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Phlebotomists draw blood samples from patients and prepare the specimens for laboratory analysis. Some of these workers travel to various locations to collect samples and then deliver the specimens to a central laboratory. Salaries generally are low, but these workers have opportunities to advance to other medical laboratory jobs, particularly with additional education. Hourly pay in Arkansas is a bit less than the national average.
People have blood drawn during physical examinations, before surgery, during pregnancy and when donating blood. Many times, phlebotomists are the technicians who do this work. The phlebotomist also may interview the individual about health history and current symptoms and take vital signs such as blood pressure and respiratory rate. Workers trained and experienced in phlebotomy ensure that a blood draw is quick, safe and relatively painless, and that the doctors receive the most accurate specimens.
Becoming a phlebotomist requires a high school diploma or its equivalency. Some phlebotomy technicians are trained on the job, while others complete training at a technical college. Certification and registration by national professional organizations is available, and this can improve hiring opportunities. Some states require certification, registration or licensing for phlebotomists. Nationwide median starting pay range for phlebotomists as of December 2010 was $9.80 to $12.80, reports the PayScale salary survey website. Those with one to four years of experience were making $10 to $13.50 on average, and those with five to nine years of experience, $11.70 to $15.
The national median salary for phlebotomists of all experience levels is about $29,000 as of December 2010, indicates Salary.com, translating to about $14 per hour for full-time employees. The bottom 10 percent of phlebotomists on the earnings scale were making less than $23,500 per year, and the top 10 percent more than $35,300.
Average salaries for phlebotomists in Arkansas as of 2010 were $27,000 per year, as noted by Indeed.com, translating to about $13 per hour for full-time employees. Salary.com shows the median salary range in Little Rock at about $23,800 to $29,500, Fayetteville and White Hall at about $23,300 to $29,200 and Fort Smith $23,000 to $28,400. Cities close to Arkansas were comparable, with Springfield, Missouri and Shreveport, Louisiana phlebotomist median income at $23,600 to $29,500, and Greenville, Mississippi at $22,700 to $28,000. Phlebotomy techs in Memphis, Tennessee had a higher median range at about $25,300 to $31,300.
Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.