Drawing blood is just one of the many responsibilities of a phlebotomist. She must also obtain other fluid and tissue samples, as well as maintain equipment and supplies, transport specimens to appropriate hospital departments and keep records of all patient visits. While phlebotomy is part of the medical industry, salaries aren’t as high as other medical professionals, with its practitioners making some of the lowest earnings on health-care staffs.
As of 2011, a laboratory technician earned an average of $38,960 a year, or $18.73 an hour, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because high salaries can skew the average, median wage is often a better indication of earnings. Half of all technicians earned less than $36,950 a year, or no more than $17.76 an hour. None of these figure, however, account for the technician's specialty. A cytotechnologist, for example, is paid a different hourly rate than a phlebotomist.
Phlebotomists tend to be among the lowest paid lab technicians. In 2010, a phlebotomist made a little over $28,000 a year, or $13.50 an hour, according to a survey by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. In a supervisory role, she can expect an income of almost $42,000 a year, or $20.08 an hour. Cytotechnologists, on the other hand, earned $61,235, or $29.44 an hour. Cytotechnology supervisors earn even more, averaging $71,261 a year, or $34.26 an hour.
In medicine, the practice setting can influence earnings — sometimes even more so than specialty. For example, phlebotomists working in reference labs earned almost $35,000 a year, or $16.74 an hour, as of 2010. All other settings, such as private clinics, doctor’s offices and hospitals, pay much less, averaging just under $28,000 a year, or $13.41 an hour, reports the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
As with almost any job, your credentials affect your salary, and a phlebotomist is no exception. With certification, you could expect to earn just over $29,000 a year, or 14.06 an hour, as of 2010. Without certification, your pays is just over $26,000 a year, or $12.66 per hour — a difference of $1.40 an hour. Supervisors earn $20.38 an hour with certification, while those without earn $19.02 an hour.
2016 Salary Information for Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $50,240 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians earned a 25th percentile salary of $41,520, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $62,090, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 335,600 people were employed in the U.S. as medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook – Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
- American Society for Clinical Pathology: 2010 Wage Survey of U.S. Clinical Laboratories
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
- Career Trend: Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
- Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images
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