How To Become A Phlebotomist

A phlebotomist is a trained person in a clinic or hospital who draws blood from patients so it can be checked for diseases.  Read this comprehensive guide on how to become a phlebotomist.



If you want to become a phlebotomist, you need to be very attentive to detail.  You should also have deft hands as you will regularly stick needles and draw blood as part of your daily tasks.


You also need good interpersonal skills.  Some patients, especially children, are scared of syringes or blood.  A good phlebotomist talks to their patients to put them at ease and reduce anxiety.


how to become a phlebotomist


3 Steps On How to Become A Phlebotomist


Step #1:  Prepare the requirements


To take Phlebotomy classes, you need to be either a high school graduate or a GED® passer.  Get a copy of your high school diploma or official GED® Transcript.


Step #2:  Take Phlebotomy classes and complete the coursework


Enroll in an accredited phlebotomy school.  Focus on your Science courses particularly Biology and Chemistry.  The length of a phlebotomy course depends on  time frame and frequency.  A typical program can take anywhere from six weeks to one year.


Phlebotomy classes usually involve 40 hours of classroom discussion and 40 hours of actual clinical training.  You will be taught core knowledge and skills on how to become a phlebotomist. These may include anatomy and physiology, CPR, and basic blood-drawing procedures.


Step #3: Inquire about the certification requirements for your state


Find out how to become a phlebotomist in your state by checking the U.S. Department of Education website (  Only a few states require phlebotomists to be certified.  These are California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington.


You may want to consider getting certified even if it is not required in your state.  Hospitals and clinics prefer certified phlebotomists over those who are not.  If you have a certification, you will get employed easier and your salary and benefits will be higher.


Each state has different certifying bodies with different requirements.  Look for the accrediting agency in your state and check their website for the requirements.  Below is the full list of certifying bodies in the United States.


Complete List of Certification Agencies for Phlebotomists


Click on the name of the agencies below to get redirected to their certification pages.


American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP)




National Health Career Association (NHA)



American Certification Agency (ACA)



National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT/MMCI)



American Medical Technologists (AMT)



To get certified by these agencies, you will need to undertake a written test and on-the-job training.  The written test includes theoretical knowledge and phlebotomy procedures.  On-the-job training sometimes requires a phlebotomist to do 200 hours of clinical training and to draw blood samples 100 times.


Scholarships for phlebotomists

There are many scholarships available for phlebotomists.  Check with your state or county, local organizations, schools, and certifying bodies.  They offer scholarship programs for phlebotomists or health care students.


Here are some examples of scholarships for phlebotomists:


These scholarships are from one of the premier Phlebotomy certifying bodies in the US.

This scholarship is a partnership between ASCP and Siemens.

This program is for Alaskan students who are studying Health Care.


Salary and Employment

According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, the average annual salary for phlebotomists is $30,910.  The hourly wage is $14.86.


Phlebotomists are in high demand.  They say that demand for laboratory technicians will grow by 15% between 2010 and 2020. According to a survey by the ASCP, employment for phlebotomists must increase by 7.91% in order to meet current openings.


For now, your concern might only be about how to become a phlebotomist.  A phlebotomist job can serve as entry point to different medical careers like Nursing or EMT.

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