Should I Become a Phlebotomist?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), phlebotomists are specialized medical laboratory technicians who collect blood samples from patients. Phlebotomists follow physicians' orders to draw blood from patients and ensure that all needles are sterile and supplies are well stocked. Additional duties include maintaining proper documentation, processing incoming orders, and creating reports. Protective measures must be taken to prevent the spread of infection. Phlebotomists who work in settings that are open around the clock may be scheduled during evenings, weekends, or holidays. The BLS reported a median annual salary of $31,630 for phlebotomists in May 2015.
|Education Level||High school diploma or postsecondary vocational training program|
|Certification||Certification is preferred and available through multiple organizations|
|Experience||In order to earn certification, prospective phlebotomists must either have some experience in the field or an education in phlebotomy|
|Key Skills||Dexterity, organizational skills, hand-eye coordination, and compassion|
|Salary||$31,630 (Median annual salary as of May 2015)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerBuilder.com (August 2012), American Medical Technologists
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Blood Bank Specialist
- Clinical Genetic Technologist
- Clinical Laboratory Sciences
- Hematology Technician
- Histologic Technician
- Histological Technologies
- Medical Laboratory Technologies
- Ophthalmic Laboratory Tech
- Renal and Dialysis Technician
Steps to Become a Phlebotomist
To become a phlebotomist, you'll need to follow these steps.
Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma
The minimum educational requirement for prospective phlebotomists is a high school diploma. While in school, students can prepare for a career in this field by taking several different science classes. It will also be beneficial for students to begin developing work skills, including creating detailed reports and learning to multi-task.
Step 2: Gain Training in the Field
Completing a postsecondary education program is not required for employment in the field. However, obtaining one will prepare you for certification and help with job opportunities. A phlebotomy certificate program will cover topics in phlebotomy techniques, first aid and CPR, phlebotomy concepts, and allied health.
While those who enroll in a certificate program will have the opportunity to participate in an internship, others may receive phlebotomy training in a medical setting. Some formal training will be required for certification and employment. Both an internship and training program will take place in a medical setting and provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to begin working in the field.
Step 3: Pursue Certification for Career Advancement
Professional certification is strongly preferred by most employers, and phlebotomists who earn certification will be able to expand job opportunities, enjoy increased job security, and further advance their careers. Phlebotomy certification is available through a number of organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP), American Society for Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT), and American Medical Technologists (AMT). All organizations require that applicants have a high school diploma and completed training in the field, either through an educational program or work experience. Phlebotomists will also need to pass a certification exam that will ensure they understand phlebotomy techniques and procedures, medical terminology, infection control, safety measures, and specimen collection.
To become a phlebotomist, you'll need a high school diploma and some training in the field.