How to Become a Phlebotomist in the U.S. Step-by-Step Guide.

How to Become a Phlebotomist in the U.S. Step-by-Step Guide.
September 27, 2012 Phlebotomy Training Group

You do not need to have a medical background to become a phlebotomist. To begin your career in phlebotomy, you need to obtain a high school diploma or GED.

Once you have successfully completed high school or received a GED, you can take a phlebotomy course at an accredited vocational or technical school.

However, you will need to meet the school’s pre-requisites.

Even though the pre-requisites may vary, most schools will ask you to be in possession of a high-school diploma or a GED,  be at least 18 years old, be current on your vaccinations, be able to pass a background / drug test and have no communicable diseases.

Schools offering courses in phlebotomy can choose to offer an associate’s degree, a certificate / diploma course or both. You may use our built-in ZIP search to find phlebotomy schools close to your location in order to begin your training.

I Qualify. What’s next?

How to Become a Phlebotomist with CertificationsIf you meet the criteria, your next step is to decide on the level of education you wish to achieve.

A certificate course is the quickest way to become a phlebotomist. Most of these courses only last a few weeks or a couple of months. Diploma programs take a little longer to complete. However, if you are interested in obtaining an degree in phlebotomy, you will need to take a longer course.

The majority of schools will offer the shorter training course so you can take the certification exam. Some of these schools will also offer their students the opportunity to take the longer training course to obtain an associate’s degree. It takes approximately two years to obtain an associate’s degree in phlebotomy.

Why Would I Want to Get an Associate’s Degree / Diploma in Phlebotomy?

Although an associate’s degree takes longer to obtain and costs more, some employers require this level of education to consider you for hire. Also, you can apply for financial aid to help offset the added cost of the associate’s degree. Having a diploma indicates that you have more training and experience than a phlebotomist who only has a certificate.

How to Become a Phlebotomist with Certifications?

After you are done with your training, you need to become certified with one (or more) of the several organizations that certify phlebotomy technicians. Despite of your level of education (certificate, diploma, degree), you still need to become certified in order to appeal to employers. You can learn more about the certification process, the various bodies, their fees and exam structures here.

Still on the Fence about Becoming a Phlebotomy Technician?

It is normal to have your doubts. If you are not sure if this is the right career for you, you might want to shadow someone you know who does this job. Read on for some insight on phlebotomy as a career…

Why Choose a Career in Phlebotomy?

Becoming a phlebotomist is a great way to enter the medical field. By becoming a phlebotomist, you can familiarize yourself with the different areas of the health care industry. You may want to advance your career in this field or discover which areas of the industry interest you. Because becoming a phlebotomist entails a rather short training period and jobs are relatively easy to find, many nurses and physicians begin their careers as phlebotomists.

Is There a Demand for Phlebotomists?

Yes, it is expected that there will be a 15 percent increase in the demand for new phlebotomy technicians through 2020.

Who Employs Phlebotomists?

Phlebotomists work in numerous settings. A phlebotomist may work in a physician’s office, an outpatient lab, a donor clinic or a hospital.

What Personal Characteristics Should a Phlebotomist Have?

A phlebotomist needs to have the ability to empathize with patients, communicate effectively, have interpersonal skills that help him build a rapport with patients and staff, is an observant, detail-oriented individual with a steady hand, as well as strong concentration skills.

A phlebotomist interacts with patients, physicians and laboratory technicians. This is why communication skills are essential. Any misunderstandings could lead to dangerous results in relation to the patient.

Read more: Traits of a Good Phlebotomist

What is the Average Annual Salary of a Phlebotomist?

The average annual salary of a phlebotomist in 2012 is approximately $30,000. This is an excellent wage for a position that does not require a four-year college degree. It is also one of the largest salaries paid to an entry-level health care professional. For analytical salary data per state, click here.

What About Wage Increases?

The wage increase remains consistent across the board for the phlebotomist. However, the actual wages vary significantly due to several factors, including your city, state and type of employer. The rate of wage increase of a phlebotomist’s career over the first nine years is much greater than increases thereafter.

What Will I Learn in the Phlebotomy Courses?

You will learn every skill you need to successfully begin your career in phlebotomy. These courses will introduce you to various procedures; teach you the terminology and the necessary techniques to perform your role as a phlebotomist effectively.

Before receiving a certificate of competency in phlebotomy, programs generally require that their students obtain numerous hours of clinical externship. This hands-on experience is an extremely important aspect of learning phlebotomy. Once you have completed your basic training, you are on your way to becoming a professional phlebotomy technician.

Once I Complete my Training, Will I be Given Assistance Finding Employment?

Some schools do help their students find employment following course completion.

Are There Close Alternatives to Phlebotomy?

Yes. You might want to check this article out: Careers Related to Phlebotomy

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