To work as a phlebotomist, you are not required to obtain a certification in phlebotomy. However, we highly recommend it.

California and Louisiana are the only states currently requiring phlebotomy certification in order to perform blood draws. However, without phlebotomy certification, your chance of landing a job is drastically reduced. 

Why? It’s a competitive market out there, and phlebotomy certification demonstrates to employers that you’ve put in the time to be trained well. And meeting the requirements of respected certifying agencies means you are up to snuff – you possess the basic standards in the field. 

And keep in mind that phlebotomy certifications give you an edge in salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a phlebotomist can expect to make an average salary of $26,000 per year. But a certification in phlebotomy can translate to an average salary that is 10 percent higher, according to the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) 2010 Wage Survey

There are about 10 certifying agencies that are nationally recognized for certification in phlebotomy. They include the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Center for Competency Testing, the American Certification Agency, and the National Phlebotomy Association. Requirements for phlebotomy certification vary by agency, so you should consult their guidelines before pursuing your certification.

Some requirements for phlebotomy certifications include:

  • Completion of an accredited phlebotomy training program
  • High school graduation or equivalent
  • 40 classroom hours
  • 120 training hours
  • 100 blood collections
  • Hands-on clinical internship

For more information

The American Society for Clinical Pathology offers detailed explanation of phlebotomy certification requirements. 

Learn more about phlebotomy certification requirements at the National Center for Competency Testing.