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Phlebotomy Technician Training and Career Facts

Phlebotomy technicians, also known as simply phlebotomists, use needles and syringes to draw blood from patients for testing purposes. Find out about training programs, certifications and salaries for this profession.

What Phlebotomy Technician Programs Are Available?

While certificates for phlebotomy technicians are most common, degree programs are also available. These programs teach you about the methodology, safety, laboratory procedures and patient procedures involved in phlebotomy. You will also be required to participate in clinical courses that provide training on real patients while being monitored by professional technicians.

These programs do not offer any of the major-related courses online. If your program requires any general education courses, online courses may be available. Major-related courses must be taken on-campus, because you need to train and practice on dummies or people.

Program TypesCertificate and associate level programs are available
Common Course TopicsMethods of blood collection, specimen storage, medical labeling, CPR, usage of tools
Certification Employers prefer certified professionals in the field
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 25% growth (for all phlebotomists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Can I Expect?

Certificate and associate degree programs offer very similar courses. You will learn various methods of collecting blood. These methods include dermal puncture and venipuncture. Blood collecting will use specific tools, such as butterflies, lancets, syringes and heel sticks. You may also be required to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), specimen storage, medical labeling and ethics. You can also expect to study various methods of blood collection according to a patient's age.

General education courses that you may be required to take in an associate degree program include mathematics, English and biology. You can expect your major-related courses to include laboratory procedures, first aid, terminology, anatomy, physiology, theory, law and ethics.

What is My Career Outlook?

Although it may not be required, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that employers will more likely hire you if you are certified through a recognized organization (www.bls.gov). Certification for phlebotomy technicians is offered through the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the American Association of Medical Technologists. You will also be required to be CPR certified.

The BLS states that positions for phlebotomists are expected to increase 25% between 2016 and 2026. This increase will be caused by emerging means of testing blood and an increase in the population. As of May 2018, the BLS also estimated that the median salary for this career type was $34,480.