If you’re interested in a career in phlebotomy, you’re probably wondering “How long does it take to become a phlebotomist?” It’s a logical question to ask. After all, time is money for most of us and not everyone wants to invest years into education and training before they start their careers. With that said, however, there is no universal answer to this question because it depends on too many personal factors that each of us has to consider for ourselves.
How Long Is Phlebotomy Training?
Nonetheless, it is possible to get a fairly good idea of how long phlebotomy training will take in your specific case if you can come to a decision in a few areas first. Specifically, decide the following things:
- Which type of facility do you want to work at?
- Do you want to go to school full-time or at night?
- Can you go to a campus near your home or should your take phlebotomy classes online?
The answers to these three questions should help you sort out one of the most important issues that will affect the length of your training – certification. Being certified is currently only required in two states (California and Nevada), and if you decide to pursue a certification, it will undoubtedly take a bit longer to complete your training. The benefits, however, can be enormous so it is something you should at least give some consideration to.
How Long Does Phlebotomy Certification Take?
If you do choose to pursue phlebotomy certification, you should expect to spend a minimum of six months in school. Once you’ve successfully completed your training program, you’ll still be required to sit for one of the nationally-recognized certification exams (e.g. the CPT exam) and post a passing score before you become certified.
How Long Does It Take If I Don’t Get Certified?
For those who decide not to become certified phlebotomists, the path to their first job is shorter – although not as much as you might guess. In order to start drawing blood from live patients, it will still be necessary to complete a training course that meets the minimum criteria required by the ASPT. This typically requires about 16 weeks of study when you include the mandatory clinical hours spent in an externship.
Isn’t There A Quicker Way To Get My First Job?
Unfortunately, unlike some other allied health positions, in phlebotomy it is almost unheard of to be given a hands-on internship or some other type of entry-level position that doesn’t require some amount of prior training. Drawing blood and performing the other tasks associated with venipuncture is serious business and there simply isn’t a shortcut that will allow you to avoid taking classes all together. In the end though, the amount of time it takes to become a phlebotomist is relatively short compared to many other health care jobs that offer similar pay and opportunity for advancement.