The Pros and Cons of a Career in Phlebotomy

When thinking about any type of career, people often wonder whether or not they are making the right choice. This decision is ultimately up to the individual, and it’s a very personal decision. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a career, and you have to decide whether a career is good for you or not. There are some basic things that may be good to consider, but in the end, the decision has to be yours and yours alone; no one can or should try to force you into choosing one type of career over another…you need to be happy with what you choose, and it has to be the right career for you. There is no one specific thing that makes one career “good” versus another. What’s a good career to one person may be something totally different for another person. That said, let’s take a look at some things that people may consider to be pros or cons about phlebotomy.

One of the biggest things that people consider when choosing a career is pay. Although this isn’t the only factor when it comes to choosing a career, people tend to focus on this aspect. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012 the median pay across the US was $29,730 per year assuming a person worked 2080 hours per year, at a rate of $14.29 per hour. Wages are a relatively subjective issue, so to some people this may be a good wage, and to others this may not be nearly enough. So this could be looked at as a pro or a con depending upon your perspective.

Growth is also a factor that some people consider when looking at a career. The BLS categorized growth as “the percentage change in employment” which is generally extrapolated over a certain period of time. The most current BLS data at the time of writing looks at 2012 to 2022, a 10 year period, and examines the change in employment. For phlebotomy, they put this number at 27% compared to an average of 11% across all careers, so according to the BLS, phlebotomy field is expected to grow “much faster than average.” This metric is very important to some people, and with the positive career outlook that phlebotomy has to offer, this could be considered a pro in terms of choosing phlebotomy as a career. One thing to obviously keep in mind is that just because a career has good growth potential doesn’t mean that a job is ever guaranteed or certain.

The length of time it takes to complete a program may be another consideration when it comes to the pros and cons of a career. Take for example being a physician, which generally takes 4 years of college, and another 4 years of medical school, plus a few more years of residency. Phlebotomy programs may generally take less than a year to complete, and although phlebotomists typically earn a lower wage than RNs, the difference in length of time in school is something that may be important to some people.

In terms of the other cons of being a phlebotomist not yet mentioned, some people may find the nature of the work to be repetitive as the duties and work of phlebotomists are fairly limited, and it’s possible that to some people these relatively few duties could become somewhat monotonous over time. Another thing that some people might view as a con is the working hours of a phlebotomist. People who value or need to have the weekends off may find that with phlebotomy they may be required to work on the weekend, particularly if they work in a hospital or a place that needs to be open on the weekend. People may also find that because patients can often be afraid of needles that dealing with difficult patients may be a common occurrence, and dealing with these types of patients may not be something that everyone wants to deal with.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what type of career is best for you, and whether phlebotomy is a right for you is a very personal decision. Whatever you choose, take the time to think carefully and critically about a number of factors in order to help yourself make a sound career decision that you’ll be happy with.