2 answers

Im interested in becoming a phlebotomist, what steps could I take to get there?

Asked Oakland, California

2 answers

Srishti’s Answer


Hi Horizon! This is a great question! I used to work at a company that employed phlebotomists around the United States to perform in-home sample collection (blood, fecal, saliva, etc) for bed-bound patients. It looks like you're writing in from California, so you can visit the California State Health Department website to learn more about how to become a phlebotomist: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OSPHLD/LFS/Pages/Phlebotomist.aspx

Some key things to note:

  • To be a phlebotomist, you must have successfully completed a certification course that provides medical training on how to perform phlebotomy related tasks.
  • Every state has a set of requirements for what constitutes as phlebotomy training. For the most part, the requirements overlap significantly; however, to the best of my knowledge, California and New York have the most stringent certification requirements.
  • You can usually find licensed certification programs where you can enroll in classes to help you prepare for the certification exam by doing a quick google search of training schools in your area. (https://www.google.com/search?q=phlebotomy+training&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS811US811&oq=plhlebotomy+&aqs=chrome.3.69i57j0l5.4483j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8)

This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • As a first step, I would recommend that you explore the state health department phlebotomy certification site for whichever state you want to practice in. The first link I provided above has some really great information about types of licenses, schooling requirements, examination requirements, and how to maintain your phlebotomist certification.
  • Next, I would find some training courses in your area and understand how much this training will cost. Some programs may have scholarships that you can apply for. Sometimes, there are other places (community centers and hospitals) you can look to for financial support.

Carol’s Answer

Updated Alpharetta, Georgia

Hi Horizon

While I have not recruited specifically for <span style="color: rgb(85, 85, 85); background-color: white;">Phlebotomists</span>, I have found that the best way to find out about any career is to go online and ask.


So, I went on Google and asked. This is what I have found so far. The requirements to become a phlebotomist are:

Earn a High School Diploma or its Equivalent-<span style="color: rgb(85, 85, 85); background-color: white;">You must be 18 years of age in order to enter a program as well</span>


Complete a Phlebotomy Training Program

Those interested in phlebotomy often enroll in a program at a college or a technical school. During these short-term, often less than one year, programs, students learn how to draw blood and how to properly interact with patients. Common courses include lab safety, equipment disposal and possible legal issues.

Students will balance classroom learning with hands-on training in a hospital or another clinical environment. Successful completion of repeated disease tests and skin punctures is also necessary in order to demonstrate proficiency.


Obtain Certification and Licensure

Certifications are available from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, American Medical Technologists (AMT) or the American Association of Medical Personnel.

In order to become certified, individuals must meet eligibility requirements set by the organization. For example, the AMT requires candidates to have graduated from an acceptable training program, have completed at least 1,040 hours of work experience and to have successfully passed their certification exam. 



<span style="color: rgb(85, 85, 85); background-color: white;"> </span>

Over 200 schools provide phlebotomy programs in the U.S. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) accredits approximately 60 programs, most of which are offered by 2-year technical, vocational or community colleges. The NAACLS as well as the site listed above provide a list of the largest schools accredited by for phlebotomy training.


There is more information out there that will tell you what people do in certain careers, other sites that might describe a typical day in the role, jobsites with openings and job descriptions as well as salary ranges for the positions, etc. YouTube may have videos explaining the same. If you look at multiple sites, look for consistencies in what they say. This should help you feel more comfortable that the information you are reading is accurate.


Hope this helps. Feel free to reach back out.


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