According to salary.com, the median phlebotomist salary in 2012 is $29,740 per year. This is not only an excellent wage among positions that don’t require a four-year college degree, but is also one of the highest salaries paid to entry-level health care professionals. When one additionally considers the fact that the national demand for new phlebotomy technicians is expected to increase by 15% through 2020, it’s no surprise that so many people are interested in joining this rewarding profession.
About Phlebotomy Salary Data
The phlebotomist salary figures provided in the following section were pulled from the latest official U.S. Government data and several other authorities on salary (all are cited where data is presented).
It is important to note that these numbers merely represent national medians, and in no way constitute a guarantee that a phlebotomist will be paid accordingly in every geographic region and by every employer.
Things That Influence Phlebotomist Salary
The following is a summary of the main factors proven to significantly influence phlebotomist salary around the country. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that can affect a person’s wages, it does represent those issues that tend to have the greatest impact.
While it is only required by law in two states (California and Louisiana) at this time, there are still plenty of good reasons to pursue a phlebotomy certification – not the least of which is the impact it has on starting pay. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (www.ascp.org/) reports that a certified phlebotomy technician can expect to be offered an average starting wage of $14.06 per hour. Contrast this with a non-certified phlebotomists beginning hourly wage of $12.66. Over time, this disparity in median pay continues to become more pronounced.
It should come as no surprise that experience is perhaps the greatest influence upon phlebotomist salary. As is the case with any other field, earning power tends to increase significantly as an individual acquires more years of experience in his or her profession. The graph below illustrates this principle as it applies in the field of phlebotomy.
Phlebotomy Salary By Experience
It must be pointed out that, although the fundamental rate of wages paid increase is consistent across the board for phlebotomists, the actual wages paid vary drastically due to other factors (e.g. type of employer, state, city, etc.). It is also worth noting that the rate of increase over the first 9 years of the individual’s career is far greater than it is thereafter.
In order to overcome the ceiling in pay that appears around the 10-year mark in a phlebotomist’s career, it is usually necessary to acquire specialized certifications or move up into a management position.
Type of Employer
Phlebotomy technicians are employed at a wide variety of health care facilities, and the type of employer (e.g. hospital) often has a dramatic effect on how much the individual is paid. Generally speaking, phlebotomists who work in private offices or diagnostic laboratory settings are paid better than are their peers who work in public clinics or general hospitals.
The following table lists median phlebotomist salary by type of employer.
One last factor that can have a major impact on how much a phlebotomy technician will earn is the geographic location in which he or she works. On average, phlebotomy jobs in the Northeast U.S. and West Coast tend to pay the highest wages, while those in the Southeast tend to be at the lower end of the scale.
The graph below shows a sampling of some of the disparity in pay that exists from state to state.
Annual Phlebotomy Salary By State
In addition to the wide range in pay one will find between states, there is also a significant gap in salary between what technicians are paid in cities versus rural areas. In some cases, this disparity for a similar position at a similar type of employer can be as large as 20%.
How To Move Up The Phlebotomy Pay Scale
In addition to the normal increases a person will see over time as he or she gains more experience, there are a few additional ways to increase a phlebotomist salary:
- Find a position with a different type of employer
- Relocate to an area where the pay is better
- Acquire credentials to work as a specialist
While the first two points are probably obvious after reading through the preceding sections, the third warrants some explanation.
Phlebotomy specialist is a blanket term that refers to anyone who has earned a specialized certification. Common examples of this are the Patient Service Technician Specialist, Registered Phlebotomy Specialist and Collections Phlebotomy Specialist. Each of these positions specializes in a specific type of practice and is generally paid considerably more than the average phlebotomist as a result.
Becoming a specialist requires additional training and, usually, several years of prior experience in the field. To find phlebotomy classes that offer specialized training in your area, please feel free to check out our searchable data base of accredited programs. In the end, additional education is the best way to increase your phlebotomist salary, so why not get started today?