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Phlebotomist

Kaitiki Toto

Alternative titles for this job

Phlebotomists collect blood and samples from patients for laboratory testing or for blood banks.

Pay

Trainee phlebotomists usually earn

$41K-$50K per year

Qualified phlebotomists usually earn

$47K-$60K per year

Source: APEX and Northland Pathology, 2021 and DHBs/PSA, 2020.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a phlebotomist are average, but better in larger cities.

Pay

Pay for phlebotomists varies depending on experience.

  • Trainee phlebotomists usually earn $41,000 to $50,000 a year.
  • Qualified, registered phlebotomists usually earn $47,000 to $60,000.
  • Supervising phlebotomists can earn up to $64,000.

Sources: APEX and Northland Pathology, 'Collective Employment Agreement', 2021; and District Health Boards/PSA, 'Allied, Public Health and Technical Multi-Employer Collective Agreement', 2020.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Phlebotomists may do some or all of the following:

  • take blood and other samples such as plasma and skin
  • label samples and collect patient data
  • input data into computers
  • reassure patients and blood donors
  • look after patients if they have an adverse reaction
  • travel to collect samples from patients
  • test patients for allergies
  • maintain machinery and order supplies
  • attend blood donation events.

Skills and knowledge

Phlebotomists need to have knowledge of:

  • the anatomy of the arm, and blood-taking techniques
  • how to take a variety of other bodily samples
  • health and safety requirements, and hygiene

Working conditions

Phlebotomists:

  • often do shift work and may work weekends
  • are likely to work part time, in the mornings, if they work for community medical laboratories
  • work in hospital laboratories or community medical laboratories, donor centres or mobile collection units
  • may travel locally to take samples at doctors' surgeries, hospitals, rest homes, patients' homes and workplaces.

Entry requirements

To become a phlebotomist you need to:

  • work as a trainee phlebotomist in an approved laboratory for two years
  • gain the Qualified Medical Laboratory Technician (QMLT) Phlebotomy Certificate, the QMLT Qualified Phlebotomy Technician Certificate, the QMLT Qualified Donor Technician Certificate, or the QMLT Qualified Specimen Services Certificate
  • hold a full driver's licence.

You also need to be registered with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a phlebotomist. However, biology, chemistry, health education, physics and maths are useful.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

Donor Technician

To become a registered donor technician for the New Zealand Blood Service, you need to work for the service for two years and gain a QMLT Qualified Donor Technician Certificate.

Specimen Services Technician

To become a registered specimen services technician you need to work in an approved laboratory for two years and gain a QMLT Qualified Specimen Services Certificate.

Personal requirements

Phlebotomists need to be:

  • responsible
  • tolerant, patient and gentle
  • able to inspire confidence in patients and put them at ease
  • practical, and able to pay attention to detail
  • able to follow procedures and instructions
  • organised, with basic computer skills
  • good communicators with good listening skills.

Phlebotomists should not be squeamish, as their work involves body samples.

Useful experience

Useful experience for phlebotomists includes:

  • customer service
  • training and working as a nurse or health care assistant
  • work in laboratories, particularly in the specimen reception area
  • work in hospitals, particularly in medical laboratories.

Physical requirements

Phlebotomists need to be reasonably fit and healthy, as they spend long periods standing. They also need to have good hand-eye co-ordination for finding veins when taking blood samples.

Registration

Phlebotomists need to be registered with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.

Find out more about training

Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand
(04) 801 6250 - msc@medsci.co.nz - www.mscouncil.org.nz
New Zealand Blood Service
(09) 523 5733 - info@nzblood.co.nz - www.nzblood.co.nz
New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science (NZIMLS)
(03) 313 4761 - cpd@nzimls.org.nz - www.nzimls.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Chances of getting a job as a trainee phlebotomist are average in smaller cities due to limited places and trainers, and low staff turnover.

Your best chance of getting work as a trainee phlebotomist is to:

  • be a registered nurse
  • apply for jobs in larger cities
  • approach laboratories directly
  • have good customer service experience
  • be willing to work part time in the morning, when there is more demand for tests.

According to the Census, 900 phlebotomists worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Demand for phlebotomists increasing

Demand for phlebotomists is likely to increase as:

  • the population of New Zealand is ageing, so more people with health problems will require tests
  • health promotion programmes are increasing demand for tests
  • the workforce is ageing, so when they retire there will be a shortage of workers.

Types of employers

Phlebotomists work for:

  • hospitals
  • private laboratories
  • the New Zealand Blood Service.

Sources

  • APEX and Northland Pathology, ‘Collective Employment Agreement’, August 2021, (www.apex.org.nz).
  • Broadbent, J, CPD and membership coordinator, New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science, careers.govt.nz interview, February 2021.
  • Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand, ‘Medical Laboratory Pre-Analytical Technician’, accessed January 2021, (www.mscouncil.org.nz).
  • New Zealand Blood Service website, accessed January 2021, (www.nzblood.co.nz).
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
  • Stats NZ, 'National Population Projections: 2020(base)-2073', 8 December 2020, (www.stats.govt.nz).

 

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Phlebotomists may progress into management roles or move into other health-related work.

Phlebotomists registered with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand can move into medical laboratory technician work. 

Phlebotomists may specialise in a specific area such as:

Donor Technician
Donor technicians collect blood and plasma from blood donors. 
Specimen Services Technician
Specimen services technicians take blood, urine and tissue from patients to test in a laboratory. They also perform tests and procedures on patients.
A phlebotomist draws blood from a patient sitting on a chair

Phlebotomists take blood for testing or for blood banks

Last updated 24 February 2021