How to Become a Phlebotomist?

November 23

Table of Contents

Phlebotomy is related to drawing blood from patients. A phlebotomist works widely in the medical field, and they have high demand in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic, and blood donation centers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment demand for phlebotomists is predicted to increase by 22 percent between 2020-2030, outpacing the average growth rate for all other occupations. 

If you are wondering what a phlebotomist does, the required educational path, and how to become a phlebotomist, then this article is for you. So keep reading!

What is a Phlebotomist?

phlebotomist is an allied health care professional who draws blood from patients, typically for diagnostic tests, research, or donation.

Sometimes their works vary, such as collecting the blood of a life insurance applicant, maintaining machines related to plasma collection, etc.

They are expected to be calm and relaxed to make patients relaxed during tests. Frequently they need to explain to the patient the reason for drawing blood, the next steps in their diagnosis, etc.

A phlebotomist should be well trained for comfortable blood withdrawal and ensure the process's safety protocols.

What are the Requirements to Become a Phlebotomist?

Phlebotomy is a field where the requirements are concise. But, it can vary from state to state.

Some basic prerequisites:

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Good physical and mental health.
  • Good immunity.

You need some academic background to be a phlebotomist:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent like GED
  • Completion of Phlebotomy Training program
  • Certification. For some states, certification is a mandatory requirement.
  • Phlebotomists require a license in some states, such as Louisiana and Nevada.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Phlebotomist?

The demand and salary of a phlebotomist are very high compared to the educational and other costs.

However, the cost varies from state to state and in different institutions. We’ll discuss the average cost. For some institutions, the cost includes books and lab fees.

Training Costs

The training costs could be either online or at school. Here is the average cost in USD.




$300 to $700

At a technical school

$700 to $1400

Additional Costs

There might also be additional costs like certification, course fee, training kit, and practice. Again, this varies from state to state.




$80 to $150

Continuation of education courses online

$50 to $75

Phlebotomy training kit

$100 to $500

Practice vein

$120 to $150

The overall cost of phlebotomy training is much lower than most other health training. If you think about entry-level nurse practitioners, they spend around $81,810 to $185,280 for school.

How to Become a Phlebotomist?

The Journey to being a phlebotomist is short, easy, and enjoyable. The criteria differ in various states. However, you have to follow some basic steps everywhere.

  • Step 1: Complete a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development).
  • Step 2: Complete a post-secondary education phlebotomy program.
  • Step 3: Pursue a phlebotomy certification or license.
  • Step 4: Find and be offered a job.

Let’s learn more details about each of these steps.

Step 1: Complete a High School Diploma or GED

Completing your high school education or equivalence (GED) is the primary requirement to apply for the phlebotomy program.

You can start your phlebotomy career without a college degree. However, your age must be at least 18 to join any phlebotomy program. It'll be a plus if you completed biology, chemistry, or health education in your high school curriculum.   

Step 2: Complete a Post-secondary Education Phlebotomy Program

Many community colleges, technical schools, and vocational institutes offer phlebotomy training programs. The program duration is about one year.

The requirements to join a phlebotomy program:

  • Filling out the application
  • Proof of completing High School or equivalent, holding a minimum GPA
  • Immunization record (Updated)
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification
  • Records of vaccination

An authorized phlebotomy program includes the following subjects:

  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Blood sampling procedures
  • Laboratory rules and safety

You also get clinical/hands-on training, including the procedure of veni-puncture and capillary collections. You also learn communication skills and specimen handling.

Step 3: Pursue A Phlebotomy Certification Or License

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 3 states require a license for phlebotomists: California, Louisiana, and Nevada.

Certification is not mandatory but highly recommended because most employers prefer a certified one.

Some organizations provide Phlebotomy Technician Certification, as shown in the below section:

Let’s learn a little bit more about the certification process.

National Center for Competency Test

You can be eligible for the NCCT phlebotomy certification test through one of the following 3 routes.

  • Being a current student or graduate from an NCCT-authorized school within the last 5 years.
  • Having a verifiable one year of full-time experience working as a Phlebotomy Technician Practitioner within the last 5 years.
  • Having a Phlebotomy Technician Training or its equivalent during U.S. military service.
  • Exam Fee: $119.00

National Health Career Association

To appear for a CPT exam, you need to fulfill one of these requirements:

  • Complete a Phlebotomy Technician Training or education program within the past 5 years.
  • 1 year of supervised work experience as a phlebotomist within the past 3 years.
  • Application Fee: $117.00

American Society of Clinical Pathology

You will be eligible for the certification exam if you have one of the following routes:

  • Complete a NACCLS-Authorized training program.
  • Formal training comprises 40 hours of classes, 100 hours of practice in the laboratory, 100 successful skin punctures, and veni-puncture.
  • 1 year of supervised work experience as a phlebotomist in an accredited laboratory within the past 5 years.
  • Having other ASCP certifications that include MT, MLT, MLS, etc.
  • Exam Details: Time- 2 hours, written with 80 MCQ.
  • Application Fee: $135

National Phlebotomy Association

Eligibility criteria for the exam in NPA for completing an Allied Health Program includes:

  • Venipuncture techniques.
  • At least 160 contact hours of lecture time, excluding practicals.
  • Minimum of 200 hours of practical experience is a must, either with mannequins, clinical practicum, or both.
  • Exam Details: 2 hours written exam including 50 MCQ
  • Application Fee: $135

American Medical Technologist

You need to complete the following path following routes to be eligible for the RPT exam in AMT.


  • You need to be a graduate within the past 4 years from an authorized academic course in phlebotomy.
  • You must complete 50 successful venipuncture and 10 successful skin puncture.
  • As an applicant, you must have a minimum of 1040 hours of acceptable working experience as a phlebotomy technician.
  • Application Fee: $95

Step 4: Find And Be Offered A Job

Phlebotomists work in hospitals, clinics, blood banks, diagnostic centers, insurance companies, etc.

19500 job openings are projected for phlebotomists over the decade.  Once ready, you can apply to an employer of choice and present your qualifications. 

In addition, most career websites, such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter, often show job openings for phlebotomists.

Important Qualities Needed to Be a Phlebotomist

Some qualities can make you a good phlebotomist and amplify your career growth. 

A professional phlebotomist needs a developed sense of intuition and requires the following qualities:
  • Solicitude: Some people are afraid to give their blood. Some might even panic. You have to be patient in your dealings with them and put them at ease. You have to keep patience and make them relax. Your appearance and soft behavior grow confident and ease their anxiety.
  • Proficiency in Your Skills: As you insert a needle into veins, you must be accurate and confident. You need to have outstanding hand-eye coordination.
  • Communication Skills: As a phlebotomist, you have to be polite and communicate concisely, even under challenging conditions.
  • Detail Oriented: Attention to detail is required to collect the blood in the correct vials, enter the most accurate data into the database, health management systems, etc. 

How Much Do Phlebotomists Make?

According to the BLS data, a phlebotomist’s average earnings is $17.97 per hour or $37,380 per year.

The average salary can vary in different states:


Avg. Salary (Annual, in USD)









New York






Final Thoughts

Phlebotomists often hold a respectable position in the healthcare sector. They possess unique skills that are often in demand and necessary in many hospitals and diagnostic clinics. Being a phlebotomist is also an opportunity to serve people and be a part of the healthcare system.

Phlebotomy can be a good career option if you want to work in the healthcare industry without the complex educational background that other professionals such as physicians and nurses have to go through.

This career path is recommended if you love helping your community and people of all ages. The career requires dedication since it can sometimes be strenuous, for example, when there is an epidemic in the community. 

Moreover, there has been a steady increase in demand for phlebotomists in all states. This demand will only continue to grow as projected by the BLS.

Hence, it can be an ideal and fruitful career for anyone interested in the industry. 

Additional FAQs –  Becoming a Phlebotomist

How Long is the Training Duration to Become a Phlebotomist?

It depends on various training programs. After completing your high school or equivalent education background, it takes less than one year to complete a phlebotomy training program.

How is the Working Environment for a Phlebotomist?

A phlebotomist works in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, community medical centers, diagnostic labs, etc.

Phlebotomists often spend a long-time standing during the work day. Their job often involves collecting blood samples, operating laboratory equipment, maintaining health records, etc. It can often be strenuous.

How’s the Job Demand for Phlebotomists?

According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), employment opportunity is expected to increase by 22% year-over-year from 2020 to 2030. It indicates a strong and rising demand and a steady future for those pursuing a career as phlebotomists.

You're no longer alone on your journey to becoming a physician

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