Phlebotomy is classified among the fastest growing careers in the US, with an expected growth rate of 25% till 2026. This high growth rate is expected to result in 30,100 new phlebotomy jobs in this occupation, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hospitals, laboratories and blood donation centers are expected to have a continued demand for phlebotomists in the coming years.
If you are looking to develop a phlebotomy career, the following guide will provide comprehensive information on the steps to become a phlebotomist, phlebotomist training and certification and phlebotomist salary data.
Steps to Become a Phlebotomist
To become a phlebotomist, you will have to follow certain steps. The exact steps might vary according to the state or employer, though on a general basis, the following are applicable.
- Complete your high school
A high school diploma or a GED is the minimum level of education you will be required to have to enter the field of phlebotomy. Some phlebotomists start their careers right after completing a high school diploma and get the required training on the job.
- Enroll in phlebotomy school
According to O*Net Online, 57% of phlebotomists entered the field with a post-secondary certificate, while 33% entered with a high school diploma or equivalent. Only 5% phlebotomists entered the field with an associate’s degree.
To get a post-secondary certificate, you will have to enroll in a phlebotomy school that offers training for phlebotomists. Training programs typically take less than a year to complete and can lead to a certificate. Coursework covered in these programs would include anatomy, medical terminology and physiology, in addition to practical lab work. You may also receive specific instructions on how to identify, track and label blood vials.
- Get a certification
Nearly all employers and healthcare facilities prefer to hire phlebotomists who have a certification. There are multiple organizations that offer certificate programs for phlebotomists. These include the National Phlebotomy Association, the American Medical Technologists, the American Society for Clinical Pathology and The National Center for Competency Testing. Nevada, California, Louisiana and Washington have made it mandatory for phlebotomists to be certified in order to practice. Certification requirements vary according to the organization you are apply to.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, phlebotomists earned an annual mean wage of $34,480 in May 2018. The lowest 10 percent in this category made less than $25,020, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $49,060.
The highest paying industry in the field of phlebotomy was outpatient care centers, followed by medical and diagnostic labs, offices of physicians, hospitals and ambulatory healthcare services.
Should I Become a Phlebotomist?
If you are interested in the field of medicine, but do not want to spend the amount of time or money a typical medical profession requires, then phlebotomy is just for you. It is a high growth field, with bright future prospects, reasonably good salary and a relatively easy entry process.