Massage Therapist vs Phlebotomy

Massage Therapist vs Phlebotomy

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Vocational training can be a great way to jumpstart your career and enter the workforce quickly. Two popular vocational training options are massage therapy and phlebotomy. Both of these fields offer rewarding careers in the healthcare industry, but they have distinct differences that may make one a better fit for you. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between a massage therapist and a phlebotomist, including job descriptions, education and training requirements, and career outlook and salary.

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What is a Massage Therapist and Phlebotomy?

Before we delve into the differences between these two careers, let's first define what a massage therapist and a phlebotomist do.

A massage therapist is a healthcare professional who uses touch to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. They use various techniques to relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation and overall well-being for their clients. Massage therapists may work in a variety of settings, including spas, wellness centers, and healthcare facilities.

On the other hand, a phlebotomist is a healthcare professional who specializes in drawing blood from patients. They are responsible for collecting blood samples for laboratory testing, transfusions, research, or blood donations. Phlebotomists typically work in hospitals, clinics, blood banks, or diagnostic laboratories.

Difference between a Massage Therapist and Phlebotomy

While both massage therapy and phlebotomy are healthcare professions, they have distinct differences that set them apart. Here are some key differences between the two:

  • Job Focus: The primary focus of a massage therapist is to provide therapeutic massage to clients, focusing on relaxation, pain relief, and overall wellness. Phlebotomists, on the other hand, primarily focus on drawing blood from patients for medical testing and procedures.

  • Client Interaction: Massage therapists work closely with their clients, providing hands-on care and building relationships. They may spend a significant amount of time with each client, getting to know their specific needs and preferences. Phlebotomists, on the other hand, have more limited client interaction. They typically have brief interactions with patients while drawing blood and may not have as much opportunity for building long-term relationships.

  • Work Environment: Massage therapists often work in soothing and relaxing environments, such as spas, wellness centers, or private practices. These settings are designed to create a calming atmosphere for clients. Phlebotomists, on the other hand, work in healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, or laboratories. These environments may be more fast-paced and clinical in nature.

  • Physical Demand: Massage therapy can be physically demanding, as therapists often use their hands, arms, and upper body strength to provide deep tissue massage or perform repetitive movements. Phlebotomy, on the other hand, requires good hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills to safely and effectively draw blood from patients.

Massage Therapist vs Phlebotomy: Job Description

Now that we have a better understanding of the differences between these two professions, let's dive deeper into their specific job descriptions.

A massage therapist's main responsibilities include:

  • Assessing clients' needs and creating personalized treatment plans
  • Performing various massage techniques to address clients' specific concerns
  • Providing guidance and education on self-care and wellness practices
  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date client records
  • Adhering to ethical and professional standards in the field

On the other hand, a phlebotomist's main responsibilities include:

  • Identifying the correct patient and verifying their identity
  • Explaining the blood-drawing process to patients and addressing their concerns
  • Selecting the appropriate equipment and techniques for blood collection
  • Safely and accurately collecting blood samples from patients
  • Labeling and organizing blood samples for laboratory testing

Massage Therapist vs Phlebotomy: Education and Training

Both massage therapy and phlebotomy require specific education and training to practice. Here is an overview of the education and training requirements for each profession:

Massage Therapist:

  • Most states require massage therapists to complete a postsecondary education program from an accredited massage therapy school.
  • These programs typically require around 500 hours of classroom and hands-on training in massage techniques, anatomy, physiology, and ethics.
  • After completing the education program, massage therapists may need to pass a state licensing exam or obtain certification from a recognized national organization, such as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.


  • Phlebotomists typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the profession.
  • Some states require phlebotomists to complete a formal phlebotomy training program, which can range from a few weeks to several months.
  • These programs cover topics such as venipuncture techniques, medical terminology, anatomy, infection control, and patient care.
  • After completing the training program, phlebotomists may need to pass a national certification exam, such as the one offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

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Massage Therapist vs Phlebotomy: Career Outlook and Salary

When considering a career, it's important to also take into account the job market and potential salary. Here is an overview of the career outlook and salary for massage therapists and phlebotomists:

Massage Therapist:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for massage therapists was $42,820 in May 2020, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $22,010 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $80,630.


  • The BLS does not provide specific employment projections for phlebotomists. However, the healthcare industry as a whole is expected to have strong job growth in the coming years.
  • The median annual wage for phlebotomists was $36,320 in May 2020, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $27,550 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $52,500.

Final Thoughts

Both massage therapy and phlebotomy offer unique career paths in the healthcare industry. Ultimately, the right choice for you will depend on your interests, strengths, and career goals. If you enjoy working closely with clients and have a passion for promoting well-being, a career as a massage therapist may be a good fit. On the other hand, if you have strong attention to detail and enjoy working in a clinical setting, phlebotomy may be a better choice.

Regardless of which path you choose, both massage therapy and phlebotomy provide opportunities for meaningful work and the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Take the time to research and explore these careers further to determine which one aligns best with your skills and aspirations.

Dreambound's programs are accessible in different locations. For additional details on these two vocations, please visit:

Pia Yapjoco
Written by
Pia Yapjoco

Pia Yapjoco is part of the school growth and sales team at Dreambound. She helps facilitate school partnerships that expand educational opportunities for aspiring students in allied health and other trades. Beyond work, she curates her pup's Instagram, hunts for hidden coffee gems, and escapes into cozy gaming.

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