A Comprehensive Guide to Wages, Job Growth, Benefits, and Drawbacks
If you’re considering a career in the healthcare industry, becoming a phlebotomist may be an excellent option. Phlebotomists are healthcare professionals responsible for drawing blood from patients for various medical purposes, such as testing, donation, or research. In this blog post, we’ll explore the path to becoming a phlebotomist, including the education and certification requirements, as well as the wages, job growth, benefits, and drawbacks associated with this career.
Education and Certification
To become a phlebotomist, you’ll need to complete a phlebotomy program, which typically takes between 4-8 months. These programs are offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and some hospitals. Upon completion, you’ll receive a certificate or diploma. Some programs also offer an associate degree in phlebotomy.
After completing your phlebotomy program, you’ll need to pass a certification exam from one of the following organizations:
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
While certification isn’t mandatory in all states, it’s highly recommended, as it increases your employability and may lead to higher wages.
Wages and Job Growth
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, the median annual wage for phlebotomists was $36,320. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,690, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,740.
Phlebotomy is also a fast-growing field, with employment expected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for phlebotomists is driven by the growing need for blood tests, donations, and other diagnostic services in the healthcare industry.
Benefits of Becoming a Phlebotomist
- Job stability: Due to the high demand for blood tests and the aging population, phlebotomists can expect job stability and growth in the coming years.
- Short training period: Compared to many other healthcare professions, phlebotomy training can be completed relatively quickly, allowing you to enter the workforce sooner.
- Versatile work settings: Phlebotomists can work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, laboratories, blood donation centers, and private clinics.
- Opportunity for advancement: With additional education and experience, phlebotomists can advance to supervisory roles or transition into other healthcare professions.
Drawbacks of Becoming a Phlebotomist
- Exposure to bloodborne pathogens: Phlebotomists are at a higher risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens due to the nature of their work. However, strict adherence to safety protocols and the use of personal protective equipment can minimize this risk.
- Potential for long hours and irregular schedules: Some phlebotomists may need to work evenings, weekends, or holidays, depending on the needs of their employer.
- Emotional stress: Drawing blood can be a stressful experience for some patients, and phlebotomists must have the ability to manage their own emotions while providing comfort to patients.
Becoming a phlebotomist can be a rewarding career choice for those interested in healthcare. With short training programs, high demand, and various work settings, it offers several benefits. However, potential drawbacks, such as exposure to bloodborne pathogens and the emotional stress of working with anxious patients, should be carefully considered. Ultimately, if you
have a passion for helping others and are willing to take on the challenges associated with this career, phlebotomy may be an excellent choice for you.
To begin your journey toward becoming a phlebotomist, research accredited phlebotomy programs in your area, and consider obtaining certification upon completion of your training. Remember that the healthcare industry is always evolving, so staying informed about new technologies and best practices is essential to ensure a successful and fulfilling career as a phlebotomist.