Becoming a phlebotomist is as good of an idea than ever due to the tremendous growth predicted by bls.gov’s latest statistics! At 25% growth it is way above the national average for all careers let alone the medical field. In the article below we will cover what a phlebotomist does, all the steps in the process to become a phlebotomist and what to expect along the way. Lets not waste anymore time, lets get started!

What does a Phlebotomist do?

The core job of a phlebotomist is to draw blood from patients. Blood is drawn for many reasons. Blood is commonly drawn for for testing, research or blood donation. They also need to be ready for patients to have adverse reactions to blood being drawn. It is common for people to faint or get uncomfortable around blood and needles. Being calm and really good at explaining what you are doing is really advantageous to the job as a phlebotomist. Below we cover the specific job duties for phlebotomists.

Phlebotomist Job Duties

Draw blood from patients and donors
Explain what you are doing to patient to relieve any stress surrounding venipuncture procedures
Verify patient or donor identity
Properly label all drawn blood
Enter any and all necessary patient information
Maintain and clean work area and supplies (needles etc.)

What is the process to become an Phlebotomist?

It is most common for phlebotomists to enter the field with a post-secondary non-degree award from an accredited phlebotomy program. It is important to know that only 2 states (CA and LA) require certification for all phlebotomists. But, it is more and more common for employers to require certification for phlebotomists that they employ. That being said, getting certified is critical to your future success as a phlebotomist.

Below we cover the steps to become a phlebotomist.

STEP 1 – Get or Have your H.S. diploma or GED

This is a must and without you cannot become a working certified phlebotomist.

STEP 2 – Take accredited Phlebotomy Training

Selecting the right program for you is important. Check the cost, availability, location and what time schedule you will have before you decide on a training program. Below is a list of accredited schools from The National Accrediting Agency for Laboratory Sciences

Accredited Phlebotomy Schools

Check with your state health board to see if there are any background checks needed. Also, remember that California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington require their phlebotomists to be certified.

About Online Phlebotomy Classes

You can take some course online for phlebotomy. But they are only general education courses. The core portions of training are clinical and are done in person so you can learn the techniques in a hands on environment. For more details about online training for phlebotomy click here.

Step 3 – Complete the Training Program and Prep for Certification Exam

After successfully passing the accredited training program you will be eligible to take the phlebotomy certification exam. It is important that you study hard for the exam for it is the most important thing employers are looking for today in new phlebotomists.

Step 4 – Pass Phlebotomy Certification Exam Get Certified!

Below are the certifying bodies that offer phlebotomy certifications across the country.

The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
The National Phlebotomy Association
The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
The American Medical Technologists (AMT)
The National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

Each of the certifications offered by these bodies are accepted by employers. Again, if you live in CA or LA, see your state board for specific information regarding certification.

Step 5 – Finding a job as a Phlebotomist

Phlebotmists work in donation centers, hospitals and medical centers. They work with many patients daily and are moving around a lot all day long and are on their feet all day. Each workplace is pretty similar for the phlebotomist due to the fact that they do the same function regardless, which is to draw blood. Below are the percentages of where phlebotomists work.

Hospitals 37%
Laboratories 32%
Other Healthcare services 15%
Offices 8%
Outpatient care centers 2%

About Phlebotomists salary

At 25% growth, the field of venipuncture is doing great for phlebotomist! BLS.gov predicts great things in the future! Find out more below!

What is the average salary for a Phlebotomist?

The average phlebotomist’s salary is $33,670 per year and the average hourly wage is $16.19 per hour.

Phlebotomist’s salary by state

Area NameEmployment #Hourly Avg. WageAnnual Avg SalaryEmployment per 1K jobs
Alabama209014.17294701.088
Alaska17020.81432900.525
Arizona137015.59324300.506
Arkansas108013.82287500.901
California1258020.86433800.754
Colorado167016.80349300.655
Connecticut122019.41403700.740
Delaware51018.32381001.150
Florida388015.22316600.902
Georgia83018.18378101.304
Hawaii54015.23316800.785
Idaho507016.91351800.856
Illinois234015.36319400.776
Indiana110014.57303100.716
Iowa103015.72326900.756
Kansas216014.59303401.150
Kentucky216014.13293901.134
Louisiana65014.41299701.084
Maine271018.52385101.017
Maryland377019.10397201.069
Massachusetts323015.14315000.755
Michigan192018.15377400.676
Minnesota97013.35277700.868
Mississippi212015.21316300.760
Missouri35015.74327300.761
Montana75015.26317300.773
Nebraska140017.92372601.072
Nevada59019.42403900.908
New Hampshire451018.40382801.126
New Jersey70013.95290100.879
New Mexico649018.85392000.705
New York576014.76307001.341
North Carolina46014.58303301.103
North Dakota527015.86329900.981
Ohio135014.51301800.861
Oklahoma192018.49384501.046
Oregon448016.43341800.774
Pennsylvania89018.88392601.860
Rhode Island24013.48280400.561
South Carolina234014.13294000.802
South Dakota855015.28317800.719
Tennessee100014.43300100.708
Texas18016.87351000.602
Utah363016.53343800.957
Vermont279018.26379800.876
Virginia100014.41299701.459
Washington224016.66346500.791
West Virginia26015.64325200.954
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Source: www.bls.gov

Top 5 Paying States for Phlebotomists

State/AreaAvg. Hourly WageAvg. Yearly Salary
California$19.89$41,360
Alaska$19.55$40,670
District of Columbia$19.52$40,600
Rhode Island$18.83$39,160
Connecticut$18.80$39,110

Source: bls.gov