A phlebotomist draws patient blood, identifies samples, manages storage, and delivers blood samples to labs.
Starting salary range
Starting phlebotomist salaries range from $23,916 (Mississippi) to 35,608 (New York)*.
A phlebotomist's average salary is $28,989 and maximum phlebotomist salaries top out at $40.617**. Larger institutions tend to pay more than smaller private practices, according to Payscale's Median Salary By Company Size Charts.
Opportunities for advancement
Phlebotomists can qualify for salary increases by becoming certified as a Donor Phlebotomy Technicians which allows them to work in blood banks. Once a Phlebotomist has a few years of experience, self-employment and contract work can be higher paying alternatives, though those options typically don't include benefits. Phlebotomists can also increase their salaries by earning a 2 year or 4 year degree and advancing to higher paying medical positions, by gaining seniority, by moving to a larger institution, or by promotion to a supervisory role. Some Phlebotomists gain a broader background by branching out into the fields of lab technicians, EKG technicians, or advancement to lab administration roles.
Benefits and perks
Health care, pension, education reimbursement, paid time off, sick days, bonus, insurance, and taxes increase the total compensation package by an average 33.8% says www.salary.com, bringing the average total Phlebotomist compensation to $43,820.
Salary negotiation tips
Negotiating salary can be tricky. Large institutions (hospitals, government health agencies, or private companies), typically set up a salary range (or salary band), so the organization will have a little room to move on salaries (about 5-10%). Smaller organizations, such as private medical practices are less likely to have as much wiggle room on salary. Either way, don't expect an employer to give you a higher salary just because you ask. Instead, prepare a well documented justification and stay within the organization's salary range for the specific position so you'll have a good chance at getting the salary increase you're targeting.
Your greatest ability to negotiate salary is when you have options. Interview with a number of hospitals, medical practices, local and state government health agencies, university hospitals, Veterans Administration, and private companies. In addition, do your homework – get local salary information from AOL Jobs Salary Center or from industry staffing and recruiting firms. Sometimes just having research on average salaries for your local market may provide rationale for a higher salary.
With the increasing demand for health care workers, Phlebotomy can be a rewarding career choice as well as a great first step into the overall field of health care.
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* According to www.payscale.com.
** According to www.salary.com