Phlebotomy vs Radiology Technician

Phlebotomy vs Radiology Technician

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Key Points:

  • Phlebotomists draw blood, while Radiology Technicians operate medical imaging equipment like X-rays.
  • Phlebotomists generally earn less than Radiology Technicians.
  • Both fields have good job prospects.
  • Phlebotomy training can be completed through a certificate program, while Radiology Technicians need an associate's or bachelor's degree.
  • Phlebotomy training is typically less expensive and shorter (a few months) compared to Radiology Technician training (2-4 years).

Phlebotomy and radiology technician are both important roles in the healthcare industry. While phlebotomists focus on collecting blood samples for diagnostic testing, radiology technicians specialize in taking and interpreting medical images such as X-rays and CT scans. Both professions require attention to detail, knowledge of medical procedures, and excellent communication skills.

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What is a Phlebotomy and Radiology Technician?


  • A phlebotomist is a healthcare professional who is trained to draw blood from patients.
  • They are responsible for collecting blood samples for laboratory testing and analysis.
  • Phlebotomists work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic laboratories.
  • They must follow strict protocols to ensure patient safety and accurate sample collection.
  • Phlebotomists also play a crucial role in patient care, as they often interact directly with patients and provide support during the blood collection process.

Radiology Technician:

  • A radiology technician, also known as a radiologic technologist, is responsible for performing diagnostic imaging procedures.
  • They use specialized equipment to capture medical images, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
  • Radiology technicians work closely with radiologists and other healthcare professionals to ensure accurate and high-quality images.
  • They must position patients correctly, operate imaging equipment, and follow safety protocols to protect themselves and the patients.
  • Radiology technicians often work in hospitals, imaging centers, and outpatient clinics.

Difference between a Phlebotomy and Radiology Technician

While both phlebotomy and radiology technician are important roles in the healthcare industry, there are several key differences between the two professions:

Job Duties:

  • Phlebotomists primarily focus on collecting blood samples from patients, while radiology technicians perform diagnostic imaging procedures.
  • Phlebotomists work with needles and syringes, ensuring proper collection and labeling of blood samples.
  • Radiology technicians operate imaging equipment and may assist radiologists in performing more complex procedures.

Patient Interaction:

  • Phlebotomists have direct patient contact as they collect blood samples and provide support during the process.
  • Radiology technicians also interact with patients, but their level of interaction may vary depending on the imaging procedure being performed.

Work Environment:

  • Phlebotomists can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and laboratories.
  • Radiology technicians are typically found in hospitals, imaging centers, and outpatient clinics where imaging equipment is available.


  • Phlebotomists specialize in blood collection techniques and must be knowledgeable about different types of blood tests.
  • Radiology technicians specialize in diagnostic imaging procedures and must have a thorough understanding of imaging equipment and techniques.

Phlebotomy vs Radiology Technician: Job Description


  • The primary responsibility of a phlebotomist is to collect blood samples from patients.
  • They must follow specific protocols to ensure accurate sample collection and maintain patient safety.
  • Phlebotomists may also be responsible for labeling and processing blood samples for laboratory testing.
  • They must have excellent attention to detail and organizational skills to prevent any errors in sample collection or processing.
  • Additionally, phlebotomists must have good communication skills to interact with patients and help alleviate any anxiety or fear they may have about the blood collection process.

Radiology Technician:

  • Radiology technicians are responsible for performing diagnostic imaging procedures, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
  • They must position patients correctly to obtain the best possible image.
  • Radiology technicians operate imaging equipment and may assist radiologists in more complex procedures.
  • They must follow strict safety protocols to protect themselves and the patients from unnecessary exposure to radiation.
  • Radiology technicians also play a role in patient care by explaining the imaging procedure to patients and addressing any concerns they may have.

Phlebotomy vs Radiology Technician: Education and Training


  • To become a phlebotomist, individuals typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Many phlebotomy training programs are available at vocational schools, community colleges, and hospitals.
  • These programs usually take a few months to complete and cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and phlebotomy techniques.
  • Hands-on training is a crucial component of phlebotomy programs, as students must practice blood collection techniques under the supervision of experienced instructors.
  • After completing a phlebotomy program, individuals may choose to pursue a certification from a professional organization such as the National Phlebotomy Association or the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Radiology Technician:

  • To become a radiology technician, individuals typically need an associate degree in radiologic technology.
  • Community colleges and vocational schools offer accredited programs that usually take two years to complete.
  • The curriculum includes both classroom instruction and clinical training, where students gain hands-on experience in performing imaging procedures.
  • Courses cover topics such as anatomy, patient positioning, radiation safety, and image interpretation.
  • After completing their degree, radiology technicians must pass a certification exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists to become certified and eligible for employment.

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Phlebotomy vs Radiology Technician: Career Outlook and Salary


  • The career outlook for phlebotomists is promising, with a projected growth rate of 17% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • Phlebotomists are in demand due to the increasing need for diagnostic testing and the aging population that requires more medical care.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for phlebotomists was $36,320 as of May 2020.

Radiology Technician:

  • The career outlook for radiology technicians is also positive, with a projected growth rate of 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The demand for diagnostic imaging is expected to increase as the population ages and technology advances.
  • The median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $63,710 as of May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between a career in phlebotomy or radiology technology requires careful consideration of personal interests, skills, and the desired level of patient interaction. Both professions offer rewarding opportunities to contribute to patient care and play a vital role in the healthcare industry. Whether you prefer working directly with patients or operating imaging equipment, phlebotomy or radiology technology can be a fulfilling career choice. It's important to research and explore educational requirements, job prospects, and salary potential to make an informed decision that aligns with your career goals.

Dreambound's educational programs are available in diverse locations. Explore these recommended blogs for a comprehensive examination of the two vocations, including in-depth insights into their prerequisites and guidance on initiating your journey:

Athena Kan
Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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