Phlebotomist Kaitiki Toto

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

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

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.

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 Qualified Medical Laboratory Technician 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 Qualified Specimen Services Certificate.

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.

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.

Personal Qualities

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.


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



  • 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.

Subject Recommendations

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

Phlebotomists can earn around $47K-$50K per year.

Pay for phlebotomists varies depending on experience.

  • Trainee phlebotomists usually earn from minimum wage 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.

Experienced phlebotomists may progress into managerial positions.

With further training, they may become medical laboratory scientists.

Phlebotomists may specialise in the roles of:

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.

Years Of Training

2 years of training required.

To become a phlebotomist you need to:

  • work as a trainee phlebotomist in an approved laboratory for two years
  • gain the Qualified Phlebotomy Technician Certificate, Qualified Donor Technician Certificate or Qualified Specimen Services Technician Certificate from the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science
  • 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.