Are Phlebotomists In Demand?
"I’ve been looking for a job I can do without investing a lot in my education, because I have basically next to nothing to invest. I was hoping for something in the medical industry. For some reason my parents are convinced that phlebotomists are in huge demand, and that I could make a good living at it. I thought that was like a minimum wage position. Are they in high demand, and is the salary good enough to justify training up for the job, or should I look for something else?"
asked by David from Knoxville, TN
Phlebotomy technicians are in very high demand, and that demand is increasingly steadily. This is partly because a lot of locations (such as hospitals which are open 24 hours) require three shifts of phlebotomists on staff. That means that if you are flexible about the hours you work, you will probably find even more opportunity in this field. You may work night shifts, flexible shifts, weekends, or holidays.
The salary is not so great—but it might be sufficient for what you need. You will be paid above minimum wage, so that is something. Wages vary depending on where you work—whether it is at a private clinic, a hospital, a testing center, or another location. It also depends on your education and your experience in the field.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and average salary for a phlebotomist working at a private clinic is about $13.50 per hour. At a private clinic, it is around $15.90 per hour.
While the pay may not be that high, it isn’t bad in light of the fact that you do not need a huge amount of education to do the job. You do not need to enroll in a degree program at all. You do need to complete a training program so that you can pick up the basics. Many positions require that you earn a certification, such as the Phlebotomy Technician Certification (CPT). The exam costs around $105, and is administered by the National Healthcareer Association.
There is another one administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). The application costs around $100, and there is a $50 annual fee to keep certification current.
Even though this field is in high demand, there are a lot of qualified job candidates out there competing for the openings. So you will definitely want to pursue one of those certifications if you decide that phlebotomy is for you. With a certification, you are more likely to get a job, and it is also more likely to pay well.
While you are at it, you may want to look into other related positions which require minimal training, like Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). This is a similarly paid position which has a lot of demand, and which also requires only a single course and exam. You can register for CMA and phlebotomy programs online.
Your local community college may also offer one or both of these programs for a reasonable price.