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.