Phlebotomy Technician: Educational Requirements

Sep 23, 2019

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 collect specimens and blood samples for testing. They can receive on-the-job training, but many employers require completion of a training program. These positions are in high demand with job growth projected to be much faster than the job market from 2014-2024.

Essential Information

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 (2018-2028) 23%*
Median Salary (2018) $34,480 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.

Certification Requirements

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.

Licensing Requirements

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.

Career Information

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 23% uptick in jobs for phlebotomists from 2018-2028,which is much faster than the average. Employment opportunities are generally available in hospitals or with clinical laboratories. The BLS reported that as of May 2018, the 10th-90th percentiles of phlebotomists earned between $25,020 and $49,060 a year.

Phlebotomists usually complete formal training programs to qualify for positions. In some states, they are required to be licensed, and certification is typically preferred by employers. Phlebotomists can expect a median annual salary of about $34,000.

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