Labor statistics show phlebotomists may earn slightly above-average wages at hospitals when compared with wages earned at other medical facilities. However, phlebotomists who seek jobs at specialty hospitals may earn substantially higher wages than they could earn at other hospitals, medical laboratories and physicians' offices.
Phlebotomists work at several types of medical facilities, but many work at hospitals, where they obtain patients' blood samples and test those samples under the direction of medical staff. Phlebotomists also handle the storage and transportation of blood samples to other medical facilities when needed. The average pay for phlebotomists is included in salary data on medical laboratory technicians from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The data show that the mean annual wage for laboratory technicians in 2010 was $38,190. The average annual pay for technicians who worked at hospitals that year was just a few hundred dollars higher at $38,920.
Hospitals, medical laboratories and physicians' offices are among the largest employers of phlebotomists and other laboratory technicians. However, technicians generally earn slightly higher salaries at hospitals. BLS data show technicians who worked at medical laboratories earned a mean annual wage of $36,240 in 2010. Technicians earned an average salary of $37,570 at physicians' offices that year.
Phlebotomists who work at psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals may be able to earn several thousand dollars more than those working at general medical and surgical hospitals. Laboratory technicians earned a mean annual salary of $43,990 at psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals in 2010, based on BLS data. The average hourly wage at those hospitals was higher as well that year at $21.15. The mean hourly wage at general hospitals in 2010 was $18.71.
As many as 25,000 additional jobs may be available to phlebotomists and other laboratory technicians through 2018. The BLS predicts a 16 percent increase in employment for technicians through that year. The bureau expects the development of new types of medical tests to contribute to the increase in future job opportunities for technicians. However, the medical community's efforts to simplify clinical testing may make it easier for non-laboratory hospital staff to perform their own medical tests. Such developments could hinder future job opportunities and reduce salaries for phlebotomists and other laboratory technicians.