Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) Certification and Salary Facts

Many schools offer training programs that can prepare you for work as a certified phlebotomy technician (CPT). These technicians obtain, label and organize medical samples for physicians and other healthcare professionals. To learn more about the certification process and potential wages for CPTs, keep reading. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Phlebotomists draw blood and other samples from patients and ensure that the contents are properly stored, labeled and organized. Most states require phlebotomists to go through training, certification and supervised clinical internships before gaining employment in the field.

Certification Offered by professional organizations and requires successful completion of accredited training, hands-on experience and a certification exam
Salary $30,670 (Median annual salary for phlebotomists as of May 2014)
Job Outlook 27% job growth predicted between 2012-2022 (faster than the national average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would I Do as a Certified Phlebotomy Technician?

As a certified phlebotomy technician, you work in a medical lab, clinic or doctor's office collecting blood and other samples from patients. You would also label and organize these samples for testing. Additional duties may include interviewing patients or taking vital signs.

What Are the Training Requirements?

Many states require phlebotomy technicians to complete a postsecondary training program. For admission to one of these programs, you'll need a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some colleges look for applicants who have healthcare experience or prior training in a medical field.

Training programs usually take 2-4 months to complete. You'll take courses in biohazard safety practices, phlebotomy equipment and specimen collection techniques. An internship or supervised clinical experience is often required.

How Does Certification Work?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers prefer to hire certified phlebotomy technicians (www.bls.gov). Certification exams are usually offered by professional organizations, like the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, American Medical Technologists, the National Phlebotomy Association or the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Before taking a certification exam, you'll need to complete an accredited training program and perform a specific number of venipunctures and skin punctures.

Some states require phlebotomy technicians to be licensed or certified. Requirements usually include completion of a postsecondary training program and a certification exam offered by an approved organization, such as the ASCP. You'll need to complete a minimum number of continuing education hours every few years in order to maintain certification.

What Salary Can I Expect To Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for phlebotomists is $14.74 per hour or $30,670 per year as of May 2014. More experienced technicians may earn higher wages.

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