Learn How to Draw Blood – Working as a Phlebotomist

A phlebotomist draws blood for laboratory analysis or for blood donations. A person who is working as a phlebotomist could work in a variety of health care settings, including a physician’s office, a blood bank, a hospital, a clinic, an insurance company, or a lab. Depending upon the setting and the employer, a phlebotomist’s job could also include additional duties. In a small clinic or doctor’s office, a phlebotomist may be required to do paperwork, filing, and act as a receptionist or in-take person.

In a large hospital or laboratory setting, a phlebotomist may spend much of his or her day doing lab analysis of blood. Some phlebotomists work for insurance companies and may be sent to draw blood at people’s homes or places of business. The training for phlebotomists varies from state to state, but usually an associate degree or a successful completion of a certification program is required to work in the profession.

Working as a phlebotomist requires being able to work well with patients, doctors, nurses, and other co-workers. Someone who enjoys working with people and putting them at ease could make a good phlebotomist. Because the work does require handling blood samples and important paperwork, an ability to pay attention to detail is a must for a prospective phlebotomist. An interest in anatomy and science is also essential to learning how to do the phlebotomist’s job.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

The pay for phlebotomist work can vary depending upon the employer, but the median base pay for phlebotomists in the United States is just under $30,000. Phlebotomists who work in large metropolitan areas where the work is in high demand can command wages of $30.00 an hour or more, while those in rural areas may make much less. Many phlebotomists work in hospitals and other settings where benefits packages are available. Because of the demands of the job, not everyone is suited for the profession, but working as a phlebotomist can be a rewarding profession.

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