What To Know About Being a Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists perform meaningful work and are in high demand. Learn more about what it's like to be a phlebotomist in our guide.

portrait of Staff Writers
by Staff Writers

Published on February 18, 2022 · Updated on May 13, 2022

Edited by Kelly Thomas
Share this Article

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

What To Know About Being a Phlebotomist


Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 22% job growth for phlebotomists. This rate far outpaces the projected growth rate for all occupations (8%) over that time period and translates to nearly 30,000 new phlebotomist positions nationwide.

Phlebotomy is among the most in-demand professions you can qualify for without a postsecondary degree. Furthermore, many phlebotomists find their careers meaningful. These professionals perform essential work that improves the quality of life of their patients.

Being a phlebotomist is a good fit for the right type of person. Read on to learn more about the profession to see if this career appeals to you.

What Is a Phlebotomist?

A phlebotomist draws blood from patients for various purposes and procedures, including research, donations, transfusions, and tests. Their work allows laboratories to perform blood testing, which can help patients identify underlying health conditions. As such, phlebotomists often play an important role in saving patients' lives.

Phlebotomists generally work in physicians' offices, blood donation centers, laboratories, hospitals, and other medical facilities. Their hours and shifts often mirror those of other medical professionals. As such, phlebotomists may need to work long and irregular hours at certain facilities.

What Training Is Required to Be a Phlebotomist?

In most cases, phlebotomists need to complete non-degree training in the form of a certificate or certification program. They also complete some on-the-job training. Practical skills and experience are the most important qualifications for a phlebotomist. However, almost all employers seek out phlebotomists with professional certification.

Not all states require this certification, but California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington do. Prospective phlebotomists can earn the credentials they need by passing a test administered by one of the following organizations:

What Is the Career Outlook for Phlebotomists?

The BLS projects 22% job growth for phlebotomists between 2020 to 2030. This growth would translate to 28,800 additional openings in the field.

Blood analysis is an essential diagnostic tool in laboratories, hospitals, and medical facilities. Blood testing is one of the best ways to assess a patient's health. With the rise of Apple Watches and fitness trackers like Whoop bands, the general population appears more interested than ever in health and body data. Moreover, the Theranos scandal in 2018 demonstrates the current appetite for blood testing.

What Is a Phlebotomist's Salary Potential?

According to the BLS, phlebotomists earned a median annual salary of $36,320 in May 2020. The highest 10% of earners in this field made more than $50,740 annually, while the lowest 10% brought home less than $26,690.

The highest-paid phlebotomists work in outpatient care centers, making a median annual wage of $42,310. Phlebotomists make significantly less in hospitals, earning a median annual salary of $34,790.

Keep in mind that factors like location, experience, title, and employer can affect the salary potential for phlebotomists.

Frequently Asked Questions About Being a Phlebotomist

Is it worth it to become a phlebotomist? true

Phlebotomy can provide financial, personal, and professional rewards in the right setting. The BLS projects 22% job growth for phlebotomists between 2020 and 2030, so these professionals should be in high demand for the foreseeable future. Many phlebotomists find their careers personally fulfilling. Working in healthcare allows them to help others, and performing the essential function of drawing blood can save lives.

Phlebotomists also do not need much formal education. However, phlebotomists do not boast an especially high salary potential.

Do phlebotomists work 12-hour shifts? true

It depends on their employer. If they work for hospitals or urgent care centers, they may need to work extended shifts. Some phlebotomists work the same shifts as nurses, meaning they will have to work beyond 12 hours in some cases. They may also need to work evenings, weekends, holidays, or odd hours. Some phlebotomists may also be on call.

However, phlebotomists employed by clinics and laboratories mostly work during typical business hours.

Who gets paid more: certified nursing assistants or phlebotomists? true

According to the BLS, phlebotomists earned a higher median annual wage ($34,790) than nursing assistants ($30,850) as of May 2020. However, keep in mind that salary depends on various factors and is different for each professional. For example, an experienced certified nursing assistant working in a place with a high cost of living like New York City likely earns more money than a novice phlebotomist working in a rural area.

Feature Image: mixetto / E+ / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.