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How to Become a Phlebotomist

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Phlebotomists are the experienced medical professionals who draw blood. Making sure that blood draws go quickly and smoothly is the motivation for phlebotomy. It is so much more efficient for large facilities like hospitals to have one person with considerable skill in taking blood than for everyone to take some now and then. If nothing else, consider the tasks involved in safely withdrawing, testing, cataloging, and storing the thousands of samples that blood drives collect, and you can understand the need for phlebotomists.

Due to the variety of needs for blood collection, phlebotomists find work in all manner of medicine-related practices. They assist surgeons, general practitioners, and blood drives, and are active in nearly every other category of medical work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment prospects for clinical laboratory technicians, a larger group of which phlebotomists are members, will grow substantially and continue to be promising in the coming years. They cite statistics putting the median hourly wages of phlebotomists at between $12.00 and $13.00 depending on their practice of choice.

Online Colleges Offering Phlebotomy Degrees:

Career Specializations

Phlebotomy is typically considered a career specialization for medical assistants or laboratory technicians and does not contain any strongly delineated specializations within its own practice. There are varied techniques within phlebotomy such as venipuncture, the drawing of blood from veins, and fingerstick withdrawal, which is the drawing of blood by pricking the tip of fingers. Phlebotomists will typically be trained in all common types of blood withdrawal.

Available Degree Levels

  • Phlebotomy Certificate: 6 months to 1 year
  • Associate Degree: 1-2 years
  • Bachelor's Degree: 3-4 years

Education and Certification Requirements

Because of the variety of areas in which phlebotomists practice their craft, the options for certification and education in phlebotomy are equally varied. Individual states, hospitals, and practices all have different standards as to what constitutes sufficient training in order to work in phlebotomy. The majority of institutions will accept certification from one of the many entities that provide phlebotomy examinations.

The following is a brief list of some of the major examination providers in no particular order:

Because certification requirements are different from state to state, readers considering becoming a phlebotomist should visit the state government page online. A full list of these state pages can be found at this USA.gov.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the school of this site.

This website also offers school data. With the exception of the recommend rate percentage (which is the average based on the student reviews submitted to our partner site GradReports), all of the data was collected in 2012-2013 from the National Center for Education Statistics or from an official representative of the school. Salaries and job growth were collected in 2012-2013 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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