Phlebotomy Technician: Educational Requirements
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a phlebotomy technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.
Phlebotomy technicians, also known as phlebotomists, are responsible for collecting blood samples for medical tests or blood donations. Although some phlebotomists get on-the-job training without pursuing formal education, completing a postsecondary training program is usually required in order to gain career access. Some states have other requirements, such as licensure or certification. In states where phlebotomists aren't required to have certification, those with certification may still have better career prospects.
|Required Education||Postsecondary non-degree award program in phlebotomy|
|Other Requirements||State licensure and/or certification|
|Projected Job Growth||27% from 2012-2022*|
|Median Salary (2013)||$30,150 annually*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Educational Requirements for Phlebotomy Technicians
In order to become a phlebotomy technician, individuals must complete a phlebotomy training program. These programs are available at many community colleges and technical schools around the U.S. When enrolled in a program, students may study a variety of clinical, practical and theoretical subjects, including blood collection techniques, medical terminology, CPR, patient interaction principles and possible legal issues. These programs are usually short-term courses of study that take around ten weeks to complete.
After completing an accredited phlebotomy training program, graduates may apply to become certified phlebotomy technicians. Certification, such as that offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT), usually requires candidates to complete a competency exam and have a determined amount of work experience. Employers often prefer prospective employees who hold certification credentials, such as the AMT's Registered Phlebotomy Technician designation. Other certification organizations include the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the American Association of Medical Personnel.
Some states, such as California, require their phlebotomy technicians to be licensed in order to legally work in the state. These requirements vary by state, so it may be important to check with the health or occupational licensing department within the state in which you wish to work to verify specifics.
Phlebotomy technicians usually work alongside other clinical laboratory technologists or medical personnel. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is an expected 27% job growth for phlebotomists from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities are generally available in hospitals or with clinical laboratories. The BLS reported that as of May 2013, the 10th-90th percentiles of phlebotomists earned between $21,760 and $43,190 a year.