How to Become a Mobile Phlebotomist

9 Min Read Published April 11, 2024
How to Become a Mobile Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists are medical professionals responsible for drawing patients’ blood or specimen samples. Mobile phlebotomists are essentially phlebotomists but travel to meet clients. If you are interested in having a flexible schedule, then this might be the perfect career for you. 

We Found The Following Schools with Online Phlebotomy Programs

What is a Mobile Phlebotomist?

A mobile phlebotomist, sometimes called a traveling phlebotomist, is a trained and licensed phlebotomist who travels to different areas to collect blood. They may work with homebound residents or in settings such as temporary blood donation centers. 

As the name implies, in this role, the lab you work in will be “mobile” and move to different locations. However, the laboratory setting – despite being mobile – will still be an official one, with all professional procedures and regulations applied. 

Similar to other transient roles like a travel nurse, being a mobile phlebotomist comes with the benefit of essentially being your own boss. Mobile phlebotomists can also work for a company or be employed by a national organization.  Some of the other benefits are:

  1. You can own your own business
  2. Decide your own hours
  3. Influence your pay rate (to an extent)
  4. Have the freedom to travel to different areas to work. 

If this sounds like a career pathway you may be interested in, read on for more information about how to become a mobile phlebotomist. 

What Does a Mobile Phlebotomist Do?

A mobile phlebotomist will work in different settings. Instead of working as a phlebotomist in just one place, a mobile phlebotomist will travel around to different areas or will travel off-site to collect blood samples. 

For instance, a lab in a rural area may hire a mobile phlebotomist to travel to different people in the region to collect necessary bloodwork, or a doctor’s office may require a mobile phlebotomist who can travel off-site. 

Where Do Mobile Phlebotomists Work?

 Other specific job responsibilities include, 

  • Adhere to all health and safety standards 
  • Assist with blood transfusions
  • Collect blood using sterilized needles, vials, and other equipment
  • Confirming patient identities and personal information
  • Identifying the correct venipuncture method for the patient based on age, health condition, and more
  • Identifying the optimal draw site for puncture
  • Labeling samples and storing for delivery to testing site or blood bank
  • Obtaining billing information, including copies of insurance cards and other information
  • Practicing infection control standards when working with patients and equipment
  • Preparing patients before drawing blood
  • Reassuring patients and explaining the process, as well as answering any questions about the process
  • Recording pertinent information and obtaining patient authorizations for insurance purposes
  • Reviewing their daily appointments in order to have all supplies necessary to meet patient needs
  • Working with supervising the medical team

Are Mobile Phlebotomists in Demand?

With changes to healthcare as a result of the pandemic, mobile phlebotomists have been in more demand than ever. An increase in direct patient services has been seen as more people choose to do telehealth or remote visits as well. 

We Found The Following Schools with Online Phlebotomy Programs

Mobile Phlebotomist Salary 

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average phlebotomist salary is $38,530, or $18.53 per hour. However, the employment projection for phlebotomists is very high–projected to grow 8% in the next 10 years, so that salary could increase as demand for the role rises. 

Phlebotomist Salary Factors

Although the median wage is around $37K for phlebotomists, that wage can widely vary based on factors such as:

  1. What type of facility you work in
  2. What state you work in
  3. What shift  you work (night shift tends to make more, for instance)
  4. Holiday/weekend pay (this type of pay may not be available if you work at an outpatient facility) 
  5. If you open your own mobile phlebotomy practice

Phlebotomist Salary by Place of Work

 Where you choose to work makes a huge difference in pay as well. For instance, the BLS lists the following wages for phlebotomists based on what type of facility they work in: 

Outpatient Care Centers $42,750
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories $41,580
Hospitals; state, local, and private $37,400
Offices of physicians $36,970
All other ambulatory healthcare services $36,190

Do Mobile Phlebotomists Make More Than Regular Phlebotomists?

The BLS does not differentiate between a mobile phlebotomist's salary and a regular phlebotomist's salary, but according to Indeed, mobile phlebotomists do make more than fixed phlebotomists, averaging about $21.81/hour. 

You may also be able to earn a higher salary by combining roles as both a mobile and traditional phlebotomist. For instance, you could work a traditional phlebotomy role during the week and pick up extra shifts as a mobile phlebotomist on the weekend. 

Or, if you decide to open your own mobile phlebotomy practice, you will have a much higher income earning potential. (Keep reading for more details on exactly how to open your own practice!)

How to Become a Mobile Phlebotomist

You can become a mobile phlebotomist in as little as 8 weeks. Here are the three steps you can take to enter this career field:

Step 1. Become a Licensed Phlebotomist Through an Official Program 

Generally, these can be taken at a vocational school, technical school, or community college and can be completed in as little as 8 weeks. Some programs may take longer, such as one full year. 

All the programs will include a mix of classroom instruction and physical training on how to take blood samples, identify specimens, and handle them appropriately for processing in a lab. Hands-on training will provide a minimum of 40 hours of practical experience. 

To apply to phlebotomy programs, the following must be completed, 

  • Filling out an application
  • Proof of having graduated high school 
  • Minimum GPA (depends on program)
  • Immunization records
  • CPR certification
  • Background check

Step 2. Pass Any Required State Exams and Obtain National Certification

National certification is not required in all states, so this is an optional step for many people. The BLS notes that only California, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington require certification. 

You can earn a phlebotomy certification from certifying organizations such as: 

  1. The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
  2. National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  3. American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  4. National Phlebotomy Association
  5. American Medical Technologists (AMT)

The exam itself generally consists of up to 300 questions and includes both a written and practical section in which you will be required to demonstrate your ability to draw blood, label samples, sanitize equipment, and more.

Step 3. Keep Up on Continuing Education

In order to maintain your license, you’ll need to keep up with your continuing education. This will vary from state to state, so check with your local state to see what requirements you will need to meet. 

We Found The Following Schools with Online Phlebotomy Programs

How is Mobile Phlebotomy Different from Being a Regular Phlebotomist?

A traditional phlebotomist will work in one fixed location, like a hospital or outpatient laboratory. A mobile phlebotomist, on the other hand, will be mobile. 

They may work for a company that travels to different sites for blood draws or blood donations, they may be contracted by a lab or facility to travel off-site to collect samples, or they may own their own mobile phlebotomy practice and travel where they are needed. 

Being a mobile phlebotomist will come with some different considerations. Here are some possible pros and cons of being a mobile phlebotomist. 

Pros of Being a Mobile Phlebotomist

  1. Flexibility
  2. Opportunity to travel
  3. New work locations 
  4. New patient populations
  5. Chance to work for yourself
  6. May be able to build a higher income
  7. Can work full- or part-time

Cons of Being a Mobile Phlebotomist

  1. It may be unstable at times
  2. Constantly changing work environment
  3. Requires openness to change of pace
  4. Benefits may be different
  5. It may require being on-call 

How to Start Your Own Mobile Phlebotomy Business

As we mentioned earlier, owning or opening your own mobile phlebotomy business can be a chance for you to have a much higher income because you will be the business owner. 

Not only will your income be higher, but you’ll also have even more freedom over your schedule and where you work since you’ll be the boss. 

If you’re interested in starting a mobile phlebotomy business, there are a few steps you need to take:

Step 1. Get Licensed as a Phlebotomist 

This is a given, but it has to be said. You’ll also want to gain as much experience actually working as a phlebotomist before striking out on your own as well. 

If you will be traveling to patients’ homes, it’s also a good idea to be sure your Basic Life Support and CPR certifications are up-to-date as well. 

Step 2. Set Up Your Business 

You’ll need to follow all the proper steps for starting a business in your state, including picking a name, setting up a Tax ID, registering your business, purchasing appropriate business insurance, opening up a business checking account, and filing any necessary paperwork, such as if you become an LLC. 

You’ll also want to work with a business attorney to ensure you are setting up your business correctly since you will be dealing directly with bodily fluids and real-life patients. 

Step 3. Decide if You’ll Be Solo or Hiring Other Employees 

If you decide to hire other people for your business, that will require some extra steps, such as 

  • Employee liability insurance
  • Contracts
  • Training protocols

Step 4. Purchase Your Equipment 

Depending on the scope of your business, you’ll need to purchase your equipment. If you will be traveling, you’ll need a vehicle, blood draw supplies, storage and handling supplies, and transportation supplies. 

An introductory list of other supplies you may need include: 

  1. Tourniquet
  2. Needles
  3. Tubes
  4. Tape
  5. Gauze
  6. Sterilization/cleaning supplies
  7. PPE, including masks and gloves
  8. Cooler + ice packs
  9. Med bag
  10. Sharps container
  11. Bandaids
  12. Centrifuge 
  13. Computer and appropriate patient record software
  14. Labels for blood tubes 

Step 5. Adhere to Any Requirements in Your Area 

Although there are no formal requirements for becoming a mobile phlebotomist outside of getting certified, you’ll still want to ensure that you adhere to all proper safety and biohazard requirements in your area for handling and transporting blood and blood products. 

Step 6. Market Your Business 

Once you open your business, you’ll need to attract customers. You can do that in several ways,

  • Referrals
  • Word-of-mouth advertising
  • Free venues like social media 
  • Paid advertising, like a website and ads

How to Find a Job at a Mobile Phlebotomy Company

If owning your own mobile phlebotomy business doesn’t sound appealing to you – or just isn’t right for you at the moment – you can pursue the traditional mobile phlebotomist route and work for someone else. 

Mobile phlebotomists can find jobs at:

  1. Freestanding laboratories
  2. Hospital laboratories
  3. Doctor’s offices
  4. Blood banks 
  5. Urgent care centers
  6. Private offices
  7. Employee health services
  8. Another mobile phlebotomy business

In order to work for a company as a mobile phlebotomist, you’ll want to first get certified as a phlebotomist and apply directly with the company. 

Although experience is always preferred, you can increase your chances of getting hired as a new grad by volunteering or seeking out job shadowing, interning, or other experiences while you’re still in school. 

You can also search for mobile phlebotomist jobs online or speak with a healthcare recruiter for help finding a job. 

We Found The Following Schools with Online Phlebotomy Programs

Mobile Phlebotomist FAQ

  • What Does a Mobile Phlebotomist Do?

    • Instead of working as a phlebotomist in just one place, a mobile phlebotomist will travel around to different areas or will travel off-site to collect blood samples. 
  • Is Being a Mobile Phlebotomist Worth It?

    • According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average phlebotomist salary is $38,530, or $18.53 per hour. However, the employment projection for phlebotomists is very high–projected to grow 8% in the next 10 years, so that salary could increase as demand for the role rises. 
  • How Long Does it Take to Become a Mobile Phlebotomist?

    • You can become a mobile phlebotomist in as little as 8 weeks with 3 steps: become a licensed phlebotomist through a certified program, pass any state licensure tests, stay current with your continuing education.
  • How are Mobile Phlebotomists Different Than Regular Phlebotomists?

    • The biggest difference is location - a traditional phlebotomist will work in one fixed location, like a hospital or outpatient laboratory. A mobile phlebotomist, on the other hand, will be mobile. 

Ready to learn more about phlebotomy? Check out these other articles:

  1. How Much Do Phlebotomists Make? 
  2. How to Become a Phlebotomist in 5 Steps
  3. How To Draw Bood | A Step-by-Step Guide
  4. Phlebotomist Salary Guide

Chaunie Brusie
Chaunie Brusie Contributor

Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN is a nurse-turned-writer with experience in critical care, long-term care, and labor and delivery. Her work has appeared everywhere from Glamor to The New York Times to The Washington Post. Chaunie lives with her husband and five kids in the middle of a hay field in Michigan and you can find more of her work here

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