How To Become a Phlebotomist in Puerto Rico

Before the advent of contemporary medicine, healers used many methods to diagnose and treat disease, including visual observations, taking a patient’s history and even smell. While many of these methods are still in use today, physicians also benefit from modern diagnostic techniques and procedures. Many of these techniques involve a patient’s blood, and that’s why phlebotomy—the practice of drawing blood and preparing blood specimens—is such an in-demand role in the healthcare industry. As a phlebotomist you’ll be taking blood from patients of all ages and all levels of health, while maintaining safety, hygiene and confidentiality.

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Requirements for Becoming a Phlebotomist in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s Department of Health does not certify phlebotomists, but most employers will require that applicants have undertaken classroom and practical training as part of a phlebotomy course. Phlebotomy courses require that applicants be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or general equivalency and pass a health check. Many courses prepare students to take a certifying exam with a US-based certification agency—this will confer an advantage when applying for work.

Training Courses and Educational Programs in Puerto Rico

Available in various locations in Puerto Rico, phlebotomy courses offer lectures and clinical experience, training students to perform various types of blood draws and to adhere to rigorous standards of cleanliness, safety and infection control. Here are a few examples:

  • San Juan College phlebotomy technician program rigorously prepares learners to draw blood and precisely prepare specimens for a variety of types of analysis by diagnosticians. They offer the option of sitting for a national certifying exam.
  • Training Center Technologies, also based in San Juan, offers two-day short courses in phlebotomy and intravenous medication administration. These evening classes are offered on a monthly basis and students can enroll via their website.
  • Ana G Mendez University offers 18-hour phlebotomy courses at its San Juan and Carolina campuses. These are offered multiple times a year, and prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the university via its website to express interest.

Certification to Become a Phlebotomist in Puerto Rico

While Puerto Rico does not license phlebotomists, employers will be looking for applicants who can demonstrate their successful completion of a training course and who have passed an exam administered by a US-based accrediting body. Some of the popular organizations include the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, the National Healthcareer Association, the National Center for Competency Testing and the National Phlebotomy Association.

Certification allows phlebotomists to carry the initials CPT, for certified phlebotomy technician, after their names. CPTs are also encouraged to undertake continuing education every two years.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

In Puerto Rico, phlebotomists have a strong job outlook with an impressive projected growth rate. However, wages are affected by the local economic conditions. As of the latest data, an entry-level phlebotomist in Puerto Rico earns an average of $21,720 annually. This is below the national average annual salary of $38,530 for phlebotomists. In Puerto Rico, the lower 10% of earners make $17,820 or less, while the top 10% can earn $25,120 or more. Experienced phlebotomists in the territory can expect to earn higher wages, with median earnings reflecting the economic landscape.

National vs. Puerto Rico Phlebotomist Salaries

United States Puerto Rico
Average Salary $38,530 $21,720
Low (10%) $30,250 $17,820
High (90%) $51,610 $25,120

Puerto Rico Phlebotomist Salaries by Region

Region Low (10%) Median (50%) High (90%)
Aguadilla-Isabela $18,480 $21,230 $21,570
Mayagüez $19,370 $20,530 $21,830
Ponce $20,170 $21,110 $31,550
San Juan-Carolina-Caguas $17,820 $22,000 $25,120

Phlebotomists Employment Trends in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, the employment outlook for phlebotomists is highly positive, with a projected growth rate of 31% from 2020 to 2030. The number of employed phlebotomists is expected to rise from 350 in 2020 to 460 by 2030. This growth is significantly higher than the national average of 8% for the same period. Additionally, there are projected to be 60 annual job openings for phlebotomists in Puerto Rico, which includes positions due to new job growth as well as replacements.

Location Employment (Year) Projected Employment (Year) Projected Growth Projected Annual Job Openings (Year Range)
Puerto Rico 350 (2020) 460 (2030) 31% 60 (2020-2030)
United States 139,400 (2022) 150,200 (2032) 8% (Faster than average) 19,500 (2022-2032)

Sources of Data:

  • Puerto Rico Data Source: The employment projections for Puerto Rico 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 Puerto Rico?

Phlebotomists can find work in a variety of settings, from doctors’ offices to testing laboratories. Blood and plasma donation clinics, nursing homes and correctional facilities often are looking to hire phlebotomists. As healthcare is projected to grow even in periods of economic decline, phlebotomists and other healthcare workers can achieve job security and can enjoy choice and flexibility when seeking employment.

Search Phlebotomy Technician Programs

Get information on Phlebotomy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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