Phlebotomists work in a variety of medical and health care environments, drawing blood from patients' veins for medical testing or donation. Qualifications to be a licensed phlebotomist are based on each state’s requirements for licensure, which can include education, passing a national exam and a criminal background check.
A licensed phlebotomist completes a training program administered by the state in which he works. Training can be obtained through community colleges or vocational schools accredited by the state. Students must complete a designated number of hours of training administered by their state to qualify for a license.
Each state’s licensing application process differs, but generally requires passing a credentialing exam from one of several credentialing agencies. Phlebotomist candidates must also pay a fee to apply and have no criminal background. Credentialing agencies such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the National Phlebotomy Association, the National Healthcareer Association and the National Credentialing Agency for Clinical Laboratory Personnel provide exams for phlebotomists.
Successful completion of the application process and the credentialing exam result in becoming a licensed or certified phlebotomist. Some states have a registry for a variety of laboratory professionals, which employers use to verify a phlebotomist’s credentials. Many states’ public health departments require that phlebotomists take continuing education courses to renew their licenses every few years.
Phlebotomists earned an average salary of $13.50 per hour, according to The American Society for Clinical Pathology 2010 salary survey. Those in a supervisory role earned an average salary of $20.08 per hour. California paid the highest wages for phlebotomists in the United States, averaging $23.36 per hour.
Elvis Michael has been writing professionally since 2007, contributing technology articles to various online outlets. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in information technology at Northeastern University.