Certified Phlebotomy Technician Education Requirements and Job Duties

Sep 10, 2019

Certified phlebotomy technicians collect blood for patient testing, transfusions and blood donations. They typically earn a certificate or complete a vocational course in phlebotomy, and may receive voluntary certification in the field. Learn more about the job duties, requirements and career outlook for certified phlebotomy technicians.

Essential Information

Certified phlebotomy technicians are clinical laboratory specialists who collect blood. They're often employed in blood banks and labs, hospitals and health clinics. Becoming a certified phlebotomy technician typically involves completion of a certificate or vocational training program with classroom and practical elements. These technicians play an important role in the healthcare field, and their profession is expected to grow at an above average rate.

Required Education Certificate is common
Certification Voluntary but preferred by employers; requirements include clinical experience and classroom training
Projected Job Growth* (2018-2028) 23%
Median Salary* (2018) $34,480 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Certified Phlebotomy Technician Education Requirements

Certified phlebotomy technicians may complete certificates in phlebotomy or a short-term vocational course to qualify for certification from one of several professional organizations. As of 2013, the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) approved 73 phlebotomy certificate programs available through hospitals, community colleges and vocational schools. Phlebotomy certificate programs tend to last one year, while short-term courses can be completed in about two months. Both incorporate hands-on clinical practicums and equip students with the medical and technical skills for entry-level employment in blood collection. Classes may include anatomy and physiology, medical jargon, laboratory techniques, first aid and interpersonal communication.

American Medical Technologists

To be eligible for American Medical Technologists (AMT) certification, phlebotomists must be graduates of an accredited or AMT-approved phlebotomy program or have at least 1,040 hours of adequate experience. Candidates must then pass the Registered Phlebotomy Technician exam, which covers eight topics including specimen collection, safety procedures and clerical skills.

The American Society of Clinical Pathologists

The American Society of Clinical Pathologists outlines six routes for candidates to qualify for its PBT(ASCP) phlebotomy technician certification through postsecondary education, work experience or a combination of the two. Candidates with a certificate of completion require less documented on-the-job experience than those who have completed short-term courses.

National Heathcareer Association (NHA)

Eligibility for the National Healthcareer Association's phlebotomy technician certification exam requires a high school diploma or GED certificate. NHA phlebotomy technician certification candidates must also document either recent completion of a vocational program or one year of work experience.

California Certified Phlebotomy Technician Licensure

California requires phlebotomists to have a license as a limited phlebotomy technician, certified phlebotomy technician 1 (CPT1) or certified phlebotomy technician 2 (CPT 2), Licenses are granted after candidates complete a 20-hour or a 40-hour educational program, as well as progressive amounts of supervised clinical experience. CPT 1 or CPT 2 candidates must pass a written exam.

Certified Phlebotomy Technician Job Duties

Certified phlebotomy technicians draw blood from patients for medical testing, transfusions and blood bank donations. They may apply tourniquets and disinfectants before administering venipuncture, microtechniques or other phlebotomy methods. Phlebotomists are also responsible for assembling equipment, labeling specimen containers and transporting specimens to testing facilities for processing and analysis.

Along with these technical duties, certified phlebotomy technicians deliver patient care. In many cases, phlebotomists are clients' only contact in the blood lab and are responsible for reassuring and comforting them during the procedure. Phlebotomists may also collect and record patient information, which involves interviewing and taking vital signs.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an annual median salary of $34,480 for phlebotomists. The BLS predicted 23% employment growth for phlebotomists from 2018-2028.

Certified phlebotomy technicians work in blood banks, health clinics, laboratories, and hospitals collecting blood, labeling and transporting specimens, and delivering patient care. The field requires completion of a certificate or vocational program, and voluntary certification is available. The demand for certified phlebotomy technicians is high, as job growth is predicted at 23% through 2028.

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