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Phlebotomy Technician: Educational Requirements

Phlebotomy technicians, also known as phlebotomists, are responsible for collecting blood samples for medical tests or blood donations. Completing a phlebotomist training program is required in order to gain career access. Read this article for more education and career information on phlebotomy technicians.

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Educational Requirements for Phlebotomy Technicians

In order to become a phlebotomy technician, individuals must complete a phlebotomy training program. These programs are available at many community colleges and technical schools around the U.S. When enrolled in a program, students may study a variety of clinical, practical and theoretical subjects, including blood collection techniques, medical terminology, CPR, patient interaction principles and possible legal issues. These programs are usually short-term courses of study that can take around ten weeks to complete.

Certification Requirements

After completing an accredited phlebotomy training program, graduates may apply to become certified phlebotomy technicians. Certification, such as that offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT), usually requires candidates to complete a competency exam and have a determined amount of work experience. Employers often prefer prospective employees who hold certification credentials, such as the AMT's Registered Phlebotomy Technician designation. Other certification organizations include the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the American Association of Medical Personnel.

Licensing Requirements

Some states, such as California, require their phlebotomy technicians to be licensed in order to legally work in the state. These requirements vary by state, so it may be important to check with the health or occupational licensing department within the state in which you wish to work to verify specifics.

Career Information

Phlebotomy technicians usually work alongside other clinical laboratory technologists or medical personnel. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is an expected 13% job growth among clinical laboratory technologist and technicians occupations from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities are generally available in hospitals or with clinical laboratories. The BLS reported that as of May 2012, the 10th-90th percentiles of phlebotomists earned between $21,340 and $42,600 per year.

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