EMTs and phlebotomists are both considered medical technicians. Although both are medical technicians, their skills and training requirements are very different. For those interested in pursuing one of these professions, several factors to consider include training, credentialing and the salary for both occupations.
State Governing Agencies
Many medical and health-care occupations are governed by state health agencies. In most states, EMTs and phlebotomists are required to attend accredited training programs, submit an application and fee, pass a criminal background check and a credentialing exam to practice professionally.
An EMT, or emergency medical technician, responds to emergencies from calls to 911 centers in local jurisdictions. They assess medical situations, administer medical assistance and transport people to hospitals who require emergency medical care. Specific EMT requirements vary by state, but all states require a license to practice professionally. Obtaining a license involves accredited training, passing the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam and applying for a license. Training ranges from 100 to 1,000 hours of classroom and practical training, depending on the EMT level.
Phlebotomists are skilled in drawing blood. These professionals also check and monitor blood pressure during the blood drawing process. Like EMTs, state health agencies administer accredited training and exam requirements. Generally, accredited training is about 20 to 40 hours of classroom and practical training, depending on the state. To become certified or licensed, candidates must pass an exam from one or several credentialing agencies selected by the state, pay an application fee and pass a criminal background check.
The salary for both of these occupations vary based on geography. EMTs also earn higher wages based on what level of EMT they are. In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated an average salary of $16.36 per hour for EMTs and Paramedics. A 2010 survey by the American Society for Clinical Pathology estimated an average salary for phlebotomists of $13.50 per hour. Employment opportunities are expected to increase for both occupations due to an aging population which will require the services of both of these professionals, according to the Bureau.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Occupational Employment and Wages
- American Society for Clinical Pathology: 2010 Wage Survey
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