomist salary.
Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. are home to many prestigious organizations, including teaching and specialty hospitals that provide care for patients with serious conditions, such as cancer. With a higher cost of living and demand for skilled labor, these employers are likely to offer higher salaries.
|District of Columbia||$45,390|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
3 Ways to Increase Pay As a Phlebotomist
The National Phlebotomy Association offers certification for the role of certified phlebotomy technologist and certified phlebotomy instructor. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must have taken an allied health program that offers a minimum of 16 continuing education units or 160 hours of lecture-based learning and 200 hours of practical experience with either live patients or mannequins. The American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals offers certification as a phlebotomy instructor and phlebotomy technician. Proof of 100 clinical hours, 100 successful venipunctures, and 10 dermal punctures are required for phlebotomy technician certification. For phlebotomy instructor certification, three years of documented work as a phlebotomist are required.Certification increases a phlebotomist's marketability in a competitive job market and may lead to higher pay.
The National Phlebotomy Association offers certification for the role of certified phlebotomy instructor. According to GlassDoor, the average salary for a certified phlebotomy instructor is $47,139 per year. A phlebotomist may also earn extra money on the side by serving as a part-time certified instructor.In order to become certified, knowledge and experience in phlebotomy or an allied health field are required. Eligible allied fields include:
- Medical assistant
- Medical technology
- Medical technician
- Registered nurse
- Licensed practical nurse
- Respiratory therapist
- Certified phlebotomist
- Certified nursing assistant
- Laboratory assistant
Getting promoted to a position like supervisor or manager may lead to increased phlebotomist pay. Taking on extra responsibility, showing initiative, and forming positive professional relationships can increase your potential for promotion. You can also directly inform your supervisors and managers that you are interested in being trained for a leadership position.
Frequently Asked Questions About Phlebotomist Salaries
Are phlebotomists in demand?
The BLS projects 22% job growth for phlebotomists from 2020-2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Do phlebotomists get paid well?
Phlebotomist pay depends on the cost-of-living index where you live, certification, and work setting. With an average annual salary of $35,630, phlebotomist pay is much lower than that of a registered nurse at $68,590, according to Payscale data from July 2022.
What skills do phlebotomists need?
Phlebotomists need to be skilled in venipuncture, which requires the ability to insert a needle into the veins of patients across the lifespan, including children and the elderly. Since phlebotomists work directly with patients, skills in communication are necessary, as well as the ability to collaborate with nurses, physicians, and other professionals.
What career advancement opportunities are available for phlebotomists?
Career advancement for phlebotomists includes seeking promotion to a supervisory position, becoming certified as a phlebotomy instructor, or using a phlebotomy career as a jumping-off point to pursue a career in nursing or a related healthcare field.
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