The phlebotomist is an important member of the medical team whose job it is to collect blood samples from patients. These samples are used for a variety of tests and procedures that are performed by physicians and other personnel. As the healthcare industry has expanded to accommodate the medical needs of a growing population, the demand for qualified individuals in this profession has increased. This has created many new career advancement opportunities for those who are interested in an entry-level health field and who have the knowledge, skills, and character qualities required to become successful in a medical environment.
US Employment Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the phlebotomy sector employed approximately 108,210 individuals as of May 2013. The largest employer in this sector includes local, state, and privately held hospitals which hire about 40% of technicians. Medical and diagnostic laboratories hire the next largest percentage of people followed closely by ambulatory service providers and physician offices. The type and size of the employer can be very important when determining how competitive the phlebotomist salary will be. In general, larger establishments are in need of more workers and are in a better position to compensate individuals at a higher rate. Since local and regional employment characteristics can vary dramatically, it is important for applicants to inquire with potential employers in their area to determine what their unique earning potential might be.
As is true of many healthcare professions, job growth for the phlebotomy technician is expected to outpace the average for all other occupations over the next ten years. The current projection is that the sector will expand its job offerings by 27% by the year 2022. This rapid acceleration in job opportunities is largely attributable to the fact that blood tests are an essential component of medical diagnosis and treatment. Adding to the need for more technicians is the fact that the population is continuing to grow, the number of retired Baby Boomers has increased, and the expansion of national health insurance has provided access to millions of people who previously had no coverage. The influx of patients that has resulted from these trends has placed a tremendous amount of strain on the healthcare system and has led many administrators to expand both their facilities and the size of their staff.
Median Annual Phlebotomist Salary
There are many important factors to consider when assessing one’s earning potential in any employment sector. Things like education, training, certification, experience, type and size of the employer, and geographic location can all play a part in how much the technician can expect to earn. Although there are several sources of information that provide projections on the median phlebotomist salary, individuals considering a career in the profession are well-advised to evaluate their own unique circumstances before making a determination on what their compensation package is likely to be. We have provided some of the most reliable information available and have outlined the federal statistics for each state in the table below, but we still actively encourage our visitors to contact local employers to inquire about what to anticipate.
According to the government, the median annual phlebotomist salary was $29,730 in May 2012. The lowest 10% of wage earners took home less than $21,340 while the top 10% of wage earners received over $42,600 in total annual compensation. With such a wide range of earnings, it is impossible to predict the exact salary of any one individual without considering how the few factors listed above might come into play. Again, the most effective and accurate strategy for assessing earning potential is to speak directly to local employers about current job openings and the likelihood of being hired.
The Effect of Geographic Location
State and regional population characteristics can have an effect on the number of job openings available and the level of compensation that an applicant can expect to receive. In general, states that have a higher level of population density will have more facilities offering employment. Because demand for qualified applicants is higher in populated areas, employers often provide a more competitive compensation package to attract the type of individuals who make good employees. Those considering a career in this profession, but who live in less populated regions, may want to consider moving to a state or metropolitan area that offers more incentive to work. This is not to say that there are not excellent career prospects in rural or underpopulated areas, but that it is far more common to secure a competitive phlebotomist salary in a more populated region.
The states that offer the most jobs include California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Those that provide the most compensation include Alaska, California, Delaware, New York, and Massachusetts. This is a common trend in many healthcare professions because these states have well-established medical systems that manage large numbers of patients and require more medical personnel to operate effectively. Individuals who are not interested in moving to one of these states may find a region of interest by considering the strong career prospects associated with specific metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas around the country.
The metropolitan areas that offer the most employment opportunities include Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (CA), New York – White Plains – Wayne (NY – NJ), Pheonix – Mesa – Glendale (AZ), Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (IL), Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta (GA), Houston – Sugar Land – Baytown (TX), Edison – New Brunswick (NJ), Dallas – Plano – Irving (TX), Philadelphia (PA), Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario (CA). The nonmetropolitan areas with the highest levels of employment include North Carolina, Ohio, South Central Kentucky, South Georgia, and Kansas.
Metropolitan areas that provide the most competitive phlebotomist salary include Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (CA), Vallejo – Fairfield (CA), Stockton (CA), Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta (CA), Merced (CA), San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (CA), Salinas (CA), San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara (CA), Norwich – New London (CT – RI), and New York – White Plains – Wayne (NY – NJ). The highest paying nonmetropolitan areas include the Northern Mountain Regions of California, North Coast Region of California, Southwestern Washington, the Upper Eastern Shore, and Southwestern Wisconsin.
A table showing the median annual phlebotomist salary in each state is included below for convenience. To quickly find the state under consideration, simply type it into the search box.