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Career profile Phlebotomist

Also known as Lab Liaison Technician, Mobile Examiner, Patient Service Technician (PST), Phlebotomist, Phlebotomy Technician, Registered Phlebotomist


Also known as Lab Liaison Technician, Mobile Examiner, Patient Service Technician (PST)

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$26,690 - $50,740 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administrative
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Dispose of contaminated sharps, in accordance with applicable laws, standards, and policies.
  • Organize or clean blood-drawing trays, ensuring that all instruments are sterile and all needles, syringes, or related items are of first-time use.
  • Match laboratory requisition forms to specimen tubes.
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What does a Phlebotomist do?

Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, donations, or research.

In addition, Phlebotomists may explain the procedure to patients and assist in the recovery of patients with adverse reactions.

What kind of tasks does a Phlebotomist perform regularly?

Phlebotomists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Dispose of contaminated sharps, in accordance with applicable laws, standards, and policies.
  • Organize or clean blood-drawing trays, ensuring that all instruments are sterile and all needles, syringes, or related items are of first-time use.
  • Match laboratory requisition forms to specimen tubes.
  • Draw blood from veins by vacuum tube, syringe, or butterfly venipuncture methods.
  • Dispose of blood or other biohazard fluids or tissue, in accordance with applicable laws, standards, or policies.
  • Conduct standards tests, such as blood alcohol, blood culture, oral glucose tolerance, glucose screening, blood smears, or peak and trough drug levels tests.
  • Collect specimens at specific time intervals for tests, such as those assessing therapeutic drug levels.
  • Process blood or other fluid samples for further analysis by other medical professionals.
  • Provide sample analysis results to physicians to assist diagnosis.
  • Enter patient, specimen, insurance, or billing information into computer.
  • Document route of specimens from collection to laboratory analysis and diagnosis.
  • Conduct hemoglobin tests to ensure donor iron levels are normal.
  • Draw blood from capillaries by dermal puncture, such as heel or finger stick methods.
  • Transport specimens or fluid samples from collection sites to laboratories.
  • Collect fluid or tissue samples, using appropriate collection procedures.
  • Train other medical personnel in phlebotomy or laboratory techniques.
  • Explain fluid or tissue collection procedures to patients.

The above responsibilities are specific to Phlebotomists. More generally, Phlebotomists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

What is a Phlebotomist salary?

The median salary for a Phlebotomist is $36,320, and the average salary is $37,280. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Phlebotomist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Phlebotomists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Phlebotomists earn less than $26,690 per year, 25% earn less than $30,610, 75% earn less than $42,130, and 90% earn less than $50,740.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Phlebotomists is expected to change by 22.2%, and there should be roughly 19,500 open positions for Phlebotomists every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$26,690 - $50,740
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Phlebotomists?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Phlebotomist are usually higher in their Conventional, Realistic, and Investigative interests.

Phlebotomists typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Phlebotomists typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Phlebotomists typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Phlebotomists typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Phlebotomist tend to value Support, Achievement, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Phlebotomists moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Phlebotomists moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Phlebotomists moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Phlebotomists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, concern for others, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Phlebotomists, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Phlebotomists need?

Phlebotomists often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Phlebotomists usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Phlebotomists

  • 2.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 24.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 42.8% completed some college coursework
  • 18.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 10.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Phlebotomists

Phlebotomists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, administrative, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Phlebotomists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Phlebotomists

Phlebotomists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Phlebotomists need abilities such as near vision, arm-hand steadiness, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Phlebotomists, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Phlebotomists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Phlebotomists frequently use skills like service orientation, social perceptiveness, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Phlebotomists, ranked by their relative importance.

Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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