How to Become a Phlebotomy Technician – In 5 Steps

For those looking to enter the healthcare field without the lengthy educational requirements, then consider becoming a phlebotomy technician.

These professionals complete specialized education within one year.

Phlebotomists gather blood specimens from patients through venipuncture, heel, or finger pricks.

These experts must provide patient education, collaborate with other medical professionals, safely store and label biological substances, and assist with blood donations.

Becoming a phlebotomy technician requires specific steps, including graduating high school, enrolling in a program, earning a certification, conducting a job search, and maintaining skills throughout their career.

Keep reading to learn more about each of these requirements!

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Steps to Become a Phlebotomy Technician

Step One: Complete High School

Phlebotomy programs in all states require candidates to hold a high school diploma before enrollment.

Current high school students who know they want to enter the field are urged to take various classes like anatomy, chemistry, health sciences, and biology, which will help during the application process.

Communication classes are also a great option for building the personal skills required for the job.

Step Two: Find a Phlebotomy Program

Finding a phlebotomy program that’s the right fit for your lifestyle and career choices takes some work.

Many community colleges and trade schools offer these program types.

There are no fully online phlebotomy programs, as an in-person laboratory component is required to graduate from all schools.

Find training that is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences to ensure you receive the best possible education.

Most programs require the following prerequisites:

  • Clean background check.
  • CPR certification.
  • Proof of high school graduation.
  • Updated immunization records.

Step Three: Earn a Certification

Employers prefer candidates with a phlebotomy certification (here’s our phlebotomy certification practice test).

Therefore, after completing a training program, broaden your job search and marketability by earning a certification.

These requirements vary, but most require some type of examination completion.

Step Four: Find a Job

Once you have earned a certification in one of the several specialty areas, it’s time to search for a job.

Finding a job is based on many factors, including the specialization certification you have earned, salary, commute time, and what type of medical environment you wish to work in.

If you want to work in a customer-facing position, hospitals, blood donation centers, and clinics are the best options.

If you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes role, laboratory processing samples may be the best fit.

After determining this job opening criterion, prepare a resume highlighting your training and skills.

Review online postings and determine phrases and keywords to use on your resume that align with the open position qualifications.

Step Five: Maintain Certifications

Working phlebotomists must remain updated on technologies and processes and maintain their skills through continuing education.

Some opt for online lecture classes, while others may be interested in getting their hands dirty with in-person laboratory skills.

Once you have a position, your employer will pay for these educational credits, and you can earn additional certifications.

Also, choosing to specialize in a specific phlebotomy area will help advance your career while fulfilling post-certification requirements.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Phlebotomy Technician

Although no licensing requirements exist to become a phlebotomy technician, numerous phlebotomy certifications are available that can be appealing to employers.

Most opt to complete the basic certification and select more specialized options to fulfill continuing education requirements.

These certifications include:

  • CBT-ACA (Certified Phlebotomy Technician)

The CBT-ACA certificate requires a phlebotomy training program, one year of experience, 100 venipunctures, ten skin punctures, and exam completion to qualify.

  • CPT-NHA (Certified Phlebotomy Technician)

This certification is offered by the National Healthcareer Association and is available at three levels: Limited Phlebotomy Technician, and Certified Phlebotomy Technician 1 and 2.

  • CPT-NPA (Certified Phlebotomist Technologist)

This basic certification is offered by the National Phlebotomy Association after completing an approved training program.

  • PBT-ASCP (Phlebotomy Technician Certification)

This certification is the most basic and a good starting point for new phlebotomists.

The exam has 80 multiple-choice questions and takes around two hours to complete.

  • PTC-AAH (Phlebotomy Technician Certificate)

American Allied Health offers the PTC award, which requires military training, phlebotomy training completion, one year of experience in the field, and additional certifications.

  • PTC-AMCA (Phlebotomy Technician Certification)

The PTC designation from the American Medical Certification Association requires candidates to complete 30 venipunctures, 10 capillary punctures, and 100 multiple-choice examinations.

  • PTC-ASPT (Phlebotomy Technician Certificate)

The PTC-ASPT certificate requires six months of full-time experience in the field, completion of a phlebotomy training program, and a letter from a supervisor confirming venipuncture experience.

  • RPT-AMT (Registered Phlebotomy Technician)

The RPT-AMT designation is for those who have at least 1040 hours of experience in the last few years and work as a health program instructor with three years of teaching experience.

Online Training Programs

Although online training programs don’t exist to become a phlebotomist due to the clinical requirements, these are some of the best in the industry:

American National University Phlebotomy Program

ANU offers an online phlebotomy program that covers lectures.

However, students must find internships to fulfill the clinical portion of the program and gain experience in dermal punctures, venipuncture, and other tasks.

The program comprises 36 credit hours and takes between six to 12 months to complete.

Chicago School of Phlebotomy Certification Program

The Chicago School of Phlebotomy offers a certificate training program as a regular or accelerated program for those looking to enter the field quickly.

The regular program requires seven weeks, while the accelerated program can be completed in four weeks.

Courses include blood-drawing challenges, venipuncture and advanced venipuncture techniques, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, ethics, and legal issues.

Heart to Heart Healthcare Training

The eight-week program offered by Heart to Heart Healthcare training is available in-person and online for the ultimate flexibility.

Students must practice the knowledge from lectures in a clinical setting, so finding an externship is required.

Participants also learn soft skills like patient communication and clinical skills like proper venipuncture techniques.

National Phlebotomy Association

The NPA offers a 26-week phlebotomy certification course that’s considered one of the most comprehensive programs not associated with a university.

The last six weeks of the program require students to complete a 220-hour clinical externship.

Tuition, books, and fees cost $1,670, but the curriculum is highly intensive, teaching students various topics, including the chemistry and history of phlebotomy.

To be eligible for this program, students must hold a high school diploma, present immunization records, and pass a physical examination to protect themselves and others during in-person clinical practicums.

The program begins with the history and foundations of the field, moves into the hard and soft skills required for success, and ends with the externship.

Phlebotomy Career Training

The phlebotomy certification program offered by Phlebotomy Career Training accommodates students with several certification routes based on their interests, schedules, and backgrounds.

In-person and online classes are available, and the program is accredited by four third-party organizations to ensure the ultimate educational quality.

PCT also offers job placement and externship assistance so students can gain clinical experience.

The campus is in Garden City, Michigan, for those who wish to take physical classes.


Phlebotomists can earn around $49,000 annually based on experience, training, geographic location, and employer.

Most phlebotomists work full-time and earn additional benefits like retirement savings plans, health insurance, and paid time off, all of which contribute to overall compensation.

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