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Career Outlook for a Phlebotomist

Apr 08, 2010

If you are looking for a career that is challenging, lets you interact with people, and makes a real difference in their lives, then becoming a phlebotomist may be just the right job for you. A phlebotomist is a type of clinical laboratory technician who takes blood samples, and these professionals are needed in many types of health care settings – from hospitals to health care centers to geriatric homes.

The population is aging – and so are the people who take care of them. Career openings in the health care industry are growing at an all-time high. This is a great time to consider training for a new career; one that lets you help people every single day.

As a phlebotomist you would be considered part of a group of people who work in the background in health care – clinical laboratory technicians. These people are specially trained to do the things that really help people, like running tests and drawing blood. While a job as a clinical laboratory technician or phlebotomist may not seem as critical as that of a physician or surgeon, rest assured that without your expertise many people’s lives would take a turn for the worse. A career in this industry lets you make a huge difference, and you can earn a great salary while doing it.

In general the type of salary you can earn in this field depends on your amount of training and where you work. With a two-year program you can become a clinical laboratory technician and specialize in phlebotomy. However, with a four-year program you will be a clinical laboratory technologist and you will have access to more challenging and higher paying jobs. It all depends on where you want to work and how much schooling you are willing to commit to.

As a qualified phlebotomist you could land a job in a large hospital and be part of a union with great perks and benefits. However, working in shifts may not be your style, in which case you may want to choose a smaller clinic where you can work day shifts. The pay may not be as great, but you may prefer the more intimate environment where you will have close co-workers, instead of a huge corporate entity.

The average salary for a phlebotomist is $27,040; however, the average for all types of clinical laboratory technicians in 2008 was $35,380, and for a clinical laboratory technologist was $53,500. It is expected that as the demand for these jobs grow, so will the average salary. Those willing to take additional training to stay on top of technological advances can expect to earn more.

Between 2008 and 2018, jobs in the clinical laboratory industry are expected to grow at more than the average rate of 14% – mostly due to the need for more workers in this area as the health care system as a whole expands. In 2008, there were a total of 328,100 jobs in this area. It is expected that by 2012 over 138,000 laboratory workers will be needed, but only about 50,000 are expected to be trained. While phlebotomists make up only a part of these numbers, you can see that this career is one that has a lot of prospects.

In just two years you can have the required education to be a phlebotomist or other type of clinical laboratory technician and start making a difference in people’s lives every single day. If you like working with people this could be a great job for you, and there is going to be an expected high demand for this type of worker in the very near future. As long as you’re ok with blood, this is a great job!

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