How To Choose A Phlebotomy Training School

phlebotomy courseThere are hundreds of vocational schools throughout the U.S., and these range in quality.  Some are run by world-famous non-profit medical institutions such as the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  Others are fly-by-night operations, and have the negative Yelp reviews to prove it.

With the increasing popularity of for-profit education companies, more and more complaints have been made from students who feel misled by unethical companies looking to make a quick buck.  The Federal Trade Commission has this to say:

While many of these schools are reputable and teach the skills necessary to get a good job, others may not be. They may promise more than they can deliver to increase enrollment — and their bottom line.  They may mislead prospective students about:

  • the salary potential of jobs in certain fields
  • the availability of jobs
  • the extent of their job training programs
  • the qualifications of their staff
  • the nature of their facilities and equipment
  • their connections to businesses and industries

That’s why this article was written- to give you the knowledge to ask the right questions before you write your school that tuition check.  Here are some questions to ask as you evaluate the school:

What are my other options?

Public schools (i.e. community colleges, public universities, etc.) frequently offer health career-related courses.  They are non-profit, meaning there is little risk that the school will disappear once you’ve paid your fees.  This also means your degree or certificate is more likely to be recognized by employers 10 years down the road.  Some public schools have established relationships with local hospitals and doctors’ offices, which means it can sometimes be easier to find an externship.  Finally, it might be easier to get financial aid if applying to a public school than a for-profit school, since public schools are more often accredited.

However, programs at public schools can take longer, and are usually offered less frequently (i.e. on a semester or quarterly basis, as opposed to on a rolling basis).  Also, the fact that public schools are funded by the government mean their incentive to exceed students’ expectations is dampened compared to those of a for-profit school.  Conversely, the fact that for-profit schools stand to gain financially from wowing their students means that some of them care deeply about seeing their students succeed, since doing so helps their reputation in the industry.

Apprenticeships or internships can be another option.  Not all states require phlebotomists to attend a phlebotomy training program, earn a certificate, or become licensed.  If you’re able to receive on-the-job training, for instance as a volunteer with the Red Cross or another recognized organization, this can be a great way to get your foot in the door without spending thousands on phlebotomy classes.

What are my goals?

Do you want to learn a skill, prepare for a certification exam, or brush up on skills you already have?  The answer to this question can determine which phlebotomy training program is right for you.  For example, if your goal is only to refresh your current skills and you already have a job, you may be OK with attending a school which doesn’t offer help finding an externship at a clinic or hospital.  If your main goal is to start your career as a phlebotomist, then a lack of help finding an externship may be a deal-breaker for you.

Is the school accredited and licensed?

Some states, such as California, require students to complete a certain number of classroom hours in a state-approved phlebotomy training program.  Accreditation is the state’s way of ensuring a school’s students get the education they paid for.  If you attend a non-approved program, you may be required to re-enroll in an additional, approved program before applying to take your phlebotomy license exam.

What are the requirements for admission?

Is a high school diploma or GED required?  Contact the school and ask about any prerequisites you’ll need to complete before attending.

What does the school provide?

Books, lab equipment, immunizations, proof of CPR training, state examination and license fees, and other necessities may be part of your phlebotomy training process.  Be sure to ask if any of these are included in the cost of your tuition, or if they’ll be added on top of the tuition fee.

How safe is the school campus?

Does the school have a reputation for student misconduct?  Is the school in a safe neighborhood?  Find the address of the school from its website and plug it into a website like CrimeReports.com to see how many police reports were filed in that area recently.

Can you visit the school and view the facilities?

Schools, especially for-profit ones, spend lots of money on websites, brochures, and other promotional materials to portray their facilities as beautifully as possible.  Especially if the school is local, you owe it to yourself to make an in-person inspection.  If the school has nothing to hide, they should be more than happy to let you see the facilities for yourself.  Your visit is also a good chance to ask all those questions you’ve been meaning to ask, such as:

  • What job placement assistance does the school offer its graduates?
  • Can I see a copy of the syllabus or class schedule?
  • Can I speak with any current students and learn what they think of the program?
  • Does the school accept financial aid?

Don’t be afraid to ask those questions!  A reputable school will be happy to answer any questions you have about its programs, will have your best interests in mind, and will want you to pick the school that’s right for you.

A good check list when visiting a school, provided by Peterson’s:

When you head out the door to check out campuses and make your final choice, take this checklist of dos and don’ts with you:

  • DO find out what the institution has to offer in student services, such as career placement and assistance in finding housing.
  • DON’T assume that if a program isn’t exactly what you want, things will work out.
  • DO pay close attention to the college environment, noting things like how you’re greeted when you walk in the door.
  • DO look at who is on the advisory board. Knowing who is included will give you an idea of the kind of employer you could be working for.
  • DO determine if credits are transferable.
  • DO read and understand everything you sign.
  • DON’T enroll without a high level of commitment.
  • DON’T think a career education automatically ensures you a job.

A good checklist of questions, provided by study.com:

The following questions and research tips may help you when looking for a vocational school:

  • Does the school offer the program you want?
  • Is the school/program licensed or accredited? If so, by whom?
  • What are the instructors’ credentials?
  • Could I obtain the training I want from another school, such as a community/junior college?
  • Do I even need this additional education, or will the employer likely train me on-the-job?
  • What is the total cost (include tuition, books, uniforms, lab fees, etc.)?
  • Is financial aid available?
  • Have any complaints been filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or State Attorney General’s Office?
  • What is the school’s reputation in the industry?
  • What other services does the school offer students and graduates?
  • What are the facilities and equipment in the labs like? Are they up to date?
  • Are there other tools or supplies you must purchase?
  • What are the program’s completion and job placement rates? Debt upon graduation rate?
  • Will all my credits transfer if necessary?

For more information, check out the following links:

Career Colleges and Technical Schools – Choosing a School (from the U.S. Department of Education)

Choose A Career School Carefully (from Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education)

Riverside Phlebotomy Training Programs – The 2015 Guide

riverside phlebotomy trainingBecause Riverside County is one of the largest counties in California by area, it also has a large number of California-approved phlebotomy schools.  This means lots of choices when trying to pick a training program!  You can see what we mean by reading the California Department of Public Health’s list of approved, certified California phlebotomy schools.

However, this also means picking the best option for your needs can take more time and energy than it otherwise would.

To make things easier, we’ve made a list of all the schools approved by the CDPH, narrowed it down to just the schools in Riverside County, and checked each school for its Yelp reviews.  The result is a list of schools that seem like safe choices (we call them “green-light schools”), schools that you should investigate further before applying at (“yellow-light schools”), and schools you should be cautious of (“red-light schools”).

NOTE:

Good news- starting in 2016, College of the Desert in Palm Desert will be offering California-approved phlebotomy training classes!  We don’t have further news or reviews yet, but we’ll update this page as more information becomes available.

Green-Light Schools

AUMT – The Phlebotomy School
Address 43300 Business Park Dr.
Suite 204
Temecula, CA 92590
Phone (951) 695-5045
Website http://www.aumt.org
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/aumt-the-phlebotomy-school-temecula-2
# of Stars (out of 5) 5
# of Reviews 2
Pros
Teachers
  • “…awesome instructor, they took very responsible and serious help for their students…”
  • “…the instructor Courtney, was very comforting, and encouraging towards me, and all of the other students. Her methods of teaching the curriculum very impressive, and over all my experience at AUMT was a very positive one.”
  • “Mrs. Friend is great and I can tell she knows a lot!! Super smart instructor!” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school)
  • “Our teacher Ms. Kay was excellent, very informative & patient.” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school)
  • “Ms. Kay is a good teacher. Great staff and everything.” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school).
Office Staff
  • “The administrative staff in the front office, April, and Taylor, are very professional, and polite, easy to deal with.”
  • “Raquel was very open and informative, she didn’t waste my time telling me what I wanted to hear, instead she told me everything that I needed to know and showed me around.” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school).
  • “All of the Administrative staff is professional, friendly, and accommodating!” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school)
Cost
  • “This program was the cheapest I found, also the quickest.” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school)
Externship
  • “They helped me find an externship right after my exam…” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school).
Cons
  • “Lab is OK. We only get to practice one time a day (which is not enough if you want to to become an expert in veni puncture before you go off to your clinicals).” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school).
  • “Too bad the book that the school provides is super basic. Nothing special about them. Hardly any special handling and veni puncture extraction instructions. Which is not good for your national exam. I bought a book from Amazon in order to feel confident about passing. I’m glad I did because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t of passed (I ordered it three weeks prior to the test, so I had maybe a week and a half to study). I saw questions in there that I knew weren’t even close to the book from school.” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school).
  • “…there is really no help on getting a job… mostly because they don’t say that it is extremely difficult to get a job in this field UNLESS you have connections or have 1-2 years experience.” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school).
FYI
  •  “Very fast paced, but definitely get so much information that you will understand.” (NOTE: this review pertains to the Torrance, CA school).
  • We felt comfortable including this school in the “green-light” list despite only having 2 reviews, because its sister school in Torrance is highly-rated.  Complete Phlebotomy Training (listed below) similarly has 2 reviews of 5 stars each, however because it has no sister schools and both its reviews are from previous years (i.e. not 2015), we didn’t feel comfortable including it in the “green-light” list.  We have no reason to doubt its quality, however, so you should investigate it as an option.

Yellow-Light Schools

Complete Phlebotomy Training
Address 28125 Bradley Rd
Ste 290
Menifee, CA 92586
Phone (951) 672-2446
Website http://www.PhlebotomyTraining.com
Class Types
  • Limited
  • Basic
  • Advanced
  • Full w/ Externship
  • Arterial Puncture Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/complete-phlebotomy-training-inc-menifee
# of Stars (out of 5) 5
# of Reviews 2
Pros
  • “The entire staff is awesome and very very helpful. They have your back at every turn, meaning, you are never left in the dark. Linda is the theory instructor and is a blast as well as professionally educational. Her classes leave you wanting to learn more. She is so thorough and all the while a lot of fun.”
  • “The clinicals are great and the instructors Wanda, Rose, Mariam, and Susanne are very helpful when it comes to drawing blood. They are fun but professional also and always are there for you when you have questions.”
  • “They constantly are boosting your self esteem. Diane is always available and so full of answers and ready to help at every turn.”
Cons
  • n/a
FYI
  • We included Complete Phlebotomy Training in the “yellow-light” list because we don’t have enough information to green-light it yet (the school only has 2 reviews of 5 stars each).  However, we have no reason to doubt its quality, and we recommend you investigate it as an option.
Mission Career College
Address 3975 Jackson St
Ste 300
Riverside, CA 92503
Phone (951) 688-7411
Website http://www.mayfieldcollege.edu
Class Types
  • Basic
  • Advanced
  • Full w/ Externship
Source of data: http://www.yelp.com/biz/mission-career-college-riverside
# of Stars (out of 5) 2 1/2
# of Reviews 3
Pros
  • “They do a very good job.”
Cons
  • “I do not like the people they attract, that was my big issue.”
FYI
  • “Some instructors are great and some are terrible but that’s anywhere you go.”
  • “Financial aide doesn’t help most of the programs they offer because of how short they are.”

Red-Light Schools

Universal Schools & Colleges of Health and Human Services
Address 2023 Chicago Ave.
Ste B-1
Riverside, CA 92507
Phone Phone number (951) 784-4466
Website http://www.uscmed.com
Class Types
  • Limited
  • Basic
  • Advanced
  • Full w/ Externship
Source of Info http://www.yelp.com/biz/us-colleges-riverside
# of Stars (out of 5) 2
# of Reviews 9
Pros
  • “..my teacher miss Vickie is amazing! Very honest and knowledgable! She has a lot of experience which gives her students the reassurance that she knows what she’s talking about!”
  • “Miss Vickie is the best teacher on earth! She knows everything about phlebotomy and has a great experience and she did her best to help us do well whether in the national exam or the Externship!”
  • “It’s a small class which is perfect so it’s not over whelming!”
Cons
  • “I graduated in March and passed my state test with a high score and still have NOT been sent out to externship, they don’t call you to update you on anything, I’ve tried calling and they don’t return my voicemails, very frustrated.”
  • “Some people would say it’s expensive…”
  • “The staff lie and gave us so much wrong information and they try to convince my class to go on yelp and Facebook to give good review and exchange for Starbucks give cards.”

San Diego Phlebotomy Training Schools – The 2015 Guide

san diego phlebotomy trainingThe good news is that the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) lists 10 schools approved to conduct phlebotomy courses in San Diego.  The bad news is that few of them are anything to get excited about.  At best they have very few recent Yelp reviews for their phlebotomy training programs, which means they are of unknown quality.  And at worst, several of their former students have gone out of their way to post negative reviews of them.

We’ve gone ahead and made recommendations, but bear in mind that the number of reviews that these recommendations are based on is small.  We will continue to monitor California’s list of approved schools, as well as Yelp’s reviews for each school, and update this list if anything changes.

To make things easier, we’ve made a list of all the schools approved by the CDPH, narrowed it down to just the schools in San Diego County, and checked each school for its Yelp reviews.  The result is a list of schools that seem like safe choices (we call them “green-light schools”), schools that you should investigate further before applying at (“yellow-light schools”), and schools you might want to avoid (“red-light schools”).

Green-Light Schools

EMSTA College
Address 11489 Woodside Ave
Santee, CA 92071
b/t Security Way & Karerllyn Dr
Winter Gardens
Phone (619) 593-6782
Website emstacollege.com
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/emsta-college-santee
# of Stars (out of 5) 4 1/2
# of Reviews 4
Pros
  • “Great instructors who prepare you for the national testing!” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “I really enjoyed most of my instructors and the class was put together very well.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “…the teachers were great, very helpful and the textbook was very useful.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “Even more impressive… is the amazing energy and enthusiasm modeled by the entire staff at EMSTA.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “The instructors are readily available and go out of there way to make time for you, which is something I have rarely experienced.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
  • “The front office staff at EMSTA has totally helped me through any scheduling or financial issues I have encountered since I have been a student here and is always super friendly and just very helpful.” (NOTE: review posted by EMT student, not phlebotomy student)
Cons
  • “I wish they had more classes close to South San Diego…”

Yellow-Light Schools

Health Occupations Center, Grossmont Union High School District
Address 9368 Oakbourne
Santee, CA 92071
b/t St Andrews Dr & Rumson Dr
Phone (619) 956-4300
Website hoc.guhsd.net
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/grossmont-health-occupations-center-santee
# of Stars (out of 5) 3 1/2
# of Reviews 7
Pros
Teacher Quality
  • “I took a class with Ana. Cool chick, who was a paramedic and knows many people in the field. As a result you learn a lot about the class and what to expect.”
  • “The teachers were more than adequate in getting all their students active in practical application.”
Cons
Lack of Job Placement
  • “There was no job assistance after I graduated, and I have never been able to find a job in the area which I studied.”
Unsightly Campus
  • “The school itself is old and run down. All the classes are taught in portable buildings from the 70’s.”
  • “No landscaping, mostly portables from the 1970’s, in the middle of a neighborhood…. it sure isn’t anything pretty to look at.”
Student-Teacher Ratio
  • “…in the program I took, there was close to 30 students in my class…”
  • “…when it came around to the internship portion at the end, there weren’t enough places for everyone. They could only take 3-4 students at a time, at Kaiser. This is the place the school is lined up with. So, in the meantime you’re sitting around at home for months, until they can get around to you.”
Teaching Methods
  • “…you need to be a good test taker to do well in their program.. They do not work with the students on the test taking..All the grade is, is test taking.”
FYI
  •  “I would suggest doing some research on the individual instructor, that will be teaching the program you’re interested in.  Find out about their credentials and how many years of experience they have. Consider meeting them before signing up for the class.”
  • “I would also go to the main office and find out if it’s possible to talk to any of the recent grads of the program you’re interested in. Ask how the teacher was and how the program was-and if they were able to find work.”
  • “Books, uniforms, required background checks and other supplies, are separate from the actual program cost.”
  • “Most of their programs, require you take a Health Essentials course before applying, which takes about four months- and is an additional cost both financially and time-wise.”
Kaplan College – San Diego Campus
Address 9055 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone (858) 279-4500
Website https://www.kaplancollege.com/san-diego-ca/
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/kaplan-college-san-diego-campus-san-diego
# of Stars (out of 5) 3
# of Reviews 31
Pros
Teachers
  • “I love my instructors, Brenda is like my mentor, she is so nice and I just grasp on to everything she teaches us it’s amazing…”
  • “Teachers were mostly retired nurses. Which is ok at times a little unorganized but gets u were u wanna be!”
  • “The instructors were amazing. They always made sure if any students had questions they would help them better understand what they were learning.”
  • “The instructors there are a gem. Shout out to Dr. Alham, Mr. Roggelin, Ms. Joanna, Mrs. Goldsand and Mrs. Goldberg! The instructors really do care about you succeeding!! Shout out to Ms. Saretsky for putting up with all of us and still being a rock star!!”
  • “…much to my surprise, the instructors were great. I was legitimately shocked to have staff that actually knew what the heck they were talking about and teaching.”
Staff
  • “I didn’t feel like they were telling me what I wanted to hear just to get my $$ and get me into the program. They told me the pros and the cons so I could make the decision. No pressure, no drama. They were also very encouraging throughout the program.”
  • “…my admissions reps (Virginia & Carol) were awesome. Very warm, friendly, up front and honest about what I would and wouldn’t get out of the program.”
Finding A Job
  • “Passed my nclex first try. Now have a great job making $30+ so cant complain.”
Cons
Cost
  • “…pricey…”
  • “Basically its expensive…”
  • “It was very expensive, but I got in right away, which was why I chose Kaplan rather than waiting for a community college.”
Parking
  • “…the parking is pretty bad sometimes…”
Classmates
  • “Unfortunately the class I was with had a lot of people that thought they were still in high school and should bring juvenile BS to school. From inappropriate language, uniforms, cheating, to physical altercations, none of that was dealt with appropriately.”
  • “Nasty, classless students creating drama, and some very biased teachers.”
Finding A Job
  • “I moved shortly after graduating from the program and although they promised to help me find a job, they did not. Thankfully I have excellent employment history and additional job skills so it wasn’t to difficult for me to find a position, however, I know there are people in my class that STILL have not been able to find a job and it’s been 6 months.”
Licensing In California
  • “…they were not clear on the fact that although you pass the NCCT exam for phlebotomy, you still have to apply for California’s licensing. I thought we did the paperwork before graduation so the school would submit it on our behalf because it was part of our program. Apparently this isn’t how it works so now I am scrambling trying to get it done for another job.”
FYI
  • “I would only recommend it if you’re used to taking fast track classes because every single class is fast track.”
  • “There are certainly better schools in San Diego, but the waitlists are long and require so many prerequisites.”

San Francisco Phlebotomy Training – The 2015 Guide

san-francisco-phlebotomy-trainingGiven its size and stature as a city, we were surprised to see how few San Francisco phlebotomy training programs are approved by the State of California.  The California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) only lists 3 schools approved to conduct phlebotomy courses in the city.  Luckily, there are more programs in nearby Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

To make things easier, we’ve made a list of all the schools approved by the CDPH, narrowed it down to just the schools in San Francisco County, and checked each school for its Yelp reviews.  The result is a list of schools that seem like safe choices (we call them “green-light schools”), schools that you should investigate further before applying at (“yellow-light schools”), and schools you might want to avoid (“red-light schools”).

Green-Light Schools

City College of San Francisco – John Adams Campus
Address 1860 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone (415) 561-1900
Website https://www.ccsf.edu/en/educational-programs/career-and-technical-education/student-resources/ProgramFAQs/phlebotomy_technician.html
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/city-college-of-san-francisco-john-adams-campus-san-francisco
# of Stars (out of 5) 3 1/2
# of Reviews 6
Pros
Cost
  • Cost is lower than other local phlebotomy training programs. (mid-$1000s vs. $3000+).
Staff
  • “The staff here actually love what they do and that’s all you can hope for. My instructors are on my side and that’s a good feeling. They will push you to be your best and receive all the knowledge that you can get from them and beyond.” (Editor’s Note: this quote was taken from a review of the nursing program, not the phlebotomy program.)
Small Class Size
  • “You really get to know everyone from having a small class size of 40.” (Editor’s Note: this quote was taken from a review of the nursing program, not the phlebotomy program.)
Cons
Parking
  • “Their parking lot if FREE, but the space is very limited.”
  • “You literally had to get there over an hour before your class if you wanted a parking space in the parking lot, otherwise you would have to get a spot in on the street…”
  • “…because the school is located near some major hospitals and other well known schools, parking on the street can be hard to come by.”
  • “Parking sucks!!! if you cant find parking in the lot, you gotta find street parking.. and that itself can be a challenge…”
  • “I’ve seen parking police riding around handing out tickets to anyone they can.”

 

Yellow-Light Schools

Bay Area Medical Academy
Address 530 Bush St, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone (415) 217-0077
Website http://www.bamasf.com
Class Types
  • Basic Phlebotomy
  • Advanced Phlebotomy
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/bay-area-medical-academy-san-francisco
# of Stars (out of 5) 3 1/2
# of Reviews 34
Pros
 Teachers
  • “…the phlebotomy course looks good too that teacher loves her job clearly and the students spoke highly of her…”
  • “My instructor was Brandy who is a fun, but no nonsense type. If I could just rate her I’d give five stars.”
  • “I had Brandie as my phlebotomy instructor and she was fantastic.  She was very encouraging and supportive of her students.”
  • “I took the phlebotomy class with Jessie. He was absolutely amazing!! Very funny, patient, and smart. I have learned so much from him in just five weeks!”
  • “The class, taught by Brandie, was amazing.”
  • “Jessie is an awesome instructor. He has high standards for the practice of venipuncture… He is truly a great instructor and I learned a lot from him. He is patient, kind, and most importantly… he is… HILARIOUS!!”
Classes
  • “The class portion is made really easy and the lab portion is basically a “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” type of thing.”
  • “Overall the instruction period was fast and easy. Five stars.”
  • “I also really liked the lab assistant to student ratio for the lab practical sessions. I was always able to obtain assistance from one of the lab assistants in a timely manner.”
  • “The classroom experience was solid. They covered everything we needed to know for the exam portion of the certification, and I felt well-prepared going into my externship (which led to a job offer).”
  • “The whole crew at BAMA does a great job at preparing you for the national exam…”
Externship
  • “I did my externship in Ohio (long story), so I really appreciated BAMA taking the extra time to coordinate with an out-of-state facility to make sure I get my hours done. Thank you!”
  • “They’ve been great keeping in touch with me about my externship which has just been scheduled; I’m excited.”
Staff
  • “The staff, instructors, assistants were very friendly and knowledgeable.”
  • “Mabel, the Career Services Coordinator, is a delight and helped me perfect my resume, interview skills and basically dropped interviews in my lap after I graduated until I landed a phlebotomy job at a major clinic.  She continues to send me job listings and made the whole grueling process of finding a job right out of school easy.”
  • “Everyone is friendly and willing to help out. They also help with finding a job with their interview workshops, job feeds through email, along with prospective employers coming in to interview students.”
Cons
Cost
  • “The program is expensive…”
Disorganization
  • “even if you turn in all your paperwork on time, they will somehow lose it. “
  • “…they do not return phone calls or emails in a timely manner.”
  • “I felt like the new lab assistants couldn’t completely focus on every student to give them feedback.”
Waiting
  • “The process to obtain the license takes a million years.”
  • “…there is a POSSIBILITY that you might wait a ‘while’ until to get assigned an externship site… a while might mean several weeks or several months depending on how patient you are…”
  • “I did my class in January of last year, which ended very early February. It took me until mid/late August for my externship, and even for this, I had to pull strings.”
  • “I was a little disappointed by how long I had to wait to take the exam.”
  • “It is ten months later and I am JUST being set up for an externship.”
  • “…despite completing every stage of the process at every earliest opportunity, it will be 8 months before I complete my externship – mind you I signed on for a program that states in a catalog I was given on my first day that TTC (time to complete the entire program) was 3.5 months”
Parking
  • “It’s the middle of downtown SF, so parking is exactly what you would expect… it’s (bad). Take bart if you can, the building is literally ON the Powell street BART line. Very convenient.”
FYI
  •  “…a super short 1 week externship…”
  • “…they let you do all the blood draws on each other…”
  • “The longest wait was receiving our exam scores but that’s not something the school is responsible for (it’s the testing facility).”

California Phlebotomy Certification – The 2015 Guide

phlebotomy-training-california-featured-image1California phlebotomy certification rules are some of the strictest in the U.S, and picking a school that hasn’t been approved by the Department of Public Health can be a huge mistake.  We’ve written a guide to those rules, so you can start your phlebotomy certification journey on the right footing.

Here are the answers to some common questions about California phlebotomy training:

Where can I enroll in phlebotomy classes?

That depends on whether you want to take your classes online or in-person.  There is one available through Contra Costa Medical Career College Online, this program is only available for phlebotomists who have been previously certified and just want a refresher class.  For new phlebotomists, the following counties have approved in-person phlebotomy training programs. Click on your preferred location and you’ll be taken to a list of schools in that area:

Who is required to obtain a phlebotomy license in California?

The California Department of Public Health decides who can and cannot work as a phlebotomist.  According to their website:

Effective April 9, 2003, all persons performing phlebotomy who are not California licensed physicians, nurses or clinical lab scientists or other licensed professionals where phlebotomy is not in their scope of practice, must be certified as a phlebotomist before they can draw blood.

Source- California Department of Public Health

What does this mean?  You will need a license if you plan to practice phlebotomy and you are not a doctor, nurse or lab scientist.

What kinds of phlebotomy certification can I earn in California?

There are 3 kinds of phlebotomy certification available.  You can become a:

  • Limited phlebotomy technician- these professionals can only perform skin punctures, such as the kind you might perform on a patient’s fingertip during a diabetes test.  You might perform this procedure on infants and young children, elderly patients with fragile veins, or on severely burned patients.
  • Certified phlebotomy technician I- these professionals can perform the above procedure, as well as venipunctures (blood draws taken from a vein).  This is the most common type of procedure used to draw blood for laboratory tests.
  • Certified phlebotomy technician II- these professionals can perform the above 2 procedures, as well as arterial punctures (blood draws taken from an artery).  Arterial punctures are used when doctors want to check a patient for lung, kidney, metabolic, or other diseases.
Doctor's OfficeWhat are the prerequisites for getting my certification?

If you have less than 1,040 hours of experience as a phlebotomist (for example, if you’re brand-new to phlebotomy, or you’ve been working as a phlebotomist in a state which doesn’t require a certification or license), you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • You must have completed 40 hours of in-class phlebotomy instruction from an approved school.
  • You must have completed 40 hours of hands-on phlebotomy practice, including at least 50 venipunctures and 10 skin punctures.
  • You must have passed an approved State of California phlebotomy certification exam.
  • You must have applied for certification, supplied proof that you’ve met the above requirements, and pay a fee.

If you have more than 1,040 hours of on-the-job experience, you’ll need to do the following:

  • meet the same requirements as above, except you’ll only need 20 hours of in-class phlebotomy instruction instead of 40.
How can I prove that I’ve graduated from high school?

Contact your high school and request that your official transcripts be sent to the following address:

Phlebotomy Certification
Laboratory Field Services/DHS
850 Marina Bay Parkway
Richmond, CA 94804-6403

Alternately, you can request a copy of your official transcripts in a sealed envelope and provide this document to Lab Field Services as part of your phlebotomy certification application.  Finally, another option is to include a notarized copy of your high school diploma in your application.

What if I’m not a high school graduate?

You’ll need to earn your GED.

What if I attended high school outside the U.S.?
You have 2 options:
  • Earn your GED.
  • Obtain an official translation of the foreign transcript and have your foreign degree evaluated by AACRAO.
Is there more than one exam I can take to get certified?

Yes, the following 6 organizations have been approved by the State of California to give phlebotomy certification exams:

PLEASE NOTE- each certification board has different requirements.  For instance, some boards only require 50 venipunctures, while others require 100.  So be sure to find out the requirements of the board whose exam you plan to take BEFORE choosing a phlebotomy training program.

What if I’ve already worked in another state?  Do I still have to take a certification exam?

Yes, every practicing phlebotomist in the State of California must be certified via one of the above 6 exams.

Blood testHow long will my certification last?

The California certification lasts for 2 years.

What are the requirements for renewing my certification after those 2 years are up?

You will need to complete 6 hours of continuing education training during those 2 years, as well as pay a renewal fee.  You will receive a reminder notice 60 days prior to the expiration of your current certificate.

Where can I enroll for the above-mentioned continuing education classes?

Lab Field Services maintains a list of approved training programs on its website.

After I pass my exam, how long will it take for me to receive my certification?

Once Lab Field Services receives your complete application, you should expect to receive your certification within 90 days.

Can I work as a phlebotomist during those 90 days?

No, you cannot work as a phlebotomist until you receive your certificate from the state.

Where can I apply for certification?

Visit http://www.dhs.ca.gov/lfs.  Here you can find an online application, sign up for the California phlebotomy certification exam, and even pay the exam enrollment fee by credit card.

Where can I find more information?

Click here for the most up-to-date FAQ on the State of California’s phlebotomy certification requirements.

For more information or to check our sources, visit the California Department of Public Health’s Lab Field Services homepage.

Los Angeles Phlebotomy Training: The 2015 Guide

los_angeles_phlebotomy_trainingLos Angeles County has more accredited phlebotomy schools than any other county in California.  Great news if you live there!  However, this means that sorting the good schools from the bad ones takes more effort.  You can see what we mean by reading the California Department of Public Health’s list of approved, certified California phlebotomy schools.

If reading that whole document seems like too much work, don’t worry.  We’ve taken the entire list of approved schools, narrowed it down to just the schools in Los Angeles County, and checked each school for its Yelp reviews.  The result is a list of schools that seem like safe choices (aka “green-light schools”), schools that can be a mixed bag (“yellow-light schools”), and schools you might want to avoid (“red-light schools”).

Green-Light Schools

AUMT Institute
Address 20300 S. Vermont Ave., Suite 105
Torrance, CA 90502
Phone 310-532-5133
Website http://www.aumt.org
Class Types Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/aumt-institute-the-phlebotomy-school-torrance
# of Stars (out of 5) 4 1/2
# of Reviews 23
Why It’s A Green-Light “Good payment plan”, “knowledgeable, amazing instructors”, “nice facilities”, “Ms. Kay and Mr. Rosales are good teachers”, “very affordable”, “flexible schedule”, “plenty of practice time”, “small class sizes”, “national exam is administered on-site”
Los Angeles ORT College
Address 6435 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone 323-966-5444 Extension 305
Website  www.laort.edu
Class Types Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/los-angeles-ort-college-los-angeles
# of Stars (out of 5) 4 1/2
# of Reviews 5
Why It’s A Green-Light “Friendly staff”, “helpful career center”, “experienced instructors”.
Harbor Career College (formerly Meridian Institute)
Address 4201 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 515
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone 323-936-1624
Website http://www.harborcareercollege.edu
Class Types Limited w/ Externship
Basic
Advanced
Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/harbor-career-college-los-angeles
# of Stars (out of 5) 4 1/2
# of Reviews 12
Why It’s A Green-Light “Friendly and welcoming staff”, “busy externship”, “passed my NHA exam on the first attempt”, “look forward to going to class everyday”, “prepares you very well for NHA exam”, “caring staff”, “knowledgeable teachers”, “helped apply for state license”, “Ms. Arpie is great”.

Yellow-Light Schools

L.A. Vocational Institute
Address 3540 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 410
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone 213-480-4882
Website http://www.lavocational.com
Class Types Limited w/ Externship
Basic
Advanced
Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/l-a-vocational-institute-los-angeles-2
# of Stars (out of 5) 2 1/2
# of Reviews 9
Why It’s A Red-Light Pros: “Christian is a great teacher”, “I had a teacher so passionate, but also sooo DOWN in my life”, “I was always excited to wake up just so I can attend my phlebotomy class”, “The only redeeming factor to this ‘school’ is Christian”

Cons: “most unorganized school ever”, “professors come and go when they please”, “I’ve been waiting 6 months to get my money back”,

Red-Light Schools

C & S HEALTH EDUCATION SERVICES
Address 17405 Chatsworth Street
Granada Hills, CA 91344
Phone 818-366-2350
Website https://www.facebook.com/CSHealthEducationServices
Class Types Limited w/ Externship
Basic
Advanced
Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/c-and-s-health-education-services-granada-hills
# of Stars (out of 5) 2
# of Reviews 11
Why It’s A Red-Light “incredibly disorganized”, “unhelpful staff”, “very little hands-on practice”, “learn by watching videos”, “the owner Sam Caraway is rude”, “they don’t return phone calls regarding refunds”
California School of Health Science
Address 12141 Brookhurst St Ste 201
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Phone (714) 539-7081
Website http://www.cshs.edu
Class Types Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/california-school-of-health-sciences-garden-grove
# of Stars (out of 5) 3.5
# of Reviews 19
Why It’s A Red-Light Pros: “decent teachers”, “very knowledgeable instructors”,  “I did leave with my certification”, “the teaching staff was friendly; no complaints there”

Cons: “took the school 6 months to find an externship”, “took the school longer than promised to deliver diploma”, “overall organization is terrible”, “supposed to be accelerated but took longer than it would have elsewhere”, “calling the front desk is like pulling teeth”, “it has been months and I’m still waiting for my refund”, “they really seem to only care about the money”

Alameda Phlebotomy Training Programs – The 2015 Guide

alameda-phlebotomy-trainingSo you’re a resident of Alameda and you’ve decided to become a phlebotomist.  Or maybe you’re already a phlebotomist and you just want to brush up on your skills.  Either way, you’ve come to the right place.

Unfortunately, as of August 7, 2015 there is only one phlebotomy training program in Alameda County which is approved by the California Department of Public Health: Fast Response School of Health Care Education.  They offer basic and advanced classes, as well as full externships with hands-on venipuncture practice for those looking to meet their initial certification requirements.

Luckily, current and former students give them high ratings on sites like Yelp:

I am so glad I chose Fast Response to take my EMT and phlebotomy classes… After finishing EMT, I loved the school so much that I decided to sign up for the phlebotomy class. Carmie and Genetia are wonderful people to work with, and I couldn’t have asked for a better class… I passed both the NREMT and NCCT on my first attempts. That says something about the school as a whole.

Ashley from San Ramon, 4/29/2015

Just finishing my externship at a Sacramento laboratory I have had a amazing time all the way through my phlebotomy program. Fast response has opened up a door for a wonderful career for me and I’m definitely looking forward to my future in the medical profession. The tuition was a small price to pay for a career that I can grow in. They worked with my work schedule and curriculum was very straight forward class part time only took 4 weeks which worked great for me and a week externship. Thanks again fast response!

Jesi from Richmond, 6/26/2015

While it should be noted that the vast majority of reviewers gave Fast Response 4-5 stars, not every reviewer had glowing words for their programs.  One reviewer allegedly called to cancel her class (CPR, not phlebotomy) 30 minutes after she booked it, and was told that she would be unable to receive a refund:

I scheduled a CPR class with them, but due to me finding the class else where for a cheaper cost and much more convenient time frame I called back 30 minutes later to cancel. My response was that they pretty much could not give my money back due to their policy. I spoke with The owner and I am still in disbelief of how unprofessional, extremely rude and greedy he is from the start of my calm and collected explanation.  He had no reason to give me the disgusting attitude he gave me, I had given him no reason to treat me the way he did. he kept speaking over me and when I snapped and stated “he had no reason to be an asshole to me” he said: “fine no refund for you, you just called me an asshole” and he hung up…

Mabel from Hayward, 2/15/2015

The school responded to the above negative review with the following:

Our refund policy for our Continuing Education courses is clearly notated on our website:
“Cancellation Policy:  We do not issue refunds for course fees.  All registrations are final.  If you cancel or fail to attend the class you have registered for, you will forfeit your entire course fee.”

Our staff and the owner were only reiterating our policies to you verbatim.  You chose to use profanity. We do not allow our staff to be subjected to vulgar language and offensive behavior. That is why your call was terminated…

Even though you were unable to maintain a professional demeanor, we did provide you with a full refund.  We refunded you not because you threatened us, but because we no longer desired to engage with you and be subjected to your foul language.  We wish you the best of luck in pursuit of your continuing education.

Cathlin T., Business Owner, 2/17/2015

For more information, including contact info, check out Fast Response’s Yelp page.

Orange County Phlebotomy Training – The 2015 Guide

orange-county-phlebotomy-trainingOrange County doesn’t have quite as many phlebotomy schools to choose from as Los Angeles County does, but there are still enough choices to give you multiple good options (and save you a drive up to L.A.).  We know this because we’ve read the full list of California phlebotomy schools which are certified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  Feel free to check out work by reading the full list yourself.

If reading that document seems like too much work, don’t worry.  To make things easier, we’ve made a list of all the schools approved by the CDPH, narrowed it down to just the schools in Orange County, and checked each school for its Yelp reviews.  The result is a list of schools that seem like safe choices (we call them “green-light schools”), schools that you should investigate further before applying at (“yellow-light schools”), and schools you might want to avoid (“red-light schools”).

Green-Light Schools

Phlebotomy Training Specialists
Address 14258 Beach Blvd
Westminster, CA 92683
Phone (888) 745-3268
Website http://www.phlebotomyusa.com/
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/phlebotomy-training-specialists-westminster
# of Stars (out of 5) 4
# of Reviews 8
Pros
Great Instructors
  • “My class was very small and Tania, the instructor, is very good at explaining and teaching… so good in fact, that after a few weeks you are well prepared to take the National exam.”
  • “The instructors knowledgeable and nice.”
    “My instructor, Crystal Martinez, is exceptional.  She not only has 17 years of phlebotomy experience, she still works in the field when not teaching.”
  • “Ms. Watson is the teacher she is very smart supper tuff but an amazing teacher, she has a soft side too lol.”
Lots of Practice
  • “Profressional, knowledgeable, practical applications, and a LOT OF PRACTICE.”
  • “Able to get certification in 10 class periods.”
  • “More draws than I could possibly want.”
  • “I was surprised at how many draws I got over the course as many as I wanted.”
  • “I’m very pleased with the ammount of hands on experience they gave me. I performed hundreds of venipunctures and was well prepared for my National test and for job interviews.”
Miscellaneous
  • “Very clean facility also.”
  • “The price is right and the instruction is OUTSTANDING.”
  • “The certification is less expensive than others offered in the area.”
  • “Curriculum is exceptional.”
Cons
  • “I started my class in December and am still waiting for my state certificate because they cant send in the correct documents for the state to release my certificate! “
  • “Shop around to find an approved school that is willing to at least answer their phone calls.”
  • “Ive called many times to get an answering machine.”
  • “I sent in my resume two months ago to get it reviewed, and I am still waiting for a response…my classmates still havent gotten placed for an externship yet either!”
  • “Dont get me wrong, the instructors are great, but the administration is what is lacking.”
FYI
  • “It is a very fast paced class so you do need to pay attention and do your homework – you start drawing blood on the second day,”
  • “Class is very short – only 10 days! Then you take your National exam. After passing, you get assigned your externship and receive your phlebotomy certificate.”
  • “After that, you have to get your California state license and take a CPR course before you can get a job. Tania also has a CPR instructor teach the CPR course so you can get it completed quickly. “
  • “Even though class is only 10 days, it does take a lot of time to complete the requirements for the license. I took the course mid-March and just got my email confirmation for my CA certification (in July).”
UC Irvine’s Phlebotomy Training Program
Address Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
UC Irvine School of Medicine
D440 Medical Sciences I
Irvine, CA 92697-4800
Phone (949) 824-5534
Website http://www.pathology.uci.edu/phlebotomy-training-program.asp
Class Types
  • Basic
  • Advanced
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/university-of-california-irvine-irvine-2
# of Stars (out of 5) 4
# of Reviews 160
Pros
  • The only University-based phlebotomy training program in Orange County.
  • Program faculty includes clinical laboratory scientists and experienced, certified phlebotomists.
  • The UC Irvine name looks good on a résumé.
  • The school has its own medical school where you do your lab externship, meaning you don’t have to wait for the school to find you an externship and you can complete your training faster.
  • Program is not lengthy- 2 weeks of class (8am – 4pm) and 3 weeks of clinical training (7:30am – 4pm, with 2 of those days starting at 5am).
  • Cost is reasonable – $1,600 including classes, training materials, textbook, supplies and administrative fee.
  • Payment plans available.
  • Maximum class size of 24 students.
Cons
  •  Only 2 sessions per year – Spring and Fall.
  • Financial aid is unavailable.
  • No evening or weekend classes offered.
  • Certification examination fee and the state phlebotomy technician certification fee are not included in the tuition.

Red-Light Schools

California School of Health Sciences
Address 12141 Brookhurst St., Suite101
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Phone (714) 539-7081
Website http://www.cshs.edu
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/california-school-of-health-sciences-garden-grove
# of Stars (out of 5) 3 1/2
# of Reviews 19
Pros
  • “…the teachers for this school were decent…”
  • “My instructor was very knowledgeable and helpful.”
  • “I did pass with ease.”
  • “The teaching staff was friendly, no complaints there…”
Cons
  •  “the two professors did not agree on a few topics which made studying for the state exam a bit difficult.”
  • “It took the school about 6 months to place me and the rest of my class at a site for the externship.”
  • “I completed my externship 3 weeks ago and still do not have my diploma in hand though it was promised the same week I finished the externship.”
  • “The overall organization of CSHS is terrible…”
  • “This was supposed to be an accelerated program which is why it cost more than other programs offered at community colleges, but it ended up taking me longer here than it would have at a public school.”
  • “…I basically wasted about $1,000.”
  • “the office is EXTREMELY disorganized…”
  • “I did not receive the supplies for class, that were “included” in my tuition, until the third week of my four week course.”
  • “The front desk is not helpful and you will need to push them to receive any needed information.”
  • “It has been months and I am still waiting on a refund.”
  • “…the upper management staff is laughable.”
Qbics Career College
Address 1125 E 17th St
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone (714) 550-1052
Website http://www.qbics.us
Class Types
  • Full w/ Externship
Yelp Page http://www.yelp.com/biz/qbics-career-college-santa-ana
# of Stars (out of 5) 2
# of Reviews 4
Pros (NOTE: Pros are based on a review of the Certified Nursing Assistant course, not the Phlebotomy Course)

  • “Clinicals are done at a partner long term care facility in Westminster and you get a ton of experience.”
  • “I definitely feel prepared to take the state exam and work in a facility while I apply for nursing school.”
Cons
  • “I made an appointment with “admissions” to get info on their phlebotomy program, the woman was rude and offered very little help.”
  • “Very unprofessional, discouraging and rude.”
  • “…took along time to find no signs or anything, building looks like an old apartment building.”
  • “When we finally went inside there was one man working there and he couldn’t provide us with any information or paperwork, he couldn’t even answer any of our questions about the (program), he said we need to make an appointment to talk to someone and to get information…”
  • “…not too friendly or informative place to call a school.”

What Makes A Good Phlebotomist – The Top 10 Skills

phlebotomy_skillsOne of the most common questions that aspiring phlebotomists ask is “What skills should I try to develop?  What separates ‘good’ phlebotomists from the rest?”  Doctors and other medical professionals depend on the results of blood tests to help them diagnose patients, monitor treatment progress, and recommend courses of treatment.  A phlebotomist who does their job with speed and accuracy can literally help save lives.  The stakes are high, so it’s important to know which skills to focus on.

Without further delay, here are the top 10 skills required to be a good phlebotomist.  These are the skills you should aim to learn when you sign up for phlebotomy training:

“Hard” Skills

  1. How to draw blood from a vein

    This is the most obvious skill requirement, and includes familiarity with the equipment used (needles, gauze, vials, tourniquets, alcohol wipes, bandages, and needle disposal units), how to select a site for venipuncture (i.e. whether to use a hand, wrist, or arm vein), how to make non-apparent veins more visible, proper needle insertion technique, etc.

  2. First aid

    The phlebotomist should know how to handle medical emergencies that might occur when drawing blood, such as abnormal bleeding or loss of consciousness.

  3. How to properly dispose of sharp or contaminated objects

    Needlestick injuries are most likely to occur while removing the needle from the patient’s arm, and while disposing of an unprotected needle into a sharps container.  Therefore, proper disposal techniques are some of the most important skills a phlebotomist can acquire.  Proper disposal techniques are set forth by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

  4. How to label samples

    Clearly labeling samples helps match the correct sample with the correct patient, and helps avoid cross-contamination.  Relevant information includes a patient’s first and last name, their patient ID number, the date and time the sample was collected, and the name of the phlebotomist who collected the sample.

  5. How to decontaminate the drawing room, garments, gloves, and equipment

    This includes knowing what kind of disinfectant to use on which surface or fabric, and where to store used or contaminated equipment in (for instance, used needles or soiled gauze).

  6. Data entry skills and basic knowledge of medical software

    This is an added bonus, since patient and specimen information must  eventually be manually input into some sort of medical record database.

“Soft” Skills
  1. phlebotomy_patientAn ability to carefully follow verbal and written directions

    Doctors will often specify how many vials of blood to collect, and what type of vial to store them in.  Failing to follow a doctor’s written or verbal instructions can mean a wasted sample.  In addition, you should know and follow your lab or hospital’s procedures for reporting accidents.

  2. The ability to work well with others

    This includes maintaining a clear and open dialog with doctors, medical receptionists, nurses, fellow phlebotomists, and patients of all ages (including infants and the elderly).

  3. The ability to reason well under pressure and juggle multiple tasks

    In a busy facility, a phlebotomist may take dozens of blood samples per shift.  They must be able to work under pressure without sacrificing accuracy or safety.  You may be expected to handle other tasks as well, such as fielding patient inquiries, scheduling appointments, or troubleshooting specimen collection issues.

  4. Discretion

    You might be the only medical professional a patient encounters when giving blood for testing. You must use discretion and respect the patient’s confidentiality.

  5. A positive “bedside manner”

    Many patients, especially the young or elderly, may have a fear of needles.  Part of a phlebotomist’s job is to approach such patients with empathy and help them set their mind at ease.  A relaxed patient will result in a smoother draw than a nervous or combative one.

Phlebotomist Salary Data – The Revealing Guide For 2015

phlebotomist-salaryThere are dozens and dozens of websites out there with data on compensation in the phlebotomy field.  Some of them are clear and readable, but many of them (especially the ones from government agencies) are dry and hard to read.  But don’t worry!  We’ve sorted the useful info from the useless data and present the “cream of the crop” below for your benefit.

Without further delay, here are the top 10 fast facts you need to know about salaries in this growing industry.

  1. The median annual full-time phlebotomist salary in the United States is approximately $31,000.

    Glassdoor.com puts the amount at $31,897, The US government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics lists a salary of $31,890, and Salary.com‘s research shows a figure of $31,404.

  2. The offer that an employer makes a candidate can vary significantly.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the bottom 25% of phlebotomists make $25,960 or less per year, and the top 25% make $36,750 or more per year.  The final amount will depend on several factors, including experience, location, etc.

  3. Part-time work is also available, but working less than a 40-hour workweek will of course mean a lower take-home pay.

    The mean hourly wage for a phlebotomist in the United States is between $13.50 and $15 per hour.  According to the BLS, the bottom 25% of phlebotomists make $12.48 or less per hour, and the top 25% make $17.67 or more per hour (sources- The US government’s Bureau of Labor StatisticsPayscale.com).

  4. Salaries can vary widely depending on the employer.

    Glassdoor lists hourly salaries for the top employers of phlebotomists, including LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, and the American Red Cross.

  5. Salaries can vary by experience level:

    According to the Houston Chronicle, “The ASCP survey reports an average hourly wage of $20.08 or $41,766 per year for phlebotomy supervisors. Experience is important, with most supervisors averaging 10.48 years of experience as opposed to an average of 8.69 years for staff phlebotomists.”

  6. Wages can vary significantly by state.

    The Houston Chronicle goes on to mention that “The highest-paying state in the survey was California, where phlebotomists averaged $23.36 per hour or $48,589 per year. Illinois, Colorado and Minnesota also offered above-average wages. Ohio had the lowest average wage at $12.10 per hour or $25,168 per year.”

    The graph below shows the counties in the nation with the highest and lowest average phlebotomy salaries, and was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website:

    phlebotomist salary by county

  7.  Your workplace setting or environment can affect your salary.

    Again according to the Houston Chronicle, phlebotomists who work in doctors’ offices or outpatient clinics tend to earn less than those who work in hospitals or labs:

    The highest wages for phlebotomists were in standalone laboratories, where they averaged $16.74 per hour or $34,819 per year. Certified phlebotomists averaged $14.02 per hour, higher than the $12.66 reported for their uncredentialed peers. Supervisors with certification earned $20.38 per hour, as opposed to the $19.02 earned by uncertified supervisors.

  8. Some work environments have more employment opportunities than others.

    The more phlebotomy jobs there are in a certain industry, the more of a “seller’s market” it is, and the more likely you’ll land a job with the salary numbers we’ve described here.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has extensive data on which industries offer the highest number of phlebotomist job:

    phlebotomy industry job statistics

  9. Getting your phlebotomy certification may not increase your salary, but failing to get it may prevent you from finding a job.The American Society for Clinical Pathology conducts a salary survey among its members.  According to the results of a recent survey, “those who are certified earned approximately 10 percent higher wages on average. Certified phlebotomists might also have an advantage in seeking promotion to supervisory positions, which typically offer higher pay.”  In addition, three states (California, Louisiana, and Nevada) require phlebotomists to be certified.  And even if your state doesn’t require it, many employers may not grant an interview to individuals without a certification.  Reputable schools that offer phlebotomy training include Pima Medical InstituteKaiser Permanente School of Applied Health Sciences, and Bay Area Medical Academy.  Be sure to check Yelp.com for reviews of medical training programs in your area.
  10.  Other, similar medical jobs may net you a higher salary.

    According to this graph by payscale.com, the average salary for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is almost 33% higher.  And the salary for a registered nurse (RN) is almost double.  U.S. News and World Report put together a list of the top-paying healthcare jobs, and many of them don’t require advanced degrees.

Conclusion

Don’t compare one job offer to another simply on the basis of hourly or annual salary.  Remember that a job’s total compensation is made up of many other factors besides salary, including:

  • Insurance (medical, dental, vision)
  • Bonus
  • Retirement contributions + employer matching, if any (401k, Roth IRA, etc.)
  • On-the-job training
  • Vacation, sick leave, and personal leave

Don’t forget to ask about these other factors as well.  Just don’t ask do so during the first interview- employers generally don’t look favorably on candidates whose #1 concern is money.

Salary.com does a great job of breaking down the average phlebotomist’s salary into the above categories.

Real Time Web Analytics