How to Become a Phlebotomist in North Carolina

As the laboratory professionals with the most patient contact, phlebotomists are on the front line of diagnostic testing. Although a phlebotomist will spend much of the day performing venipunctures to collect blood samples, there is a lot more to the job than drawing blood. A phlebotomist will also need to instruct patients on how to collect urine, stool and sputum samples and receive and label specimens collected by patients. The phlebotomist is also responsible for ensuring specimen integrity is maintained and will need to be knowledgeable about the proper collection procedures for various types of tests.

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It will be essential for a phlebotomist to have compassionate communication skills. Patients who present for blood tests are often anxious about their medical problems, the test results and the blood draw itself. It is not uncommon for patients to lose consciousness during a blood draw procedure, and a phlebotomist will need to know how to respond appropriately and when to call for help. Excellent hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity are other essential skills, as drawing blood can be challenging, especially on patients who are severely ill.

Working as a phlebotomist can mean long hours of physical exertion. Those who work in a hospital will need to carry or push a cart of supplies from ward to ward, as they collect blood samples, often veering off-course for stat blood work. It is very common for phlebotomists to work early morning shifts, off-hours and weekends.

North Carolina Licensure for Phlebotomists

North Carolina does not have a licensing board for phlebotomists, but laboratories and collection centers will have to meet strict guidelines. This includes supervision by a licensed physician. In the case of a fully qualified laboratory, a board-certified pathologist will generally provide oversight.

North Carolina Training Programs

Phlebotomists can acquire training either on the job or through a certified training program. In either option, a high school diploma is a prerequisite to beginning training. Possibilities for training in North Carolina include:

  • Guilford Technical Community College offers a phlebotomy training program. Students will learn the proper techniques for various collection methods, how to correctly identify a patient, and how to accession and label a specimen.
  • Gaston College offers a Phlebotomy Certificate. Graduates will be prepared to work in doctor’s offices, hospitals and collection centers.
  • Wake Technical Community College offers a Phlebotomy Certificate. The 16-week program will provide intense training in phlebotomy theory and practice.
  • Nash Community College offers a Phlebotomy Certificate. Course work includes specimen collection and handling as well as communication skills.

Phlebotomy Certification

As the leading accreditation agency for laboratory professionals, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is where many phlebotomists seek certification. Acquiring certification, while not necessary, is worth considering for those who want to increase their employability. Receiving certification through the ASCP will require the ability to take and pass an examination.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The employment outlook for phlebotomists in North Carolina remains positive, with significant growth expected in the field. The updated data indicates that the average annual salary for phlebotomists in North Carolina is $37,070, which is slightly below the national average of $38,530. However, the top 10% of earners in North Carolina make $46,080 or more, showcasing the potential for higher earnings in the field.

Comparison of National and North Carolina Salaries for Phlebotomists

United States North Carolina
Average Salary $38,530 $37,070
10% Earn $30,250 or less $30,490 or less
90% Earn $51,610 or more $46,080 or more

Salaries and Percentiles by Region in North Carolina

Region 10% 25% Median (50%) 75% 90%
Asheville, NC $30,180 $31,620 $36,590 $38,290 $44,100

Phlebotomists Employment Trends in North Carolina

The employment outlook for phlebotomists in North Carolina is very promising. In the year 2020, there were 5,980 individuals employed in this occupation. By the year 2030, the number of employed phlebotomists is projected to rise to 7,520, marking a significant growth rate of 26%. This growth is indicative of the increasing demand for healthcare services in the state. Additionally, there are projected to be 940 annual job openings for phlebotomists in North Carolina from 2020 to 2030, which includes new job opportunities and openings due to turnover. This data suggests that the field of phlebotomy will offer numerous employment opportunities in the coming years.

For comparison, the national employment trends indicate that in 2022, there were 139,400 phlebotomists employed across the United States. By 2032, this number is expected to reach 150,200, reflecting an 8% growth rate, which is considered faster than average. The projected annual job openings nationwide are estimated to be 19,500 from 2022 to 2032.

Comparison of National and North Carolina Employment Data Trends

Location Employment (Year) Projected Employment (Year) Projected Growth Projected Annual Job Openings (Year Range)
North Carolina 5,980 (2020) 7,520 (2030) 26% 940 (2020-2030)
United States 139,400 (2022) 150,200 (2032) 8% (Faster than average) 19,500 (2022-2032)

Sources of Data:

  • North Carolina Data Source: The employment projections for North Carolina are sourced from Projections Central’s 2020-2030 long-term projections.
  • United States Data Source: The national data for the United States is sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022-2032 employment projections.

What’s It Like to Work as a Phlebotomist in North Carolina?

According to the BLS, the Piedmont region of North Carolina is one of the top nonmetropolitan areas nationwide for jobs in the field. However, employment for phlebotomists is widespread, with the skill in demand wherever healthcare facilities exist.

In North Carolina, possible employers include LabCorp, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, UNC Healthcare and Novant Health.

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