Is There a Shortage of Phlebotomists in America?

If you’ve ever visited a busy hospital or clinic, you’ probably never thought that there could be a shortage of healthcare workers. But, there is a huge demand for qualified phlebotomists!

Perhaps you’ve been looking for a job and haven’t been able to find anything? Many people don’t consider a job in the medical field because they think it takes years of schooling. That’s not always true for phlebotomy. Of course, you can take an extended course in phlebotomy, if you prefer.

It’s easier than ever to become a phlebotomist. You can do so in less than a year! It’s one of the best entry-level jobs, and it’s a skill that’s very much in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for phlebotomists is set to increase by 25% by 2026.

So, what can you do? Even if you’ve never thought about a medical career before, you could be the perfect fit for a phlebotomy career. It’s one area of the job market that is continually looking for qualified personnel. With just months of training, you could be on the pathway to a more rewarding future.

Are Phlebotomists in High Demand?

This guide will look at why phlebotomists are needed now more than ever. It’s not just a coincidence! We’ll also talk about what you can expect from training. Knowing what to expect before you sign up can offer peace of mind and make the process easier for you.

We’ll then let you know where you can find work as a trainee phlebotomist. It can be easy to find a phlebotomy job if you’re looking in the right places and you have a great resume.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never considered phlebotomy as a career until now. It can be exciting work with good pay, and the best part is that you get to help so many people on a daily basis.

Why Is There Such a Need for Phlebotomists?

There are two primary reasons why there is a shortage:

  1. Aging population. The baby boomer generation is getting older. As a result, they need more blood tests to diagnose conditions. Older people also need blood tests during routine checkups to make sure things like blood sugar levels are optimal.
  2. Advancements in technology. Nowadays, more conditions and illnesses can be diagnosed with blood tests than ever before. They can discover conditions like anemia and even cancer. They can also show if you have normal levels of white blood cells and red blood cells. An imbalance can signal a condition or disease.

These two factors have had a significant impact on how many phlebotomists are needed throughout America.

Phlebotomy is a unique job that requires a specific type of training. You might think that any medical professional would be equipped to draw blood, but that isn’t the case. So, major medical facilities and small clinics alike are hiring phlebotomists constantly.

Should I Become a Phlebotomist?

Now that you know that there’s a significant need for phlebotomists, it can be easy to get excited about finding a job quickly. But, it’s important to understand that phlebotomy isn’t for everyone. Before you start a training program, you should make sure you would both enjoy and excel at a career as a phlebotomy technician.

  • You need to be at least 18 years of age to be a phlebotomist. You also need either a high school diploma or GED. Other than that, no previous education or experience is required.
  • If you’re squeamish about blood, this probably isn’t the job for you. You may also be around and see other medical conditions on a regular basis if you work in a hospital or clinic. You have to be prepared for everything, so phlebotomy isn’t for someone who can’t handle unpleasant medical conditions.
  • Phlebotomists also work with a lot of different people. That includes staff members and patients. You should be a team-player and have a strong ability to work well in a group and with others. A good bedside manner is vital. You’ll see everyone from children to the elderly. Some patients may be rude or demanding. Staying calm and being kind are two necessary traits.
  • Phlebotomy technicians also need to be highly organized people. Every time you take a blood sample, it needs to be stored appropriately and labeled before it’s taken to the lab.

If you feel you have the skills for a career in phlebotomy, the next step is to start a training program.

Where Can I Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?

Because of the shortage of phlebotomists in the country, there are more training opportunities than ever. With a quick search, you can probably find a training program near you. If you can’t, don’t let that deter you! There are other routes you can take, such as online training.

Phlebotomy schools are all over the place. Sometimes they are offered as standalone programs. Other times, community colleges or universities might offer courses in phlebotomy.

Some hospitals even offer their own training programs because they plan to hire some of the trainees after it’s complete.

Where you get your phlebotomy schooling is up to you. Many different factors can come into play that might affect your decision.

Here are things to consider when deciding on a program:

  • Think about the location. It’s a good idea to choose a program that is convenient for traveling.
  • Consider your current schedule. Many phlebotomy programs offer evening classes for people with other jobs, etc.
  • Do you want to attend a college, or take a specific program? You can get an Associate’s degree along with your program, but it will take longer to complete it.
  • Consider the cost. Phlebotomy training programs typically start at around $700. Some can cost over $3000.
  • Find out how long training will take. Even if you decide to become certified, a phlebotomy training program shouldn’t typically take more than a year.

What Can I Expect from Phlebotomy Training?

Once you’ve decided where you want to train, you should know what to expect. Knowing what you’re getting into before you take a course can also help you to decide if you’re ready to be a phlebotomist.

Phlebotomy training is typically split into two parts. You’ll spend the first part of your training in a classroom setting. Again, even hospitals offer this type of training because there is such a growing need for phlebotomy technicians. No matter where you go to complete your phlebotomy course, you’ll learn the same basic things.

In the classroom section of the program, the following subjects are covered:

  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy
  • Systems of the body
  • Lab safety rules
  • Venipuncture techniques

Every program may do things slightly differently. But, the subjects above are commonly covered in detail.

The second part of training involves a more hands-on approach. You’ll need to perform a certain number of successful blood draws before being able to pass the course. Each program will set its own number. But, it’s usually over 100. The more venipunctures you perform, the better you’ll become.

That’s why it’s so important to do as many as possible. Once you get into a work setting, you won’t have the supervision of an instructor to guide you. Doing it on your own should feel comfortable and familiar by the time you’re done with training.

Can Certification Help Me Get Hired as a Phlebotomist?

Once you’ve completed your training, you can choose to become certified. Not all phlebotomists are required to be certified. It depends on the state where you live and work. But, this doesn’t mean that more states won’t start demanding it.

Even if you don’t need certification where you live, it’s not a bad idea to get it anyway. Getting hired as a phlebotomist might be easy because of the need. But, you’re even more likely to get hired above your competition if you have certification. You also may be able to start out at a higher salary.

Certification doesn’t take much longer than standard training. You’ll take a course for a few extra weeks, and then you’ll have to pass a certification exam. It’s a small price to pay to land a better job. Plus, it may be easier for you to get promoted faster once you do get a phlebotomy job.

Where to Find Work

The opportunities for phlebotomists are practically endless.

It’s not just busy hospitals that need qualified phlebotomy technicians on their staff. While hospitals may be one of the main hiring sources, there are other places you can look for a job, too.

Emergency clinics and private practices often need phlebotomists on staff. Even local blood banks keep phlebotomy technicians on staff to fill the need for consistent blood draws.

The best thing you can do to find a job is to look locally. There’s a good chance a hospital or medical facility near you are looking for more phlebotomists. Even if you end up starting out part-time, your career can grow and advance with experience. Keep in mind that phlebotomy is an entry-level position. The more you work, the more responsibilities you may be tasked with in the future.

Why Can’t I Find a Phlebotomy Job?

With such a shortage of phlebotomists, some people are surprised after they go through training that it’s not always as easy to find a job as they thought it would be. This isn’t because the jobs aren’t available. Usually, it has to do with a lack of experience.

Just because phlebotomy is an entry-level job doesn’t mean it’s not an important one. Medical facilities take it seriously and want to make sure they hire people who have experience and a lot of knowledge about what they’re doing.

Are phlebotomists in demand?

An accident during a blood draw could lead to disaster. It could put the patient in danger, as well as yourself and the facility. So, some places may be hesitant to hire someone immediately after their training without experience.

In some cases, you might get hired to train further on the job. Or, you could get a job as a phlebotomy intern. But, to find a job faster, you’ll need to build up your resume. We’ll talk a bit more about one of the best ways to do that in the next section.

Is There a Shortage of Phlebotomy Volunteers?

Not only is there a shortage of phlebotomists to fill all the jobs available, but there’s also a shortage of phlebotomy volunteers. If you’ve completed your coursework, you should look into volunteering. There is a huge need for volunteers at a variety of places. You can end up helping a lot of people who really need it.

Volunteering is one of the best ways to boost your resume. Each time you volunteer your services, you’re gaining more experience. Putting that on a resume is a great idea, and medical facilities may be more likely to hire you.

If you’re having trouble finding work right away or you want to use your skills to serve the community, consider volunteering.

The following places are always looking for trained phlebotomists to help out:

Volunteering at any of these places will not only improve your skills as a phlebotomist. It will also help you to become more comfortable with different types of patients.

As you might expect, places like nursing homes and veterans’ hospitals usually have older patients. This can better prepare you to communicate with elderly patients in a hospital and make sure they are comfortable.

Volunteering is a great way to boost your resume and keep learning at the same time.

Working as a Mobile Phlebotomist

This is great for someone who wants flexibility. But, it can also be easy to fill needs whenever and wherever they come up. Mobile phlebotomists do mostly ‘freelance’ work. They get hired out by organizations and medical facilities on an as-needed basis.

Some of the volunteer opportunities listed above will occasionally even hire phlebotomists for pay if the need is great enough. As a mobile phlebotomist, you can be one of the first people they call when they’re in need.

The one drawback to choosing a career this way is that it’s up to you to build up a client base. How much money you make and how much you work will depend on how often you get hired.

But, if you’re able to gain several solid clients and don’t mind doing a bit of traveling, it’s an excellent opportunity. It allows you to be your own boss and go where the demand is the greatest.

Since there is such a lack of phlebotomists to fill the growing need within this country, you can target that need locally if you choose this option of employment.

What Do Phlebotomists Earn Per Annum?

If you need another reason to consider phlebotomy as a career, take a look at the salary. It’s not a surprise that many entry-level jobs in other industries don’t pay that well. You usually need to work your way up or continue training to get a decent salary. That isn’t the case with phlebotomy.

You can work your way up in phlebotomy and make more money. But, your starting salary for this entry-level job will probably be quite lucrative. On average, phlebotomists make almost $32,000 each year.

If you have certification, you can start even higher than that. Of course, it also depends on where you work. Working in a busy hospital may give you a higher salary than a small clinic.

Is there a need for Phlebotomists in America?

That breaks down to over $15.00 an hour, which is more than many entry-level positions in other industries offer. It’s important to know how much you might make per hour because there are usually options for phlebotomists to either work part-time or full-time. You can base the schedule on the salary you want to earn.

Most medical facilities are willing to work with a variety of schedules. This, again, has to do with the fact that they are in great need for phlebotomists. As long as they can keep a few qualified phlebotomy technicians on staff at all times, you may be able to enjoy a flexible schedule.

Getting Promoted to Other Medical Careers

Phlebotomy may be an entry position in the medical field, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Don’t turn away from it as a career because you’re worried there is no room for improvement, promotion, etc. In fact, because of the flexibility in phlebotomy, many people can continue their education and still work part-time or full-time.

Through experience and continued training, there are a variety of options that can become available to you. If you want to remain in the phlebotomy field, you could get promoted.

Experience alone is often enough to get someone promoted to a supervisory position. This will allow you to oversee other phlebotomists in a medical facility and make sure everything is running smoothly.

Once you start as a phlebotomy tech, you may realize that the medical industry is something you enjoy. Thankfully, phlebotomy is a great springboard position for other medical careers.

Even some nurses and physicians have started out as phlebotomists. It all depends on how far you want to take your career and how much you continue your education.

There are also other ‘higher’ positions within phlebotomy. You can choose a specialty, like therapeutic phlebotomy. Again, this takes more schooling.

But, all these promotions and career advancements come with better pay and benefits. So, while phlebotomy may be an entry-level career, it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Why Should I Become a Phlebotomist?

We hope this guide has given you a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a career in phlebotomy. We can’t stress enough how great the need for phlebotomists currently is in this country. And, it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With growth continuously projected for the next several years, this is a job market that can bring a lot of security and success for the right person.

It doesn’t necessarily matter if you’ve ever had an interest in medicine before. Being a phlebotomist is about helping people and doing something good. It also happens to be one of the best opportunities for career changers, not just healthcare.

Now that you know what to expect from training and a job, you can make a more informed decision. If you’re looking for a job and haven’t been able to find a good fit, it might be time to consider a long career in phlebotomy. The need is there, and with less than a year of training, you could be helping to resolve the shortage of phlebotomists in America.

Copyright 2018 PhlebotomyExaminer