What Is Required for Phlebotomist Certification?

Phlebotomists are clinical laboratory technicians who specialize in drawing the blood that is used for medical testing, donations and transfusions. This is a career choice that might suit those who want to work in medical laboratories, work well under pressure and who have a knack for making people feel comfortable in tense situations. Read on to learn about the requirements for becoming a certified phlebotomist. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Phlebotomist Certification

While there are currently no national certification standards for this profession, many employers prefer to hire certified phlebotomists. To qualify for certification, you generally must complete a training program in phlebotomy or have a certain number of hours of experience. Once you've completed training, you may pursue certification through any of several accredited organizations and state boards that govern phlebotomists.

Important Facts About Phlebotomist Certification

Online Availability Some coursework available online
Continuing Education Six hours of CE credit per year is required to maintain certification
Program Prerequisites Most programs require a background check prior to beginning phlebotomist training
Similar Occupations Medical assistants, health information technician, dental assistant
Median Salary (2018) $34,480
Job Growth (2016-2026) 25%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Training Programs

Phlebotomy technician training programs are available through many technical and community colleges and typically result in certificates. Most programs require that you have a high school diploma or the equivalent to gain admission. Generally, you can expect to complete a phlebotomy technician certificate program within 12 months.

Curricula are comprised of classroom instruction, laboratory training and clinical experience. As a student, you may take courses in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology and venipuncture techniques. You may also study non-medical subjects that relate to work in phlebotomy such as psychology, communication and computer technology. Most training programs include a practicum in which you receive supervised field experience at a local clinic or hospital.

Certifying Organizations

After you complete a phlebotomy training program, you're qualified to pursue certification through a national certification board. Some certification boards also accept candidates who haven't completed training programs but who have a certain amount of experience in phlebotomy. Along with training or experience, a high school diploma or its equivalent and passage of a competency examination are generally required to obtain certification. Several organizations throughout the country offer phlebotomy certification, including:

  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)

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