Phlebotomists (PBT) are a part of the clinical laboratory technologists and technicians field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A phlebotomist collects blood and may transport it to a laboratory, depending on the work. Hospitals provide the majority of work for PBTs, due to the blood work needs of patients. Trained PBTs can also administer injections. Contract PBTs sometimes find employment at community blood mobiles that take donations from volunteers.
Average Salary Rates
The American Society for Clinical Pathology's 2010 Wage Survey of U.S. Clinical Laboratories finds certified phlebotomists at staff level earn on average $28,080 per year and phlebotomist supervisors earn on average $41,766. According to the survey, published in March 2011 in "LabMedicine" magazine, PBT staff earn $13.50 an hour on average and supervisors earn $20.08. Holding a certification in PBT on average pays $14.06 per hour vs. $12.66 without being certified. Supervisors with a certificate earn $20.38 on average vs. non-certified earning $19.02. Average years' experience in the survey finds staff level at 8.69 years and supervisory level at 10.48 years.
National Average Salary
Highest paying states, "LabMedicine" magazine reports, are California at $23.36 per hour, Illinois at $17.10, Colorado at $16.36 and Minnesota at $15.52. The lowest paying state is Ohio at $12.10 per hour. A private contractor PBT with supervisor level experience may earn the average salary of $41,766, depending on certification, experience, management skills, expenses, and continuous workload. Higher pay may be gained if PBTs are in demand.
Nature of the Work and Environment
Phlebotomists work in many different environments to draw blood from patients, donors and drug tests. PBTs can also perform saline flushes and give heparin to patients in some states in a clinical environment. Special training may be required per state laws. Some jobs require a certified and experienced PBT. The same tasks performed at a hospital are performed in doctors’ offices. Starting as a phlebotomist and achieving certification as a medical assistant may give more opportunities. Phlebotomists that work in home healthcare may provide home visits.
Education and Skills
A phlebotomist is trained and certified from an accredited phlebotomy college in order to have a career in phlebotomy. Medical facilities typically require a certification. The major task of a phlebotomist is taking blood and determining veins to draw blood for the purpose of analysis. Phlebotomists obtain great knowledge of vein location and puncture points in the human body. Since phlebotomists work in close proximity to patients, communication and empathy is a critical skill. States may fluctuate in training time. The average is 18 to 24 months. The more credits and experience a phlebotomist acquires typically allows a higher income. A phlebotomist contractor may benefit by having business management skills.