Phlebotomy is a growing area of the medical profession and an alluring choice for many people searching for a new career. A phlebotomy technician collects blood samples from medical patients and blood donors and takes the specimens for analysis in a lab.
How Do You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
In most states, phlebotomists are requires to gain special certification, primarily because it takes a very specialized knowledge to perform the duties correctly. In the past, nurses and certified nursing assistants were trained as phlebotomists, but thanks to a growing number of patients and increasing need, many organizations are looking for full-time phlebotomy technicians who do nothing but collect blood.
There are several options for those looking to become a phlebotomy technician. Some vocational schools and colleges offer training online while others provide in-class experience in a medical or lab setting. The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians is one organization that provides a national-level certification.
To complete the examination and become nationally certified, perspective phlebotomists should choose a program that provides a thorough training and coursework. This coursework can usually be completed in four months to a year. Once coursework is completed, aspiring phlebotomists should consider setting aside some money for state and national exam fees. Luckily, these fees are typically nominal. For instance, the ASPT only charges $55 to take the certification exam. However, without the right education, it will be nearly impossible to pass the exam.
Wages for phlebotomy technicians vary, but the typical starting salary can be around $29,000 per year. People who live in major metropolitan areas and city centers can expect to make a little more starting out to account for a higher cost of living. While the starting salary is considered modest by many, there is plenty of opportunity for growth. In fact, many people start out as phlebotomists to gain valuable work experience before moving on to other areas, such as nursing.