July 26, 2015

Making a Living as a Phlebotomist

What sort of salary should you expect as a phlebotomist? Most surveys suggest that the lower end of the range is around $20,000-$25,000 a year but, with certification, a competent phlebotomist can easily achieve a salary of $35,000-$40,000 a year. A few exceptionally skilled (and perhaps lucky) phlebotomists make as much as $60,000 a year, but this is unusual at best.

What factors affect your income as a phlebotomist? There are several. One is experience. A starting phlebotomist can expect to earn near the bottom of the scale and to slowly work his or her way toward the top. As you build your resume, you’ll be considered for higher-paid positions. Another is skill. The better you are at what you do, the higher a salary you can command. And location is an important factor, too. In some states where phlebotomists are relatively scarce, employers will be willing to pay a premium for your services. For instance, Alaska has a relative shortage of phlebotomists, as do Hawaii, Tennessee, and Minnesota. You can expect to be paid more in these states than in states where phlebotomists are relatively plentiful. Your place of employment can also affect your salary, with phlebotomists working for hospitals being paid, in many cases, more than those who work for small clinics.

And, of course, you’ll be paid more if you have additional marketable skills. A registered nurse with a phlebotomy certification will earn a larger annual salary than someone who specializes only in phlebotomy. And a doctor with certified phlebotomy skills will make even more. Before you choose a career in phlebotomy, it’s important to consider whether these salaries will fit your career plans. Will a peak salary of $35,000 a year be adequate for your lifestyle or your plans for the future? Would you be willing to move to, say, Alaska to improve your income? Or would you be better off becoming a registered nurse or general medical technician and making phlebotomy a sideline? And, of course, you have to consider how you feel about a job that will require working with blood, a subject that makes some people more than a little queasy.

These are significant questions, and you shouldn’t pass over them lightly. If a career as a phlebotomist sounds right for you, however, then you should focus on it and learn as much about it as you can. Should you make the choice to become a phlebotomist, you’ll want to be the best phlebotomist that you can be.