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How do I get Phlebotomy Certification?

Tricia Christensen
Updated: Feb 27, 2024

Though this may vary by state or country, most people need to have phlebotomy certification to work as a phlebotomist. A couple of states, Louisiana and California, legally require any person hired as a phlebotomist to possess certification. While the other states in the US may not legally require it, it's usually expected that a phlebotomist will hold a phlebotomy certificate. Three levels of certification may exist in certain states, particularly California and these are limited phlebotomy technician, and phlebotomy technician I and II. Each requires training and then application for phlebotomy certification.

Most programs that teach this profession require that students complete training at an accredited school. Length of classes may vary but they typically include classroom hours, and then lots hands on training. There are programs available at a number of schools around the country. These can include community colleges and many vocational or trade schools too. Programs may take a year or longer to complete, and sometimes less time. If the school offers an associate’s degree with graduation, programs are usually two years in length.

When different job levels are offered in a state like California, phlebotomy technician II status is important to increase ability to get jobs. Phlebotomy tech I jobs allow workers to do venipuncture (draw blood from veins) and skin punctures. Tech II designation means the worker can draw blood from veins or arteries. Sometimes arterial blood samples are needed. It is possible to be trained only to the Tech I level, but clearly programs that train to Tech II level are of more use when it comes time to hunt for jobs.

Once a program has been completed, including any required internships, people can apply for phlebotomy certification with several different organizations. It’s not clear if one is perceived more favorably than the others. There are quite a few organizations where a phlebotomy certificate can be obtained, including the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the Association for Phlebotomy Technicians, and the National Phlebotomy Association.

These organizations may also credential the programs in which people train, and it may make sense to achieve phlebotomy certification through the same organization that credentialed the phlebotomy program a person attended. The reason for this is that requirements for certification often line up fairly exactly with the schools each organization credentials. People will need to not only meet these requirements but also pass exams showing their competence.

Like most health care jobs, phlebotomy can require continuing education in order to maintain the phlebotomy certification. Certifying organizations may vary, but most will eventually require additional training. For a person entering the field that is qualified to do venipuncture and skin puncture only, training can be an ideal time to learn how to remove blood from arteries too. Techs also routinely need training as medical equipment and methods change.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By annajackson — On May 28, 2012

Thanks for giving information on phlebotomy courses. To pursue phlebotomy training classes, the candidates should at least complete their secondary school education. After that, anyone can pursue these phlebotomy courses.

By anon160008 — On Mar 14, 2011

I have an Associate degree in medical assisting. I would really like to work as a phlebotomist in the state of Va. My degree came from Kriser Career College in Florida. will the credits transfer?

By anon150754 — On Feb 08, 2011

I complete my Phlebotomy course and my clinicals in September 2010. What do I do now?

By anon133094 — On Dec 09, 2010

I completed the classes a few years ago and have been a mobile phlebotomist with a medical company on and off since then. I now need to get my certification as quickly as possible to work elsewhere. what do i need to do? --Traci

By anon84838 — On May 17, 2010

How long can a phlebotomist legally work in one 24 hour period?

By anon77069 — On Apr 13, 2010

i have been a RN in china for 15 years. i also have done this job (phlebotomy)for 15 years. i am a good with groups of different age. but i would want to have a phlebotomy certification. how can i get it as quick as i can.

By anon71012 — On Mar 16, 2010

I am a licensed CNA in WA. and I would really like to have a phlebotomy certification. Is there such a training that would only take for about a week? or What is the quickest way of getting a certification? and who are those agencies that provide the training?

By roselle — On Jun 23, 2009

I have a Bachelors Degree in Medical Technology in Philippines. How can I get a Phlebotomy certification here in Virginia?

Thanks in advance!

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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