We asked 22,325 job seekers about their Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT). This is what they told us:
Phlebotomy Technicians – sometimes referred to as phlebotomists or as having a phlebotomy certification – are responsible for safely drawing blood for donation or medical testing. Blood can be drawn by puncturing the skin, a vein or an artery, and phlebotomy technicians must first train in the proper methods of taking blood. They also must learn how to draw blood in a safe, sanitary manner, how to protect themselves from the dangers of working with blood and how to maintain blood samples for testing or storage.
Phlebotomists can work in hospitals, nursing homes, doctors' offices, medical facilities, blood donation centers or laboratories. Some medical professionals train as phlebotomy technicians to add to their skills.
While phlebotomy can be taught through on-the-job training, many phlebotomists attend formal training programs and seek certification through a medical or phlebotomy organization. Some states and many employers require a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) to draw blood.
There are several popular phlebotomy training and certification programs. Most involve classroom training in drawing blood, safe blood handling, working in medical environments and patient interaction and first aid. Many programs also include hands-on training or externships. Final certification is achieved by passing an exam to prove competency to work as a phlebotomy technician.
Some of the most common phlebotomy certifications include:
To be eligible for certification through the ACA as a Certified Phlebotomy Technician, applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, have proof of graduation from a phlebotomy training program or school and pass a certification exam. There is a $100 testing fee.1
To become an RPT through the American Medical Technologists, in addition to passing an exam and holding a high school diploma or its equivalent, applicants must have completed a training course that includes at least 120 hours of instruction, or they must be able to demonstrate that they have completed at least 1,040 hours of work performing vein punctures, capillary punctures, specimen processing, communication and clerical duties.2 All applicants must have performed at least 50 successful vein punctures and 10 successful capillary punctures. Registration and examination costs $100.
To obtain certification as a phlebotomy technician through the American Society for Clinical Professionals (ASCP), applicants must first complete an ASCP-approved training course or prove that they have met comparable training requirements.3 Applicants must also have at least a high school degree or its equivalent and pass a certification exam. Certification through the ASCP costs $135.
American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, Inc. (ASPT) Certified Phlebotomy Technician
To be eligible for the ASPT certification exam, phlebotomy technicians must have passed a phlebotomy training course; must have completed one year of work as a part-time phlebotomy technician, 6 months as a full-time phlebotomy technician or hold a letter from a supervisor vouching for comparable experience; must have documented 75 successful vein punctures and 5 successful skin punctures; and must be a current member of the ASPT.4 The exam fee is $60, and the ASPT initial membership fee is $30.
Phlebotomy technicians are eligible to take the NHA certification exam if they have completed a phlebotomy training program within the past 5 years and documented at least 30 vein punctures and 10 capillary draws.5 They also must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. The certification exam costs $117.
For certification through the NPA, applicants must have completed an NPA-approved phlebotomy training or continuing education course and pass the NPA certification exam.6 In addition to basic phlebotomy certification courses, there are combination courses that provide students with the skills they need for combined certification. Common phlebotomy combination courses include EKG/CPT programs that train students to perform electrocardiograms as well as the responsibilities of phlebotomists and Medical Assistant/Phlebotomy courses that prepare students for certifications as both medical assistants and phlebotomists.
There aren't many steps involved in becoming a phlebotomist. Anyone who is a high-school graduate, or who holds a GED or comparable certificate, can pursue a career in phlebotomy. Most phlebotomists begin their careers by:
Training as a phlebotomist can take anywhere from 8 weeks to 1 year, depending on the training program and certification being sought. Phlebotomy programs generally cost between $300 and $1,400. Depending on the state in which the phlebotomist plans to work, he or she also may have to seek additional certification or registration.7
A handful of states have training and certification requirements for phlebotomy technicians. Some states require that phlebotomists register or become licensed through the state while others require that those working as phlebotomists to hold national certifications.
The following states follow the national requirements only:
The following states do not currently license phlebotomists:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
1. “Certified Phlebotomy Technician”. American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals. Retrieved January, 5 2020.
2. “Phlebotomy Technician”. American Medical Technologists. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
3. “Going Places? An ASCP BOC Can Help”. ASCP Board of Certification. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
4. “Certifications”. American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, Inc. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
5. “Phlebotomy Technician Certification”. National Healthcareer Certification. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
6. “Phlebotomy Professionals”. National Phlebotomy Association. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
7. “How to Become a Phlebotomist in 5 Simple Steps”. Careers Wiki. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
Editorial content last updated: March 2020
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All information on this page, including but not limited to price, cost, instructions, descriptions, and the content of a certification course, is presented for informational purposes only, may be an approximation, is subject to change, and may have been generated by third parties. Prior to enrolling in a course for a certification, please contact the proper school or certification administrators for information regarding certification requirements.