Phlebotomy Tech Salary & Career Opportunities in NJ
You’re starting to look into a career in the exciting field of phlebotomy. We’re sure that you’d also like to discover a bit more about the salaries and job opportunities that come with completing a phlebotomy course. The answers might surprise you.
We’ve gathered data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – as well as reputable sources across the internet – to give you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about your prospective career.
If you’re currently living in New Jersey – or are thinking about moving to the Garden State area – keep reading to learn more about the requirements and benefits of becoming a phlebotomy technician.
What Exactly Is Phlebotomy?
Phlebotomy is the act of withdrawing small amounts of blood via a venipuncture (vein puncture), finger stick, or heel stick (for infants).
Blood analysis is a crucial function for hospitals and medical labs to make diagnoses. Tests have become far more fine-tuned and can help to determine conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. The on-duty phlebotomist is an incredibly important part of solving a patient’s health problems, as they are the first step in the process towards a diagnosis.
What Do Phlebotomy Techs Do?
If you’ve ever had bloodwork done at a hospital or volunteered to donate blood, you’ve probably interacted with a phlebotomy tech. The main job responsibility of this allied healthcare professional is to draw blood from their patients with steady, capable hands.
It’s common for many patients to experience extreme nervousness when they have their blood drawn. Therefore, phlebotomy techs need to approach each patient with calmness and professionalism for an easy and painless process. Should a patient feel light-headed or pass out, the tech has to react quickly to guarantee their safety.
The job doesn’t end after the blood is drawn. Phlebotomy techs must carefully label samples and ensure that it’s sent to the correct location to be tested, donated, or transfused. It’s vital that a phlebotomist’s working area is kept sterile and well-organized.
Where Do Phlebotomists Work?
As a phlebotomist, you can find job opportunities in hospitals, outpatient facilities, clinics, laboratories, and blood donor centers. It’s possible that you’ll be asked to perform tasks in an operating room if a patient suffers from rolling veins, and you may be asked to move around your local area to participate in blood drives.
If there’s a health emergency, your allied healthcare training will help you keep a cool head in chaotic situations. Though there may occasionally be hectic working days, this career can be super rewarding – both personally and monetarily.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Prospects in New Jersey
What Salary Can I Expect?
New Jersey technicians living in the NY-NJ metropolitan area earn close to $41,000 per year (which comes in just under $20.00 per hour).
To put that in perspective, New Jersey’s per capita income for all workers came in at $37,538 based on recent data. That’s a nearly $3,000 difference, which certainly isn’t anything to sneeze at.
Phlebotomy Job Opportunities in New Jersey
There are about 4,500 phlebotomy jobs available in the Garden State, and a whopping 4,300 of them exist in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. This is actually the highest concentration of phlebotomy positions in the entire country.
Seeing as how rental costs are astronomical in New York City, allied healthcare professionals who prefer to stay in more affordable areas (like Jersey City or Hoboken) can simply hop on a train, bus, or ferry and be in Lower Manhattan within 30 minutes.
Where Are the Highest-Paying Phlebotomy Tech Salaries?
As of 2017, the average income for American phlebotomists was $33,670, though the top 10% commanded about $48,000 per year. Not too shabby, considering that the average salary for all American occupations rounded out at $44,500.
Unsurprisingly – like so many other allied healthcare professions – the West Coast is the leader in paying the highest phlebotomy wages. California pays well over $43,000, as does Alaska. Back on the East Coast, annual salaries in the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, and Connecticut all hover around $40,000.
The National Demand for Phlebotomists
Prospective phlebotomists will be pleased to hear that the healthcare industry is the largest employer in the United States. As of 2017, there were over 120,000 phlebotomy positions across the country. As if that’s not impressive enough, employment growth for this field is projected to increase about 25% between 2016-2026 (and there are no signs of slowing down).
Additionally, the rapidly aging Baby Boomer population requires more trained allied healthcare employees than ever. This new generation of senior citizens is far more willing to visit a doctor and undergo procedures, which are increasingly detectable by routine blood tests.
Room for Advancement in Phlebotomy
If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously searching for a career, not “just a job”. With the right certification and training, you can get your foot in the door and find exciting positions like phlebotomy specialist, medical lab technician (MLT), and donor phlebotomy specialist.
Many phlebotomists are exposed to a variety of environments (e.g. hospitals, clinics, traveling labs), and discover more about healthcare careers which better suit their personalities or skill sets. It’s common for someone who starts with their phlebotomy certification to go back to school and receive training as an EKG phlebotomy tech, registered nurse (RN), and more.
This is incredibly beneficial, as they can be sure about finding something that suits their abilities and needs.
How to Become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician
Many American workers require long, expensive schooling to receive higher-than-average salaries. Studying with a phlebotomy program, on the other hand, ensures that you can start in an entry-level position without loads of student debt hanging over your head. In fact, most phlebotomy programs cost less than $2,500.
How Long Is Phlebotomy Training?
Studying with a phlebotomy tech training program means that you can start working after a 1-3 month program (rather than studying medicine for years). In dedicated phlebotomy technician certification programs, techs learn how to successfully locate vein sites, draw blood, and properly prepare samples for lab testing.
Students also participate in internships. In these clinical settings, they’ll be guided by mentors to draw blood, keep patients calm, work alongside other allied healthcare professionals, and any other ‘secrets’ of the trade.
Phlebotomist Certification and Licensing in Other States
When they’ve completed their program, a graduate is eligible to seek employment as a tech. For stronger credentials, they can take their Phlebotomy Technician Certification exam, offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the National Phlebotomy Technician Certification Exam from the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).
Though most states don’t require certification, proper phlebotomy training and certification gives you an advantage over the competition. You’ll also likely receive more lucrative job offers by showing employers that you’re serious about your future career.
If you’re looking to move to one of the following states, however, you’ll absolutely need your state certification first: Washington, California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Louisiana.
Ready to Start Your MRI Technologist Career?
The American Red Cross states that nearly 40,000 units of blood are required to save lives each day, and all of these start with the work of a phlebotomist. To learn more about how to become a phlebotomist in New Jersey, speak to an AIMS Education consultant today.