Phlebotomist training programs are now being offered by numerous vocational schools and technical colleges across the US. This sub-field of medical sciences is fast gaining popularity, thanks to its expected high growth of 25% in the ten years between 2016 and 2026. In addition to that, becoming a phlebotomist is relatively quicker way of entering the field of medicine as compared to becoming a physician or a surgeon.
If you are interested in phlebotomist training programs, the following article would be of use to you. It provides details on the education and training required to become a phlebotomist, phlebotomist salary and job outlook for phlebotomists.
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Phlebotomist Training Programs
There are two ways to train as a phlebotomist – through education and through experience. The minimum educational requirement for both these options is a high school diploma. If you intend to go for the educational path, you will have to get a postsecondary nondegree award from a technical school, university or community college. On the other hand, if you want to get into this field and learn through experience, you need to find an employer who would hire you and then train you on-the-job.
In both cases, your phlebotomist training would cover specific instructions on how to identify, label and track blood samples among other responsibilities.
How to Become a Certified Phlebotomist?
There are several organizations that offer certification programs for phlebotomists. These include:
- The National Center for Competency Testing
- National Healthcareer Association
- American Society for Clinical Pathology
- American Medical Technologists
- National Phlebotomy Association
Candidates who want to apply for certification will require some classroom education, along with some clinical experience. Certification exams would typically include a written and a practical component. The exact requirements for phlebotomy certification would vary from organization to organization. Several states have made it mandatory for phlebotomists to be certified, including California, Nevada, Louisiana and Washington.
The median annual wage for phlebotomists, as per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $34,480 in May 2018. The industry which paid the highest amount to phlebotomists in the US was outpatient care centers, with an annual median wage of $39,420. Offices of physicians were also a popular employer of phlebotomists, paying a salary of $33,110.
Job Outlook for Phlebotomists
The field of phlebotomy is expected to experience a high growth of 25%, which is significantly higher than the average growth for all occupations, 7%. The state with the highest level of employment in this occupation was California, with 12,190 jobs, followed by Texas, with 9,210 jobs, Florida, with 8,250 jobs and North Carolina with 6,290 jobs. California also happens to be the top paying state for phlebotomists, with an annual mean wage of $45,030. Alaska comes in second with an annual median wage of $42,290, followed by the District of Columbia with $41,600.
Job outlook for phlebotomists is highly positive, since hospitals, blood donor centers and diagnostic facilities will have a continuing need for these professionals to perform blood work. Blood collection and blood analysis is an integral medical function of any healthcare facility, therefore the demand for phlebotomists will remain high in the coming years as well.