A phlebotomist is a healthcare worker that draws blood by performing venipuncture. A career as a phlebotomist is fulfilling and is decently compensated for its level of education and training.
So, what is the average phlebotomist salary?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), phlebotomists in 2021 earned a median annual salary of $37,380. This comes out to about $18 per hour.
It is important to keep in mind that the exact salary will depend on several factors, such as location, employer, and level of experience.
This guide will go over everything you need to know about how much phlebotomists make and how they can boost their chances of earning a higher salary.
Phlebotomist Salary Overview
The most recent data from the BLS shows that phlebotomists made a median annual salary of $37,380 or about $18 per hour.
Most phlebotomists earned a salary within the range of $28,990 to $48,490.
Some factors that affect how much phlebotomists make are:
- Years of experience. Working longer as a phlebotomist can result in a higher salary. This can come from raises for sustained quality of work or from promotion to more supervisory/senior positions.
- What type of facility you work in. Certain workplace environments tended to compensate their phlebotomists with higher salaries. These workplaces include outpatient care centers and diagnostic medical laboratories.
- What location you work in. Some states, such as California and New York, tend to pay their phlebotomists higher salaries. In addition, some metropolitan areas may provide higher compensation.
The job outlook for phlebotomists is better than average, with the BLS projecting a 10% increase in jobs until the end of the decade. As the population ages, the need for healthcare workers such as phlebotomists will be even greater.
Phlebotomist Salary by State
Phlebotomist Salary by City
Do Phlebotomists Make Good Money?
Phlebotomy is an accessible career that requires a minimal amount of training and education. Compared to other similar healthcare careers, phlebotomists are compensated decently.
According to the most recent BLS data, the median annual salary in the U.S. across all jobs was around $57,200, which is considerably higher than the average phlebotomist salary, but many jobs require a college education.
The following list compares the average median salary of phlebotomists with those of other similar careers:
- Phlebotomist: $37,380
- Medical Assistant: $37,190
- Certified Nursing Assistant: $30,310
- Pharmacy Technician: $36,740
- Emergency Medical Technician: $35,470
- Home Health Aide: $29,430
- Medical Technologist: $57,800
- Medical Records Specialist: $46,660
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Better Phlebotomist Salary
If you are looking to earn a higher salary as a phlebotomist, you are in luck. There are several ways you can achieve this.
Keep in mind that some ways may take longer and require either additional education or moving to a different location.
Here are some options to improve your chances of earning a higher phlebotomist salary:
Most states do not require a certification in order to work as a phlebotomist, as long as you have the necessary training to draw blood. The only states that require a certification are California, Nevada, Louisiana, and Washington.
However, a phlebotomy certification is viewed favorably by employers during the hiring process. Demonstrating your competence by holding a certification will open up a lot more job opportunities. This can be especially true when looking to land a more competitive and higher-paying position, where it is important to stand out amongst all the other applicants.
A phlebotomy certification usually requires passing an exam offered by an organization, such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). You can learn more about the NHA's Certified Phlebotomy Technician exam here.
To become eligible to take the exam, you will need to fulfill some requirements, such as completing an approved phlebotomy training program or performing supervised work as a phlebotomist for a certain number of years.
It can take as little as 4 weeks to become a certified phlebotomist. You can learn more about how much phlebotomy training programs and certification cost here and see the cheapest phlebotomy classes and training programs here.
Keep Up with Current Technologies
The healthcare field is constantly changing as new technological advancements are made. Tools, instruments, procedures, and policies are always being updated. Working as a phlebotomist today might be different from working as a phlebotomist five years from now.
Being able to keep up with advancements can help lead to new career paths. In addition, being open to learning new things is a quality that employers look for when hiring for competitive and higher-paying positions.
Ask Your Employer for Advancement Opportunities
Some workplaces may consider phlebotomists for more senior or supervisory positions. When applying for a phlebotomist position, you should ask if there are any opportunities for advancement.
While working, you should demonstrate qualities such as leadership and a good work ethic. This will help you get considered for these higher-paying positions.
Switch to a Different Work Environment
According to the BLS, the highest paying workplace environments for phlebotomists are outpatient care centers and medical diagnostic laboratories. If you are looking for a higher-paying phlebotomist job, then you should prioritize these types of workplace settings during your job search.
Outpatient care centers provide care for patients who do not need to stay overnight. For example, a physician may request that a patient get a blood test to monitor their thyroid hormone levels. A phlebotomist working in an outpatient center will then collect the sample and send it to the appropriate location for analysis.
Medical diagnostic laboratories specialize in analyzing patient samples. For example, clinics may send blood samples over to test for pathogens, minerals, and biomarkers. These types of workplaces may hire phlebotomists to collect and handle blood specimens.
Phlebotomists working in some states may enjoy better compensation. Some states that tend to pay higher salaries are California and New York. It is important to note that salaries vary within states as well. For example, different regions and metropolitan areas in the same state may pay quite different salaries.
If you live in a suburb located next to a higher paying metropolitan area, you may want to search for a job in that area. The obvious downside to this is you will likely increase your commute time to work.
With that being said, relocation may not be the best option for everyone. You will need to determine for yourself if the higher salary is worth the move to a different location.