Phlebotomists are part of any successful medical treatment team and enjoy excellent compensation, benefits, and flexible work environments. Starting pay and responsibilities vary by state and is a great way to gain experience in the medical field. Phlebotomy fields do not take long to enter and provide a great way of developing the skills, contacts, and reputation that can further a medical career. Large hospitals, labs, and many doctor offices all seek the professional phlebotomist for blood sampling.
Compensation for phlebotomists will vary from state to state and depending on the institution that they are employed by. Labs and clinics typically offer more salary, but may not provide the benefits of larger hospitals. Compensation is usually provided as an hourly wage rather than a fixed salary.
The median starting annual salary for a phlebotomist is approximately $27,000. If the phlebotomist works in a supervisory role, the average in increased to $35,000 a year. New York State offers the highest annual salary of $35,000 and higher for those in a supervisory position. Georgia is among the lowest paying states, at a starting annual salary of $25,000. A phlebotomists salary is augmented by other benefits that come with working in the health care industry, such as paid vacation, paid sick leave,401(k) retirement plan, and premium health insurance. Salaries can also be influenced by other health related skills and certifications obtained.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
As with any career, the more skills that an employee has the more valuable they are. Among the skills that can help boost salary are those for lab work, managerial skills, project management, and medical skills. Experience also will help to increase salaries and phlebotomists enjoy aggressive raises to keep experienced and well trained staff.
Job Description and Outlook
Phlebotomists are professionals in drawing blood from patients and all safety measures related to handling the blood specimens. They are trained in how to draw blood successfully from a variety of patients regardless of age or body types. Because it does not take long to obtain phlebotomist training, it provides an efficient way of starting into other healthcare fields.
With population trends showing a larger percentage of people getting older, the need for medical care will dramatically increase. The increased need for medical care will increase the need for phlebotomists. The population of people requiring assisted living is also expected to grow and will provide further opportunities for phlebotomists to find employment in larger assisted living centers that may be attached to hospitals.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
Most hospitals and labs require a formal education as well as certification to become a phlebotomist. Most community colleges and trade schools offer a six month to a year long course that will satisfy most educational requirements. All schools will require a high school diploma or GED to be accepted into their program. By completing a full two year associates program, the student can gain office and lab skills that may provide them with managerial or supervisory skills.
Required certifications will vary by state and some states do not require certification at all. It is always recommended that certification with he American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT). Even if the state does not require it, most hospital facilities do require certification.
Certification demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge of phlebotomy. Certifications exams include questions about physiology, anatomy, technique and the circulatory system. Additional certifications may be obtained, such as clinical technician, to increase skills and salary compensation. Certifications are a cost effective and time efficient way to get trained, without the time consumption of formal classes at a two year or four year college.
Certifications will often lead to internships, which can be used to expand further into the medical field. While these opening positions may be lower paid, the experience gained is invaluable. People that are already working in the health care field may be able to qualify for discounts or even have their employer pay for certification.
A certified phlebotomist can belong to several professional organizations, from local groups to nation wide associations. Some provide assistance in certification and continuing education, while others provide professional networking and career assistance. Professional associations are not only help the individual, but they also show prospective employers that the employee is active and engaged with their chosen profession. National groups may provide better recognition and have more benefits to the members. Local and state associations are usually easier to find contacts and join local networks of medical industry professionals.
The National Phlebotomy Association works to promote certification training and promote phlebotomy within the medical field.
The American Phlebotomy Association also helps to promote training of phlebotomy and other related certifications. They offer a number of workshops promoting phlebotomy and medical training.
The National Association of Professional Phlebotomists work to promote education and advocacy of phlebotomists within the medical industry.
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