Job Description

A Phlebotomist is responsible for drawing blood from patients for transfusions, tests, or donations. They work directly with patients to help them feel comfortable.

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Working directly with patients and helping them stay calm.
  • Typically a regular schedule.
  • Work is constant, but simple. Results are easy to see.
  • Detail oriented.
  • Demand for this job is high so you will be easily be able to find work.
2018 Employment
2028 Projected Employment
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities

A phlebotomist typically works a full-time schedule, with a lot of standing. They handle needles and blood. Depending on the clinic, they may work nights, weekends, and holidays. A phlebotomist spends their day:

  • Drawing blood
  • Working through the feelings of anxiety a patient may feel.
  • Labeling and organizing samples according to type or other terms.
  • Use a database to track information.
  • Upkeep of workspace, including lab and medical equipment.
  • While the information tracked is easy to obtain, they must be detail oriented to make sure samples do not get mixed up.
Skills Needed on the Job
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Good oral/written communication.
  • Able to work with blood and bodily fluid.
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Computer literate – email, office software.
  • Service Oriented
  • Critical Thinking
  • Clerical skills – filing, transcribing, and filling out forms.
Different Types of Organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Mobile Health Care Services
  • Physician Offices
  • Blood banks
Expectations and Sacrifices

Becoming a phlebotomist typically involves a certification. You will need to graduate high school and work through a specialized program. These programs typically take 1 year. The main sacrifice will be paying for textbooks and tuition during the program, as well as working to support yourself.

Another aspect is making sure your own health is up to date – including vaccines. Even with proper safety procedures, you are at risk for blood-borne illness as a phlebotomist.

If you are scared of needles and blood, this is not the career path for you. 

Current Trends

Trends in Phlebotomy are tied to the products being used. Improvements are constantly being made to blood collection devices to minimize splatter and maximize safety for both the patient and technician.

Hospital technologies, such as bar codes for patients and increased steps to eliminate mixing up samples, are also ongoing. Database software is constantly being improved, but this will be taught to you in house at your workplace.

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...
  • Pretending to be a Doctor or Nurse.
  • Helping others – volunteering.
  • Soothing friends who are feeling poor.
Education and Training Needed
  • High School diploma or GED
  • Post-Secondary Nondegree Phlebotomy Award
    • Typically 1 Year or less.
    • Certified by Accredited Organization such as the National Phlebotomy Association
Things to do in High School and College
  • Take studies seriously to graduate.
  • Any Health care related classes available.
  • Service or Volunteer organizations.
Typical Roadmap
Phlebotomist Gladeo Roadmap
How to land your 1st job
  • Due to the high demand for the position, you will likely be able to find a job quickly after earning your certification. Your program will offer opportunities for networking and meeting shareholders who will hire you.
  • It is important to consider those in your program as peers who can help you later on. Always stay in positive contact with previous teachers and classmates.
How to Climb the Ladder
  • You will likely need additional training to move up from Phlebotomist. However, your certification will give you a good starting point and income if you choose to do so. Many phlebotomists study to become Licensed Practicing Nurses or Registered Nurses. Depending on your performance and employer, you may have financial support for additional school.
  • You will need to move up to an Associate’s Degree to move into most other related fields, or to climb the ladder in your organization.
Recommended Resources

Certifying Organizations:

  • National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
  • National Health Career Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT).
Plan B

You will need additional training or school, but you will likely be able to pivot into:

  • Medical Lab Technician
  • Medical Assistant
  • Intravenous Technician
  • Patient Care Technician
Words of Advice

Being a phlebotomist is a rewarding entry position for those interested in the health field. It is relatively easy to get started and can provide you with resources to improve your education and find higher paying jobs. If you are interested in nursing or a similar career, it can provide an excellent base knowledge to help you.


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