A phlebotomy technician is a medical professional trained to draw blood samples from blood donors or patients and prepare these specimens for medical tests. Many people have a fear of needles and blood, and a majority of them are too scared to donate blood when they visit a doctor’s office. A phlebotomy technician must cultivate an atmosphere of confidence and trust with patients when it comes to drawing blood samples. He or she should do it in a safe, skillful and reliable way.
How to become a phlebotomy technician
Step #1: get a GED or high school diploma
To get phlebotomy training, you must have completed your high school education and obtained a diploma or equivalent, for example a GED. You must also be at least 18 to enroll for training.
Step #2: complete a training program for phlebotomy technicians
Those who’d like to be phlebotomy technicians enter a training program at a technical school or college. During these short-term, usually less than a year programs, students are trained to draw blood as well as the proper way to interact with patients. Courses commonly taken include lab safety, disposal of equipment, and potential legal issues.
Students balance learning in classroom and get practical lessons in a hospital or clinical setting. In order to show proficiency, students are also required to successfully complete repeated disease tests as well as skin punctures.
Step #3: become certified and licensed
After completing a training program, students may choose to become certified healthcare professionals. There are three main organizations that offer certification to students in the US.
In order to obtain certification, students must meet the requirements set by certification organizations. For instance, the AMT requires students to have completed an accredited training program, completed not less than 1040 hours work experience as well as passed well in their certification exam. In general, employers go for phlebotomy technicians with national certification credentials.
Additionally, some states like California require that phlebotomy techs be licensed so that they can legally work there. Requirements vary with each state and specialization.
Step #: seek employment
Phlebotomy graduates can look for jobs at hospitals or even private healthcare facilities. This is where most job opportunities are available. Or, they can look for employment in clinical labs where they’ll work with other healthcare professionals and lab technologists, to screen and test blood samples collected.
Phlebotomy technician salary per year and hour
The median annual salary for certified phlebotomy technicians is $26,790.The annual salary range for phlebotomy techs, considering overtime and bonuses, is $22414-$33727.
Phlebotomy techs earn an average hourly rate of $10.46-$15.14.
Phlebotomy technician salary by experience
Just like many other careers and jobs, experience determines the salary of a phlebotomist. The longer one has worked, the higher will be their salary and vice-versa. For instance, a phlebotomy tech who has worked for less than a year earns $18842-$31447 per year, whereas a technician with 1-4 years of experience earns an annual salary of $23285-$35184. A technician with 5-9 years of work experience earns $29890-$35345 per year while one with 10-19 years of experience earns $33285-$39494 per annum.
Phlebotomy technician salary by type of employer
Phlebotomy technicians also earn different salaries depending on their employer. For instance, a phlebotomy tech working in a hospital usually earns $20482-33515 per year, while those working for companies earn between $29487 and $39138 per annum. Some employers, for example hospitals, pay higher salaries for technicians who don’t mind working at night, during weekends or in different shifts. Overtime rates are usually not available for phlebotomists who work at a physician’s office because most offices close after normal working hours.
Phlebotomy salary by location
The location of the job also affects the salary of a phlebotomy technician. The two best paying states are California and New York. California pays a median rate of $12.74-$17.40 per hour while the rate in New York is $11.36-$18.35 an hour. One of the lowest paying states is Georgia, where the median rate is $9.81-$12.58 an hour.
If you are thinking of becoming a phlebotomy technician, it can be a good idea. This career has a huge potential for growth and is one of the most stable. Phlebotomy job opportunities are also very available, with opportunities for advancement in the future. And with the right training and experience, phlebotomy technicians can expect a decent salary. So, if you are considering a career in the health sector, you should think about the phlebotomy career.