How To Become A Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists are healthcare professionals who are trained to draw blood. They work in hospitals, health care centers, blood banks and more. A phlebotomist is an important part of a medical laboratory team. This is a great entry-level job choice for somebody who is interested in the medical profession.

In order to become a phlebotomist, people need to take a program of study and be certified. As a phlebotomist, you will work directly with people on a daily basis, seeing dozens of people each day. Some people choose to stay as a phlebotomist as a lifetime career, although this also makes a great jumping off point if you would like to explore other health care professions such as nursing.

Why Become A Phlebotomist

Doctors require many kinds of testing in order to diagnose patients with illnesses. Blood samples are one of the most popular ways doctors can figure out what might be wrong with a patient. A phlebotomist is trained to draw blood from a patient and send it to a lab from processing.

As a phlebotomist, you will draw blood from patients. This needs to be done very carefully, but also quickly, keeping in mind that many people are afraid of needles and blood, and doctors in general. Phlebotomists explain the procedure to the patient and keep them calm as they draw their blood. They use special tools in order to take the samples, such as needles, vials, and rubber bands. Phlebotomists label the samples properly.

Phlebotomists store them and send them back to the laboratory, where they are processed and a physician can make a diagnosis. It is important that a phlebotomist not be scared of blood or needles. This is a good career for somebody who enjoys healthcare and wants to work directly with patients.

Phlebotomists will always be needed in the medical field. This is an occupation that is expected to grow tremendously over the next 10 years. It is a good entry-level job for those who are interested in the health care field. Those who wish to advance to other professions can learn a lot from working in the phlebotomy field.

Phlebotomist should possess the following qualities and skills:

Phlebotomist Work Environment

Phlebotomists most often work in hospitals or health care centers. They work directly with patients inside of hospitals. They often see dozens of patients a day, collecting blood samples. Phlebotomists often work long shifts and are on their feet throughout the entire day. Phlebotomists must have a keen eye for detail in order to collect blood from patients.

They must be able to do this work quickly and collect the necessary blood samples. They need to be patient and compassionate, because many of the people that they will be seeing are scared of needles and blood and do not want to have this procedure done.

Phlebotomists need to be able to calm the patient down and explain the procedure to them, and work quickly to get the blood samples that they need.

Phlebotomist Salary

The median annual salary for phlebotomists was $32,710 in 2016.

For phlebotomists, the facility that a person chooses to work may determine the salary. For example, those who worked in hospitals tended to make the least amount of money overall, around $31,000 annually. On the other hand, people who decided to work in medical labs made a bit more money, around $35,000 each year.

Average Phlebotomist Annual Salary


The average annual salary for phlebotomists is $34,710 a year. Salaries start at $24,250 a year and go up to $48,030 a year.

Average Phlebotomist Hourly Wage


The average hourly wage for a phlebotomist is $16.69. Hourly wages are between $11.66 and $23.09 an hour.

Stats were based out of 122,550 employed phlebotomists in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Phlebotomists

Top Paying Cities For Phlebotomists

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Phlebotomist Career Outlook

Employment for phlebotomists is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Like almost all medical professions, phlebotomy is a career that is in high demand. Those who want a career in this field will likely find one. Bloodwork will continue to be a service that is necessary.

People come into hospitals and may only be able to be diagnosed with certain conditions by testing blood. Doctors will require bloodwork in order to find out what possible conditions patients have and diagnose them properly.

Phlebotomist Degree

Many community colleges and vocational training schools offer programs to become a phlebotomist. These programs involve both coursework as well as hands-on clinical work. These programs typically take less than one year to complete. Students who graduate from these programs earn a certificate.

Many organizations offer advanced certifications. These organizations include the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Phlebotomy Association, and more. Students will need to have classroom education and clinical experience, and pass a test in order to be certified.

Phlebotomist Coursework

Below are examples of courses you can expect to find in a phlebotomy program.

Medical Terminology: This class is important for anybody working in the healthcare field. Students will learn essential terminology related to the parts of the body, various diseases and ailments, equipment used, and other terms that are frequently used in the medical field.

Blood Collection Techniques: This course teaches students the proper ways to collect blood samples from patients. This must be done quickly but also carefully, and taking into consideration that many people are scared of getting blood drawn.

Specimen Handling and Processing: Students will learn how to properly handle blood that has been collected, how to label it and store it, and how to process it with laboratory equipment.

Phlebotomist Career Path

A phlebotomist is an entry-level job inside of the health care field. A phlebotomist with years of training can easily find their way into other professions. Here are some of the amazing advancements you can have within the health care field.

Career Overview Responsibilities Education Required Benefits
Medical Lab Technician A lab technician prepares specimens within a diagnostic setting. They conduct tests on tissue, blood, urine and other types of samples. Associate’s degree Very good pay coupled with good employment growth.
Traveling Phlebotomist A phlebotomist who visits many different sites for their work. You will travel to sites to collect blood samples, such as blood donation drives. Phlebotomy program. Daily travel opportunities, the ability to work in a different setting all the time.
Phlebotomist Supervisor A manager of a phlebotomy laboratory. Oversees the direction of phlebotomists in a laboratory and makes sure everything is done correctly. Phlebotomy program, along with advanced certifications and several years of experience. Supervisors have control over their department, get to make important decisions regarding their laboratory.

Related Phlebotomist Careers

If you are interested in becoming a phlebotomist, you may be interested in other professions as well. Below are listed some careers that are similar to that of a phlebotomist.

Medical Laboratory Technician: A medical laboratory technician prepares specimens for laboratory tests that the doctor requests. These can be any kind of specimen, not just blood. They use various kinds of laboratory equipment to prepare samples for diagnosis.

Dialysis Technician: These technicians work in dialysis labs. Their job is to operate the dialysis machines inside the clinic. This involves purifying the blood of patients who have kidney failure and removal of toxins from the patients.

IV Technician: These healthcare professionals are trained to perform intravenous lines. They inject patients with medications, allowing the medication to be administered by IV, faster into the bloodstream.

More Careers To Explore

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