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Is phlebotomy a guranteed steady field?

by M.C.P M.C.P (Member)

Hello everyone,

I am in a bit of a conondrum. Here it goes, well I am a full time pre-nursing student, and I anticpate to be accepted into the nursing program at my college for this fall, the thing is I cannot afford not to work at least one or two days. The job I am currently working at , as it does work around my busy schedule, it does not pay enough, and quite frankly the department I work in isn't taken seriously or given any consideration. So too make a long story short, I want to take a course this summer and I cant decide if I should take up phlebotomy or if it would be a waste of money. I have read other comments and statements and I see different things being said about phlebotomy. I am just looking for a good paying job in the medical field, for a few days out of the week while I am in the nursing program. Hopefully somone has exeperience and can help me out! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! :)

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

There's no such thing as a steady field, especially in health care right now. You never know what insurance and Medicare cuts are going to do to ancillary staff like phlebotomists. I'm not sure how much money you're making right now, but don't expect phlebotomy to be very high-paying, especially after you pay for the certification classes. The hours of a phlebotomist also tend to be mostly standard office hours, although some hospitals may employ phlebotomists 24 hours per day.

Phlebotomy could very well to a good job for you and teach you skills that will help with nursing, but there is no guarantee. You could try contacting your local hospitals to ask for salary ranges. Also explore outpatient lab clinics that do blood draws for doctor's offices. Maybe take the course and search for a job while maintaining your current position in case you can't find a job that works for you right now.

Have you considered getting your CNA certification? That may give you more options as far as workplace, schedule flexibility, teach you nursing skills and help you be more marketable after nursing school.

thank you so much for taking the time to reply, I have been thinking about getting my CNA certification, I am actually looking into that now, my aunt is a CNA so I want to speak to her about it also. Thanks so much!


Specializes in Long Term Care,Cardiac Care,Pediatric.. Has 4 years experience.

I agree, I would do CNA! Most hospitals/nursing homes are flexible with nursing students and maybe you will want to work there when your a nurse?! :) Good luck with everything!

I'm a certified phlebotomist and I have not been able to find a job for it in two years:/

SopranoKris, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

It depends on the area you live in. I'm getting ready to do my phlebotomy certification this summer & fall. In my area, there are plenty of phlebotomy jobs. However, a few counties over, there isn't anything open. It's all relative. Do your research and see what has the potential for you to get a job. CNA salary seems to be lower than phlebotomists in my area. Again, it's all relative.

Good luck! I'm excited to get started. I think venipuncture experience will give me some confidence before clinicals.

Music in My Heart

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 11 years experience.

"Guaranteed" is a meaningless phrase today. The good thing about CNA is that it's a fairly high turn-over job (for good reason), they have them everywhere, and they work all shifts.

The money part might be an issue, though.

All things being equal, I'd choose phlebotomy over CNA every time... both to build practical RN skills as well as to save your back.

If you need to work and need flexibility in your schedule, you should become a CNA. There are far more opportunities for a CNA than there are for a phlebotomist with no experience.


A lot of posters have already left pretty good comments about this thread, but I just want to give you my two cents as well (which I hope helps!) because I am currently a working phlebotomist at a hospital and I also hold a CNA license in my state.

When I graduated my phlebotomy program in summer of 2008, I had a really hard time finding a job, because of the economy at the time (as you know). But at work, I currently also mentor and guide phlebotomy students as they get blood drawing experience (externship) and they have told me that finding a phlebotomy job posting in my city here in the Northwest is getting more and more scarce so they have had to fight each other for finding a job and securing interviews.

However, I am now currently looking for a CNA position because a lot of the nursing schools that I am trying to get into are asking for pretty much, a one-on-one patient experience before we even get accepted into school, and being a CNA is the fastest way to get that experience. Our schools here don't really count phlebotomy as a one-on-one experience with the patient. That said, I am not sure what schools in your area will consider for patient care experience.

I guess, what I am saying is that if you're looking to just get into the field of healthcare anyway you can (without having nursing as a real focal point in the end) then phlebotomy is not a bad way to go. But if you have your heart set on nursing, it might be better to cut out the middleman that is phlebotomy and just do CNA. I wish I did that in the beginning so that I would be in a nursing school today.

I'm a certified phlebotomist and I have not been able to find a job for it in two years :/

ArrowRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Vascular, E.N.T. Has 3 years experience.

Doing just phlebotomy is a waste of money unless you are already a CNA using it to get PCT jobs. Hospitals are also training any sort of techs they can to do it, in addition to nurses. A better option would be PCT - a good PCT course should include phlebotomy, CNA and basic EKG skills. You're be able to do CNA work, PCT, phlebotomy, monitor tech, lab tech or unit clerk. Courses average between 2 to 6 months. This would make you more flexible and wanted by employers.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

CNA would certainly be more helpful for you than phleb. The markets all vary widely of course. If a phleb program is available in your area, then the market is likely saturated. I did my phleb years ago (before the economy tanked), and the market here is pretty saturated. I only found work because I knew someone, and I had prior military medical experience. However, at that time, I was considering moving out of state, and the hospital there was going to pay my moving expenses, as it was hard to get phlebs there. Again, this was 2007, so things have changed a lot since then. You can't count on anything at his point (if you've spent enough time here, you know that nursing is by no means a guarantee, either).

SopranoKris, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

My problem with my phleb certification is that I can't get hours when I'm NOT in school. All the jobs available are during my class time. Can't cut nursing school! Now that I've finished 2 semesters of nursing school, I'm eligible to work as a tech in the hospital and my phleb experience is a plus. I can float to the floor or the lab, so I'm a bit more flexible. If you're just looking to get a job right away, CNA is quicker & easier to find a job. Phleb took 2 semesters to complete. CNA is only 6 weeks to 1 full semester (depending on your school).

I would recommend trying to work as a CNA part time. It will give you experience related to your field. Also, where I live no one hires phlebotomist anymore. The only hire Med Techs that do phlebotomy, EKG and different aspects of patient care. It saves the hospital money and has phased out the phlebotomy positions. CNA's are also always in demand. Who knows, it may even lead to a nursing job after you graduate. Best of luck!