Career Guide

A Guide to Phlebotomy Technician Certification Options

One of the best ways for phlebotomists to set themselves apart from other job candidates is to obtain national certification in the phlebotomy field. Several professional organizations offer phlebotomy technician certification, so it is up to you to choose the right one for your needs. The costs and certification requirements vary by organization, so review the requirements for each certification and decide which one to pursue. Becoming certified can help you get a better job or qualify for promotions with your current employer.

What is a certified phlebotomist?

A certified phlebotomist is someone who has passed a comprehensive certification examination and met all of the other requirements established by the certifying body. Many organizations require certified phlebotomists to graduate from accredited training programs and complete continuing education courses on a regular basis. A certified phlebotomist also has to have a certain amount of experience performing blood draws and capillary sticks.

What types of certification are available?

If you are interested in phlebotomy technician certification, you have several options. The National Healthcareer Association, American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, and the American Society for Clinical Pathology all offer national certifications for this career. Check with your supervisor to see if your employer has a preference for any of these certifications.

How do I become a CPT through the National Healthcareer Association?

The certified phlebotomy technician (CPT) credential offered by the NHA is available to phlebotomists who have at least one year of work experience. This experience must include a minimum of 10 capillary sticks and 30 venipunctures on live patients. If much of your experience involves using phlebotomy mannequins, you will have to get more experience with live subjects before you apply for this certification.

The registration fee for the CPT examination is $105 as of May 2013. You will be given one hour and 50 minutes to take the test, which has a total of 110 questions. The minimum scaled score required for certification is 390.

What are the phlebotomy certification requirements for the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians?
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Work experience is one of the most important requirements for the ASPT phlebotomy certification. You must have at least one year of experience as a part-time phlebotomist or six months of experience as a full-time phlebotomist. Health professionals who draw blood specimens on a regular basis can also qualify for certification by providing a letter from a supervisor on facility letterhead. ASPT also requires certification candidates to have performed at least five skin punctures and a minimum of 100 successful venipunctures. The examination fee is $55, but you must also pay the ASPT membership fee before registering for the phlebotomy board exam.

What are the requirements for certification through the American Society for Clinical Pathology?

ASCP certification is one of the most desirable for those who are interested in phlebotomy technician certification. Applicants have seven different ways to qualify for this certification.

Graduate from high school and complete an approved phlebotomy training program within the five years prior to taking the certification exam.
Graduate from high school and complete an acceptable phlebotomy training program that includes a minimum of 40 hours of classroom training and 100 hours of clinical training in an accredited laboratory. You must perform at least 100 successful blood collections during this clinical training.
Graduate from high school and complete one year of full-time work at an accredited laboratory within the five years prior to registering for the certification exam.
Graduate from high school and complete a nursing program or other allied health program that includes phlebotomy training. The training must occur in an accredited laboratory, and you must perform at least 100 successful blood collections. If you choose this route, you must provide a copy of your current license or a notarized certificate of completion from your school.
Obtain MLT or MT/MLS certification through the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
Obtain DPT certification through the American Society for Clinical Pathology and perform at least 100 successful non-donor collections within the five years prior to taking the phlebotomy board exam.
Graduate from high school and complete a training program approved by the California Department of Public Health. If you choose this route, you must complete a training documentation form and submit it to the ASCP. The form must be accompanied by a letter of authenticity printed on your school’s letterhead.

The fee for the ASCP phlebotomy certification exam is $135.