If you don’t mind the sight or presence of blood, work as a Phlebotomy technician may be just the thing for someone wanting to explore a career in healthcare, or who just wants a recession-proof profession. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics is projecting excellent job growth potential in coming years and that translates to stability in a long-shaky economy.
Phlebotomists are laboratory technicians that perform a number of essential tasks including drawing blood, recording patient information, verifying identity and properly labeling vials. Work environments may run a range of possibilities like hospitals, doctor’s offices, blood banks and research facilities.
Because many important diagnostic tests require blood in order to be conducted, the field of phlebotomy is expected to see significant growth (14 percent) through 2018 based on 2008’s data as a comparison, according to the labor bureau, which places phlebotomy technicians in the same category as laboratory technicians who earn an average salary of more than $38,000 per year. Dentist’s offices – with an average annual salary of more than $53,000 – topped the bureau’s list of top paying employers in 2010.
Those are really impressive salary figures, especially considering the field requires only a certificate from an accredited two-year Associate’s degree program as a minimum requirement. These can be obtained at hospitals and vocational schools along with some community colleges. Each state has individual requirements for licensure and/or registration. As of 2011, the National Phlebotomy Association had certified more than 15,000 phlebotomists after successful completion of a standardized examination.
For many people, phlebotomy will provide a rewarding and long-term career, while for others it represents a starting point in the healthcare industry that may lead to other endeavors. Through training and hands-on work experience, phlebotomy technicians will be introduced to concepts of coagulation, clinical chemistry, hematology, body fluids and basic laboratory skills.
The Phlebotomy technician field offers great potential and a lucrative, stable work environment that makes available plentiful opportunities for advancement. Despite the regular work involving blood, Phlebotomy technicians won’t have to be involved in the grittier elements of medicine such as diagnosing and treating a yeast infection, working in an emergency room or in surgery. Phlebotomy appears in many respects to be a low-investment, high-yield career that shows no signs of slowing its ongoing ascent – at least in the course of the next decade. If you’ve ever wanted to get in at the ground floor of a profession and participate in its growth, this is it.