Phlebotomy Technician Salary in the United States

Administering plasma, using needles, and keeping patients calm are often a part of a phlebotomy career. However, for many phlebotomy technicians, it is not all about drawing blood, but about helping people live a healthier life. This is because blood tests are vital for making diagnoses and finding out what is going on in our bodies. Sound like a good career for you? If it is, you must be interested in what phlebotomy technician salary is like.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Phlebotomy Technician?

Phlebotomy is defined as making an incision into a vein. Phlebotomy technicians work as part of medical laboratory teams, in independent practices, or as part of ambulatory care units. In laboratories, phlebotomy technicians collect blood samples which are analyzed and used for making a diagnosis or monitoring chronic health conditions

Phlebotomy Technician Tasks and Duties

phlebotomy tech

To collect blood from an arm vein, a phlebotomy technician should first apply a tourniquet to the upper arm. This slows blood flow. The phlebotomy technician then applies an alcohol swab to disinfect a small area near the elbow. A vein is located and the technician inserts a needle into the vein through a skin puncture.

Phlebotomy technicians typically have the following responsibilities:

  • Enter patient information into a database
  • Keep work areas clean and sanitary
  • Label the drawn blood for testing or processing
  • Draw blood from patients and blood donors
  • Assemble and maintain medical instruments such as test tubes, needles, and blood vials
  • Talk with patients and donors to help them feel less nervous
  • Verify a patient's or donor's identity

Qualities

​Phlebotomy technicians should have the following qualities:

  • Dexterity
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Physical stamina
  • Compassion
  • A detail-oriented outlook

Employment and Job Outlook

phlebotomy technician services

Employment for phlebotomy technicians is projected to grow 25% from 2016 to 2026. Phlebotomy technicians hold approximately 122,700 jobs. The largest employers in the phlebotomy technicians are:

  • Hospitals; state, local, and private: 37%
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories:  32%
  • All other ambulatory healthcare services: 15%
  • Offices of physicians: 8%
  • Outpatient care centers: 2%

When you pursue a career as a phlebotomy technician, there is a lot of potential for growth. According to the BLS, employment for phlebotomy technicians is anticipated to grow by 25% up to 2026, which is fast compared to the average in most occupations. This implies the creation of 30,000 jobs. Blood analysis remains an essential function is medical laboratories and hospitals, which implies that the demand for phlebotomy technicians will remain high as doctors and other medical practitioners need blood for making a diagnosis.

Job Prospects

Job prospects are the best for phlebotomy technicians who have a certification from one of the various reputable organizations:

  • The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) -  Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) certificate
  • The American Society for Clinical Pathology, (ASCP) - Phlebotomy Technician (PBT) certificate.
  • The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) - National Certified Phlebotomy Technician (NCPT) certificate.
  • The American Certification Agency (ACA) - Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) certificate.
  • The American Medical Technologists (AMT) - Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT) certificate.

According to Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there were 122,700 phlebotomy technicians employed in 2016. The projected employment in 2026 will be 152,600, which represents a 4% change. This means that 30,000 technicians are needed by 2026. States with the highest level of phlebotomy technicians include California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Average Phlebotomy Technician Salary

BLS Logo

You can make a living as a phlebotomy technician. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), technicians earn an average annual wage of about $32,000. The lowest paid 10% earn approximately $23,000, while the highest paid 10% earn $46,000. The median annual wage phlebotomy technician salary was $33,670 in May 2017. However, the industry in which you are employed will also determine your salary. Phlebotomy technician job descriptions usually specify the salary.

The top-paying industries include:

  • Hospitals; state, local, and private: $31,300 average
  • Offices of physicians: $31,520 average
  • All other ambulatory healthcare services: $31,520 average
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories: $34,420 average
  • Outpatient care centers: $34,990 average

Phlebotomy Technician Salary by Company and Location

Phlebotomy Technician location and services

According to Indeed.com, the average phlebotomy technician salary is $15.00 hourly. Phlebotomy technician salary estimates are based on 926 salaries that were submitted anonymously to Indeed by phlebotomists, users, and from past and present job adverts. The following phlebotomy technician salary figures are approximations that have been made available on the Indeed website, based upon third-party submissions.

You should note that the figures provided are for making a generalized comparison only. Note that the minimum wage requirements may differ and you need to consult your employer, or potential employer, for the actual phlebotomy technician salary figures. Here are just a few examples:

  • Washington Hospital Healthcare System Phlebotomy Technician (based on 11 salaries): $32.47 hourly
  • APPS Paramedical Phlebotomy Technician (based on 7 salaries): $20.34 hourly
  • HarperRand Phlebotomy Technician (based on 16 salaries): $27.43 hourly
  • Cleveland Clinic Phlebotomy Technician (based on 6 salaries): $17.87 hourly
  • WhidbeyHealth Medical Center Phlebotomy Technician (based on 12 salaries): $17.64 hourly

Based on location, the following are typical phlebotomy technician salary figures:

  • Phlebotomy Technician in Lexington, KY (based on 30 salaries): $14.75 hourly
  • Phlebotomy Technician in Traverse City, MI (based on 9 salaries): $13.59 hourly
  • Phlebotomy Technician in Los Angeles, CA (based on 8 salaries): $15.69 hourly
  • Phlebotomy Technician in South Plainfield, NJ (based on 80 salaries): $35,022 annually
  • Phlebotomy Technician in Elizabeth, NJ (based on 18 salaries): $34,613 annually

Reasons to Become a Phlebotomy Technician

Phlebotomy Technician salary

Phlebotomy technicians enjoy a lot of opportunity for job growth and progress. You can even begin as a phlebotomy technician and end up pursuing a career in medicine. Phlebotomy services are in high demand and look to be so for the foreseeable future. Hospitals, blood donor centers, diagnostic laboratories, and other locations always need technicians to perform blood work.

Blood analysis remains an essential function in hospitals, blood donor centers, diagnostic laboratories. In addition, job prospects are anticipated to be best for phlebotomists who received certification from reputable organizations. There are other good reasons to consider entering this promising and exciting field.

Easy Application

Applying for phlebotomy training programs is easy and straightforward. You will only need to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have a positive attitude to commence education.

Fast Training

phlebotomy technician training

Education in phlebotomy has a fast turnaround, depending on your availability and how much time you can devote to study. It can take just 1-4 months to complete studies, pass the certification exam, and even start work.

Secure Job Market

BLS reported that there were 122,700 phlebotomy technicians employed in 2016. The projected employment in 2026 will be 152,600, which represents a 24% increase, which means the creation of 30,000 jobs. There is incredible job security in this particular field.

Great Pay

BLS reported that the average phlebotomy technician salary annually is about $32,000. The lowest paid 10% earn approximately $23,000 while the highest paid 10% earn $46,000. The median annual wage phlebotomy technician salary was $33,670 in May 2017. Considering the type and extent of training required, this is very high salary.

Flexible Learning Paths

You can work part-time while still attending a phlebotomy program. This is because training is available in nighttime, daytime, and weekend training hours, which could fit your schedule.

Affordable Programs

phlebotomy technician

One of the main reasons a career in allied healthcare works for many is that many students find it affordable. Most of the phlebotomy training courses are less than $2,000.

Conclusion

The median annual wage phlebotomy technician salary was $33,670 in May 2017. According to Indeed, the average phlebotomy technician salary is $15.00 hourly. The job outlook for phlebotomy technicians is great. BLS reported that there were 122,700 phlebotomy technicians employed in 2016. The projected employment in 2026 will be 152,600. Hospitals, blood donor centers, diagnostic laboratories, and other locations will always need phlebotomists to perform blood work, which implies that the job market is secure.

There are a variety of reasons you would you would want to become a phlebotomy technician. It's easy to apply, fast to get trained, offers great pay, and there is a secure job market with opportunity for advancement. There's no reason not to try!

Phlebotomist Salary Guide

The Phlebotomist Salary Guide states that the average phlebotomist working in the United States is between $20,469 and $43,908 including a bonus of up to $2,750 and a profit share of $2,000. If the phlebotomist works for hourly wages, they earn $10.37 to $18.41 per hour with overtime increasing to $12.79 to $27.31. The phlebotomist salary averages out to $14.15 per hour for those with less than 20 years’ experience.  Higher pay is possible when combined with knowledge and experience in medical terminology.

The Benefits Of Becoming A Phlebotomist In Today's World

drawing blood

The phlebotomist salary depends on the knowledge and skill needed to draw blood from patients [primarily from veins] for laboratory research, transfusions, donations, and screenings. Phlebotomist perform venipunctures or finger sticks to collect blood and sometimes such as with babies; they perform a heel stick.  

Typical routine duties of the phlebotomist can include:

  • Accurate patient identification
  • Test interpretation
  • Discerning proper equipment and collection tube additives
  • Precise and accurate explanations of procedures to patients
  • Patient prep
  • Correctly practicing aseptic techniques
  • Practicing standard and universal precautions
  • Performing the skin/vein puncture
  • Withdrawing blood into containers or tubes
  • Apply restorative techniques to the puncture site
  • Communicating post-puncture care to patients
  • Carrying out a doctor's requisition orders
  • Labeling collection tubes with corresponding labels
  • Delivering collected specimens to a lab

Educated nurses, surgical technicians, medical assistants, and other medical personnel also perform phlebotomy.  It is not uncommon for a student in this field to proceed on to becoming an MD.  The phlebotomist salary is contingent upon education, training and experience-the basic steps to success.

Before drawing blood, they must verify the patient’s identity. This is critically important.  The phlebotomist must then organize the equipment they’ll be using in the scheduled procedure and continue with the proper hand washing techniques followed by putting on gloves.  

Gloves protect the phlebotomist against contracting diseases present in the patient’s blood.  Now you’re ready to draw blood.  Have the patient place their arm, palm up, on a flat surface so that the table supports the arm giving you good access to the patient’s vein.  Once the vein is ready, the phlebotomist applies a tourniquet above the elbow a few inches above the infusion site.  At this point ask your patient to make and hold a fist.

Employers base the phlebotomist salary on procedural efficiency and professional empathy.  Many people are nervous about blood and needles.  You’ll help to ease your patient’s anxiety by conducting yourself in a calm, reassuring manner.  Though the steps are small, they are very important to the health and well-being of the patient.  Now that your patient has a fist made, clean the site using an alcohol pad before you insert the needle.  At the first sign of blood, remove the tourniquet and have the patient relax by opening their fist.  When all the requested samples are complete, remove the needle and place gauze over the puncture site.  Immediately label and store the blood sample and discard all the contaminated materials used during the procedure including gauze, needles, and tubes.

As a practicing phlebotomist, your job also includes determining if your patient is anemic, has a cardiac condition, or is underweight for their age group. These factors may negatively affect the blood-drawing procedure or result in the patient fainting.  Drawing a patient’s blood is an essential component of any medical screening or procedure.  Diagnosis of the problem is the most valuable step in making sure they’re given the proper treatment.  Phlebotomy is an integral role in identifying abnormalities in the patient’s blood work leading to disease or future health problems. It’s the phlebotomist’s duty to deal with the patient in a sincere, attentive way; helping them feel secure and calm in order that the doctor can best do his or her job.

Factors That Affect Phlebotomist Salary

Phlebotomy Specialist

A phlebotomist can get national certification through different organizations.  

If you plan to work in the United States, there are 4 states that require phlebotomists to pass state certification:

  • California
  • Nevada
  • Washington
  • Louisiana

In the state of California, they only recognize and accept national certificates from the following agencies:

  • American Certification Agency (ACA)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • National Center for Competency Testing/Multi-skilled Medical Certification Institute (NCCT/MMCI)
  • National Credentialing Agency (NCA)
  • National Health career Association (NHA)
  • National Phlebotomy Certification Examination (NPCE)

Applicants must meet certain criteria to qualify to take an examination.  Candidates must finish a complete a course on phlebotomy and furnish documented proof of clinical or laboratory experience.

  • Quest Diagnostics                                                                  $32,718 
  • Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp)        $32,117
  • LabCorp of America                                                              $31,926    
  • Quest Diagnostics, Inc.                                                       $36,183          
  • Grifols, Inc                                                                               $25,529   
  • American Red Cross Blood Services                              $31,388           
  • American Red Cross                                                             $27,697                
  • Quest, Inc.                                                                                $32,473    
  • Path Group, Inc.                                                                    $31,416      
  • Clinical Pathology Laboratories, Inc.                          $31,179

Phlebotomist Salary Ranges

hands money

The phlebotomist salary averages out to $14.15 per hour for those with less than 20 years’ experience. Higher pay is possible when combined with knowledge and experience in medical terminology so that the doctor can help the patient.  There are many considerations before guaranteeing a specific salary. Traditionally, it is not the highest-paying job. However, it can be a catalyst in medicine; a virtual "stepping-stone" to get a foot in the door and still earn a salary while completing nursing school for example.  

Another benefit in becoming a phlebotomist is the shorter time it requires completing a phlebotomy certification course. Entry-level phlebotomists with certification and little experience can expect to earn about $7 per hour.  Location is an additional factor in determining a phlebotomist’s salary along with the facility you work in, and your work experience. Always remember, the bigger the city-the higher the pay.  Privately owned facilities and large medical conglomerates traditionally pay higher wages. Experience is the key to a higher your salary.  More experience on the job translates to more trust, less supervision, proper training, and reliability.

Best Paying Cities for Phlebotomists

Redding, California

$49,870

Vallejo, California

$49,180

Santa Maria, California

$47,520

San Francisco

$46,380

Oakland, California

$45,920

The Highest Mean Salaries for Phlebotomists Are

California

$41,360

Alaska

$40,670

District of Columbia

$40,600

Rhode Island

$39,160

Connecticut

$39,110

The world’s first phlebotomist practiced techniques using leeches and bloodletting to extract “disease” from the body.  Bloodletting traditionally treated patients suffering from a serious medical condition or as a preventative process including removing toxins from the body and balancing the humors, i.e., Hippocratic medicine comprises four humors: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood with each one corresponding to one of the traditional four temperaments:

  • Sanguine (enthusiastic, active, and social)
  • Choleric (short-tempered, fast, or irritable)
  • Melancholic (analytical, wise, and quiet)
  • Phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful)

Based on Hippocratic medicine, society believed these four humors should be in alignment according to its strength and amount to have a healthy body. Hippocrates lived in the year 460 BC.  The world considers him the father of medicine to this day.  Since then the phlebotomist is a respected and necessary field of medicine with the phlebotomist salary averaging between $30,000-$35,000/per year plus benefits. Interested candidates who work as a phlebotomist must be able to work around blood.  It is the nature of the business.  You must also know how to handle needles, computer databases, various test tubes and the additives inside them and vials of blood.

You will spend many of your days working with people who don't feel well needing you to be compassionate yet professional.  You draw blood, authenticate your patient's or blood donor's identity, correctly label the vial and enter patient information into a database. You can expect to put together and maintain certain medical devices to prevent infecting patients.  

Phlebotomist are there to do the critical and essential jobs the doctors need to administer care and treatment for their patients.  The career phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician can look forward to spending their shifts in hospitals and laboratories-so make certain you're comfortable working inside medical institutions and offices.  They may ask you to work nights, weekends and when there are emergencies.  

If you are someone who enjoys working with people and find yourself intrigued by the medical profession, by all means, consider a career start in phlebotomy. You won't be making a huge salary, but it is a rewarding job because you're assisting doctors and helping people.  It's also a fact that your chances of finding work will stay good no matter where in the world you live in due to the health needs of aging seniors.  

You can look forward to steadying employment, benefits, and salary that expects to increase with experience and skill.  The average yearly salary in 2016 for the phlebotomist was $33,750.  The projected growth in phlebotomy is 24 percent, with 30,000 new jobs available through the year 2026; much faster than the average growth rate for all jobs.  Healthcare reform, the aging population, and state-of-the-art technology will attract an increased number of patients into the health care system, making more employment opportunities for the phlebotomist.    

Phlebotomy Technician Salary Details

Phlebotomists are allied health care professionals who draw blood from patients, ensure proper labeling for processing, enter patient information into databases and assemble and maintain medical instruments for the process, such as blood vials and needles.

The Work Environment of Phlebotomists

Phlebotomists work mainly in both private and state hospitals, blood donor centers, physician offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of phlebotomists work in hospitals, 26 percent work in medical and diagnostic laboratories, 18 percent are employed in ambulatory health care services and 9 percent work in physician offices. Most phlebotomists are employed full time. Those who work in labs and hospitals are often expected to work on holidays, weekends and nights.

Job Outlook and Salary Insights for Phlebotomists

The future job outlook for these allied health care professionals is good. The BLS project a strong growth rate and demand of 27 percent throughout 2022. This growth rate is way above average when compared to other occupations. Blood analysis is still an essential function in hospitals and medical laboratories. The demand will remain high also in doctors’ offices as blood work will be required for analysis and diagnosis. As of May 2012, the median annual wage for phlebotomists was $30,000. The top 10 percentile earned more than $40,000, and the lower 10 percentile earned $21,000.

Education and Certification for Phlebotomists

Many phlebotomists attain entry-level positions with a postsecondary non-degree certificate from a technical school, vocational school or community college. These educational programs typically take less than one year to complete and include instruction in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology and labs for hands-on experience. Most employers prefer to hire those who have attained certification from the American Medical Technologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology or the National Center for Competency Testing.