Careers in the health care industry are among the fastest-growing of all economic sectors, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Many occupations in the health care industry, such a EKG technicians and phlebotomists, do not require a college degree. EKG technicians belong to the larger occupational category of cardiovascular technologists and technicians, while phlebotomists are part of the clinical laboratory technologists and technicians category. EKG technicians and phlebotomists are well compensated for their training and experience.
Annual wages for all cardiovascular technologists and technicians ranged from less than $25,940 to more than $76,220 as of May 2009, according to the BLS. A number of factors may affect a cardiovascular tech's rate of pay, including education, experience, certification, type of employer and geographic location. The BLS placed the median income for all cardiovascular techs at $48,300 as of May, 2009. Salary.com placed the median annual wages for EKG technicians at $31,970 as of February 2011.
Annual wages for all medical and clinical laboratory technicians ranged from less than $23,850 to more than $55,210 as of May 2009, according to the BLS. Phlebotomy technicians typically earn toward the lower end of the earnings spectrum for laboratory technicians because the required level of education and training is lower, according to the BLS. The BLS placed the median hourly wages for all laboratory techs at $17.32 as of May 2009, while phlebotomists earned between $12.50 and $13.00 per hour in May 2008. Salary.com places the median wages for phlebotomists at $29,368 as of February 2011.
The greatest number of job opportunities for both phlebotomists and EKG technicians are in general medical and surgical hospitals, private doctors' offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories, according to the BLS. Doctors' and other health practitioners' offices and diagnostic laboratories offer the highest mean wages for EKG techs, while institutions of higher learning, research facilities, home health care services and the federal executive branch of the government offered the highest wages for clinical laboratory technicians such as phlebotomists.
Employment opportunities for both EKG technicians and phlebotomists are expected to increase at a faster rate than the general economy at least through 2018, according to the BLS. Both EKG technicians and phlebotomists typically receive the majority of their basic training on the job, but classroom training is also available. Greater job opportunities, income and advancement potential may accrue to those technicians who earn educational degrees or credentials through an independent, non-governmental certifying organization.