Of all the medical professionals, phlebotomists may have the most obscure name. For those of us not so familiar with our greek roots, a phlebotomist is one who draws blood and marks samples for transporting. They can also handle other medical samples such as urine. Their salary is comparable to those of other medical technicians, and close to the national average, It varies moderately with the experience of the professional, their chosen location, and the facility in which they work. On the whole, according to payscale.com, annual salaries range from approximately $21,000 to $38,000.
Phlebotomist Salary by Experience
The pay for a phlebotomist is roughly constant over the course of their career. Although it increases by 12% for those in their late career, the mid career salary increase is only 5%. The most experienced phlebotomists enjoy a salary 22% greater than that of their average peers. Entry level workers, on the other hand, earn on average 9% less than the nationwide standard. This is due to the fact that most phlebotomists have less than 20 years experience, and as such the gap between the highest and lowest earners is comparatively small.
At $18.16 per hour, California pays its phlebotomists better than nearly anywhere else in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and has the highest level of employment, with .76 in this occupation per 1000 jobs. Other states with high wages are Alaska, Washington, DC, and New York, all with an average wage of over $18 per hour. Although California does have a high cost of living, the high pay is not limited to the urban centers: the highest paying city in the country is Redding, with a mean hourly wage of $22.36. Indeed, of the top ten paying cities across the country, nine are in California, with the addition of the Bethesda, MD area suburbs of Washington, DC. Other areas in the top five are, in descending order, metropolitan Oakland, Vallejo-Fairfield, Santa Barbara, and San Jose. Another larger reason with salaries higher than the national average is Southwestern Washington State, with a mean hourly wage of $17.79.
Phlebotomist Salary by Employer
A strong plurality of phlebotomists are employed by hospitals and medical laboratories, together accounting for nearly 50% of all phlebotomists across the country. In medical and diagnostic laboratories, this accounts for over 12% of the total employment. In hospitals, however, this is a much smaller piece of the pie, less than 1%, paling in comparison to all the other hospital employees. Nevertheless, with about 41,000 workers across the country, hospitals actually employ about 10,000 more total workers than laboratories. The salaries do not vary greatly between these locations. However, on average, phlebotomists in medical and diagnostic laboratories can expect to earn $15.70 per hour, compared to $14.99 in hospitals. Another noteworthy employer of phlebotomists are physician offices, accounting for another 10,000 members of the profession nationwide. These workers earn slightly more than those in hospitals, at an average of $15.13 per hour. Ambulatory services account for another 20,000, with similar wages. Regardless, for the vast majority of workers, the effect of industry pales in comparison to the effects of geography and experience level.
A phlebotomist in America can expect to earn a steady income of about $30,000 annually. With 20 years of experience and a job in a medical laboratory in a high paying geographic region such as northern California, they can expect to see this number increase by about $10,000 per year.