Phlebotomy Training Certification

These days, graduating from a phlebotomy training program with a certificate or even an associate’s degree in your pocket would not seem good enough for the employers of reputed healthcare industries, owing to the fact that they are more interested to hire only those phlebotomy technicians, who have passed the national phlebotomy certification exam and thus have been honored with the official title of a Certified Phlebotomy Technician or, rather say, a Certified Phlebotomist.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that you must acquire the national phlebotomy certification to practice the technical profession of a phlebotomist. After all, most states (well, with the exception of California) do not have any legal provision demanding the phlebotomist to acquire the national certification.

In other words, you would be qualified to take an entry level phlebotomy job right after your graduation in any states except California, where it’s mandatory to challenge the Phlebotomy Certification California.

Hence, if you are aspiring to become a phlebotomy tech, then you need to get yourself enrolled in only those certified colleges or accredited online phlebotomy schools, which, upon graduation, would grant you the eligibility to participate in the national phlebotomy certification exam. Once again, let me remind you that if you have the national phlebotomist certification then any reputed or high-paying health industries would hire you straightaway.

Once you have completed your phlebotomy training, you must take your phlebotomy certification exam. Although not all states require certification to practice phlebotomy or venipuncture, securing a job in this field without a recognized certification is rare. Even in states that do not require it, phlebotomy certification will give you a decided advantage when looking for employment and show prospective employers that you are serious about your career.

Top Recognized Certification Bodies Are:

The Association of Phlebotomy Technicians (APT)

  • The APT requirements for professional certification have the following criteria for prospective students without previous and directly related experience.
  • Member in good standing with APT
  • Successful completion of accredited phlebotomy training
  • 5 successful skin punctures
  • 100 successful and documented venipunctures
  • This certification is through The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)

American Medical Technologists (AMT)

Heralded as one of the best phlebotomy certifying agency, the American Medical Technologist of the Illinois state welcomes the aspiring phlebotomy students to participate in its Registered Phlebotomy Technician (RPT) certification exam, which, for your information, requires a fee of around $78.

This phlebotomy certification exam covers 8 phlebotomy course topics such as phlebotomy technical skills, safety techniques, communication and blood specimen. You can take this particular exam at a testing centre or even through online.

If you prefer to get your national phlebotomy certification through the American Medical Technologists, then, naturally, you would have to complete your phlebotomy training through a phlebotomy program, which has received the accreditation from this very agency or from the state agencies. This certifying agency also accepts the students of the phlebotomy program, which are approved by the US Department of Health.

Mind you, any phlebotomy program, be it phlebotomy schools online or in-class based phlebotomy school, that you seek to enroll at must provide 120 hours of didactic classes along with 120 hours of clinical hands-on training.

But in case, you could not get your hands on any such AMT accredited phlebotomist programs, then you may graduate from any reputed phlebotomy programs, and gain minimum 1040 hours of work experience in this very field.

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 

Another renowned name, which drops by whenever there is discussion of national phlebotomy certification agencies, is that of the American Society of Clinical Pathology (in short, ASCP). After all, the ASCP is reckoned to be the oldest and the largest clinical pathology society that has been offering certification to over 430,000 medical practitioners through its Board of Certification.

Now, this particular agency, which origins from Chicago of Illinois State, has the provision of issuing a PBT (ASCP) certification exam to the phlebotomy technicians, who wish to grab the national credentials of a Certified Phlebotomist. By the way, you should also do better to learn that ASCP charges around $125 for its exam fee.

Applicants should be the proud owner of a GED certificate or a high-school diploma and must have completed an accredited phlebotomy program with technical experience.

The applicant requires to have completed either an accredited phlebotomy program or other state approved medical assistant programs like the RN or LPN programs that consist of the phlebotomy course.

This agency also provides certification to those phlebotomy technicians, who have accumulated 1 year of phlebotomy job experience by working in some accredited medical laboratory.

Aside from the PBT certification exam, the American Society of Clinical Pathology also has the provision of administering DPT or rather say Donor Phlebotomy Technician certification exam to those phlebotomists, who possess ASCP-demanded phlebotomy education & training and also fulfill the experience requirements.

Moreover, this DPT certification exam is also designed for the phlebotomy techs, who have graduated from donor educational programs.

The ASCP has very specific requirements in order to qualify for certification. For those without previous venipuncture experience one must:

  • Posses a high school diploma (or equivalent)
  • 100 successful and unaided blood collections
  • 120 hours of hands-on training
  • 40 classroom hours of study

Courses taken in the classroom must include:

  • Physiology (or the circulatory system)
  • Anatomy
  • Specimen handling and processing
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Specimen collection

In order to be eligible for certification through the ASCP your laboratory training must take place in a facility that is regulated by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment of 1998 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The National Phlebotomy Association (NPA)

National Phlebotomy Association (in short, NPA) is another reputed phlebotomy certification agency, which not only provides official credentials to the Phlebotomy Technicians but also to the Phlebotomy Instructors. If you prefer to get your certification from this agency, then it’s good for you to know that NPA charges around $130 as their exam fee.

The national phlebotomy certification exam administered by this venerable agency is opened to the phlebotomy technicians, who have completed 160 hours long theoretical classes and have managed to gain at least 200 hours of clinical training with mannequins or real patients.

And, of course, this agency also provides certification to those phlebotomists, who have successfully completed 16 Phlebotomy CEU (i.e. continuing education units) through an accredited program, be it phlebotomy courses online or classroom-based.

To apply for this certification exam, the applicants need to show minimum 1 year of paid-work experience as a phlebotomy technician and should still have current employment.

Note:–Unlike the aforementioned phlebotomy certification agencies i.e. ASCP and AMT, the National Phlebotomy Association (NPA) has the provision of administering not only a 2 hours long written exam but also a 1 hour long practical exam. Both the ASCP and AMT require the phlebotomist candidates to take only a written exam to earn the title of a Certified Phlebotomist.

The NPA certifies phlebotomists in all 50 US states as well as in Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Barbados, Switzerland and Canada. They provide accredited phlebotomy programs in a variety of health care institutes, hospitals, colleges and universities. In order to qualify for certification with NPA your program of study must include:

  • Hands-on training through an internship program
  • Accepted techniques of venipuncture
  • 160 hours of classroom study

For detailed information on the costs of certification by the NPA you can visit the following site:

Taking the Phlebotomy Exam

It is extremely important that the school or learning institution you choose for studying phlebotomy is a professionally accredited one and that upon successful completion, you will be adequately prepared to take your phlebotomy certification exam. It is important to ensure that the courses within your program are in accordance with the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and/or are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.

It is also recommended that before enrolling in any phlebotomy program you contact a recognized certification association to enquire about the validity of the particular school you are interested in. In addition to the ASCP, NPA and the APT, whose information has been listed above, the following are also professionally accepted accreditation agencies:

There is little doubt that becoming a trained and certified phlebotomist is an excellent portal for a career in the medical profession. The field of phlebotomy or venipuncture opens the door to a host of exciting job possibilities in a wide array of venues. Taking some time to do a little research before enrolling in any learning institution will enable you to make the academic and career choices that can provide you with a lifetime of exciting and challenging opportunities.