How to Become a Phlebotomist in Montana

Working as a phlebotomist requires a great deal of skill and knowledge. Phlebotomists work in hospitals, doctor’s offices and collection centers, performing venipuncture for diagnostic testing as well as receiving other specimens such as urine, stool and sputum. As the gatekeeper of the laboratory, the phlebotomist will need to ensure all specimens collected adhere to specific guidelines and are properly labeled, processed and stored for testing.

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Phlebotomists deal with the public almost all of the time and will need to be compassionate communicators with good de-escalation skills. Many patients who present to the laboratory for a blood draw or specimen collection are living through a stressful period in the their lives or will be anxious about the procedure. It will be up to the phlebotomist to help keep patients calm and relaxed while the process is carried out.

Phlebotomists need to be very knowledgeable about the testing the laboratory performs, as they will be responsible for ensuring that specimen integrity is met at all times. It will be important to know how to perform special collections as well understand which types of testing require fasting or timed draws. Phlebotomists are also often responsible for performing certain types of diagnostic tests such as EKGs, bleeding times and blood pressures.

Montana Licensing for Phlebotomists

There is no statewide oversight board for phlebotomists in Montana and licensure is not a requirement for practice. Phlebotomists will face significant supervision in the work place, however, as laboratories and medical practices are stringently regulated. In general, a phlebotomist will be under a structure of superiors with a licensed physician at the top.

Training for Montana Phlebotomists

It is possible to receive on-the-job training for the profession, but most phlebotomists today acquire training by taking a course in phlebotomy. A few of the possible options in Montana include:

  • Bitterroot College in Hamilton offers a Certified Phlebotomy Technician course. Classroom and laboratory training is provided along with an optional externship.
  • The Lifelong Learning Center (a division of Missoula County Public Schools), with various locations around Missoula, offers a phlebotomy training program. The course provides hands-on learning through mannequin draws and clinical collection.
  • Montana State University in Bozeman offers a Phlebotomy Technician course.
  • Miles Community College in Miles City offers a Phlebotomy Certificate.

Acquiring Certification

Although not required to practice in the field, accreditation is an important way to highlight your skills and expertise as a phlebotomist. In today’s competitive job market, more and more employers are requiring job candidates to become certified prior to employment. There are many organizations through which phlebotomists seek accreditation. It will be important to research preferences by employers in the area in which you intend to work.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

In Montana, phlebotomists earn an average annual salary of $35,260, which is somewhat below the national average of $38,530. The lowest 10% of earners in Montana make around $30,240, while the highest 10% can earn up to $45,800 annually. This indicates that entry-level phlebotomists in Montana may start near the lower end of the wage scale, but there is potential for increased earnings with experience and advancement in the field.

The career outlook for phlebotomy in Montana is positive, with a significant projected growth rate that suggests expanding opportunities in the healthcare sector.

National vs. Montana Annual Wages for Phlebotomists

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
United States $30,250 $38,530 $51,610
Montana $30,240 $35,260 $45,800

Regional Annual Wages for Phlebotomists in Montana

Region Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
Billings, MT $32,160 $35,250 $46,240
Great Falls, MT $28,400 $35,090 $43,100
Missoula, MT $29,210 $35,260 $44,870

Phlebotomists Employment Trends in Montana

In Montana, the employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow by 19% from 2020 to 2030, which is more than double the national average growth rate of 8% for this occupation from 2022 to 2032. The state had 310 phlebotomists employed in 2020, and this number is expected to rise to 370 by 2030. Montana is anticipated to have 50 job openings annually for phlebotomists over this decade, which includes new jobs due to growth and replacements. In comparison, the United States is projected to have 19,500 job openings annually from 2022 to 2032.

Employment Trends for Phlebotomists

Location Employment (2020/2022) Projected Employment (2030/2032) Projected Growth Projected Annual Job Openings (2020-2030/2022-2032)
Montana 310 employees 370 employees 19% 50
United States 139,400 employees 150,200 employees 8% (Faster than average) 19,500

Source of Data:

  • Montana: Projections Central’s 2020-2030 long-term projections, which offer detailed employment projections for the state of Montana.
  • United States: The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2022-2032 employment projections, which provide national data on occupational employment trends and projections.

Phlebotomy Opportunities in Montana

Phlebotomists often work early morning hours, night shifts, weekends and holidays. A great deal of physical stamina will be required in most workplaces, as the phlebotomist is often facing a long list of waiting patients. For those who work in an inpatient setting, there will often be stat blood draws and emergencies to respond to, along with the daily workload. In Montana, potential workplaces include Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, Quest Diagnostics, Northern Montana Hospital and Biolife Plasma Services.

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