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Phlebotomist Job Description

Phlebotomists are trained medical professionals who are an integral part of the medical community. Phlebotomists not only draw blood from patients from the finger, heel, or vein so that diagnostic tests on the blood may be performed, they also use their skills to provide many necessary services to patients and doctors.
A phlebotomist must be good with people since he or she will be interacting with patients all day. Many of the patients that phlebotomists come into contact with are nervous about the procedure they are about to undergo, so the phlebotomist must have patience and work to calm the patient and ease his or her fears. Phlebotomists must also use caution in their job since they work around blood and other bodily fluids. Therefore, they need to be up to date on the current practices and procedures for safety regarding themselves and their patients.
Phlebotomy technicians can work in an array of settings which include hospitals, doctor’s offices, laboratories, and blood banks. They work alongside doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in a medical setting.

Phlebotomist Duties

  • meet with patients
  • draw blood
  • label tubes of blood
  • instruct patients regarding aftercare
  • practice proper safety procedures when working around blood and other bodily fluids

Alternative Job Titles

  • Medical laboratory technicians
  • Clinical laboratory technicians
  • Phlebotomy technicians

How To Become A Phlebotomist

There are two ways to become a phlebotomist. The first option is to attend an accredited phlebotomy program, and the second option is to gain experience on the job. Since every state has different rules and regulations regarding the educational requirements for phlebotomists, it is necessary that one checks with the state where he or she wishes to work.

How Long Does it Take To Become A Phlebotomist?

Most phlebotomy programs take 3 months to a year. That time is spent attending classes in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and several other subjects. After coursework is finished, a clinical phase of about 120 practical hours must be completed in a lab or hospital.

Education Requirements

Since most states do not require phlebotomists to be state certified or licensed, technically, phlebotomists do not need to attend or graduate from an accredited school. However, it is difficult to find employment without a diploma in phlebotomy. Therefore, potential phlebotomists should attend an accredited school to receive a diploma or certificate. The requirements to enter a school are a high school diploma or equivalency. During the program, students will need around 6 credit hours of coursework, and they will also need to complete several weeks or months of practical training in a clinical setting.


Only 5 states require phlebotomists to be state certified. There is also a national certification that phlebotomists can apply for. National certification phlebotomy technicians can be certified in to work in all 50 states, and national certification is often preferred when seeking employment. There are several organizations in the United States that provide students with national certification. Phlebotomists can achieve national certification by applying to these organizations with proper documentation of scholastic credentials and then passing an exam consisting of questions that test the applicant’s knowledge of phlebotomy. The benefits of national certification include the ability to work in all 50 states and an increased marketability in the workforce.


Like certification, only 5 states require phlebotomists to be licensed. The procedures and requirements for licensing vary by state, but they generally include filling out an application, paying an application fee, and sometimes taking a test and undergoing a background check.

Job Outlook

The field of phlebotomy is expected to grow at an average rate From 2010 until 2020, it is estimated that there will be a 15 percent increase in new jobs for phlebotmists which will result in about 23,800 positions opening up in the field. The growth in phlebotomy jobs is due to the growing elderly population and advances in medical testing.

States With Highest Employment Levels

State Hourly mean Wage Annual mean salary # Employed Employment/1000 jobs
Rhode Island $17.52 $36,430 730 1.62
Arkansas $11.98 $24,920 1,470 1.27
Maine $13.96 $29,040 690 1.19
West Virginia $12.18 $25,330 800 1.12
Kentucky $12.86 $26,750 1,910 1.08


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