Phlebotomist

Job Description

Phlebotomists serve an essential role in hospitals, medical laboratories, and doctors’ offices. They draw blood from people for testing, donation, and research. Phlebotomists need to have robust communication and interpersonal skills to help anxious people feel comfortable giving blood. Phlebotomists are on their feet most of the time interacting with patients.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Draw blood from patients and donors
  • Talk to people to ease their concerns about the process
  • Enter patients’ information in a database
  • Label blood for testing 
  • Use basic medical supplies such as needles and vials
  • Clean and sanitize equipment and workspaces

Education and Background

Phlebotomists must have a high school diploma or equivalent. They need to earn a post-secondary certification from a phlebotomy program at a vocational school or community college. These programs, which usually take less than a year, include classes in anatomy and physiology and work in a laboratory. 

Skills and Competencies

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills for dealing with patients, doctors, and staff
  • Dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and physical stamina
  • Discretion and the ability to handle confidential information
  • Ability to work carefully and accurately under pressure
  • Caring and compassionate demeanor
  • Keen attention to detail

Compensation

According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Phlebotomist with

1 year of experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $26,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $28,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $28,000
  • Miami, Florida: $29,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $30,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $35,000
  • Houston, Texas: $32,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $33,000
  • New York, New York: $33,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $31,000
  • Overall: $31,000

5 years of experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $29,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $31,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $31,000
  • Miami, Florida: $33,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $33,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $37,000
  • Houston, Texas: $36,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $37,000
  • New York, New York: $37,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $35,000
  • Overall: $35,000

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Career Path

The first step toward becoming a Phlebotomist is to earn a high school diploma or its equivalent. Employers also expect graduates to complete a phlebotomy program at a vocational school or community college. These programs typically take less than a year to finish and include science classes and hands-on experience in a laboratory. Students also learn how to identify and label blood samples. Several organizations — including the National Center for Competency Testing and the National Phlebotomy Association — offer certification, which some states require.

Position Trends

With our aging population, blood draws and analysis will continue to be a critical function at hospitals and medical labs. Health emergencies often create a surge in blood donations, which drives up the need for Phlebotomists. Those who want to improve their job prospects should earn certification from one of several organizations.

The Center for Phlebotomy Education produces a free email newsletter covering the latest industry news and trends.

With additional education and training, Phlebotomists can expand into other careers in health care.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Phlebotomists is expected to grow by 23 percent over the next several years, which is much faster than average. Employers are more likely to hire Phlebotomists who have been certified or those with additional medical training.

Typical Hours

Phlebotomists work a variety of schedules because some health-care facilities are open early in the morning, late at night, or 24 hours a day. As a result, Phlebotomists sometimes work evenings, weekends, or holidays. They also might need to travel from one donation site to the next.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster
  • National Phlebotomy Association

Are You Interested in Becoming a Phlebotomist?

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