How to Become a Phlebotomist in California?

Phlebotomists are professionally trained skilled personnel authorized to perform skin venipuncture and blood collection. They ensure that a proper amount of blood is taken and that all the samples are labeled correctly. The basic job of a phlebotomist is to draw blood, label it and enter patient information into a database.
The state of California requires phlebotomists to be certified, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the California Department of Public Health. Continue reading to learn about the requirements and steps to become a phlebotomist in California, as well as the salary and job growth for this occupation in the state.

Requirements to Become a Phlebotomist in California

The requirements to become a phlebotomist in California are based around certification requirements. They are divided into four elements:

  • Education
  • Training
  • Examinations
  • Renewal

In addition to these, phlebotomists are also required to possess certain qualities, such as compassion, an eye for detail, physical stamina and hand-eye coordination.

Steps to Become a Phlebotomist in California

  1. Fulfill your academic requirements

You should have a high school diploma or a GED at least. If not these, you will need to provide official transcripts showing credits for general education courses completed at an accredited university or college.

  1. Complete a training program

To be able to practice phlebotomy in California, you must have passed a national certification examination from a certifying organization approved by the California Department of Public Health, such as:

  • American Certification Agency (ACA)
  • American Medical Certification Association (AMCA)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • National Center for Competency Training (NCCT/MMCI)
  • National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel (NCA)
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

The Laboratory Field Services under the California Department of Public Health lists down a number of approved phlebotomy training schools you can opt for.

  1. Look for a job

Phlebotomists can typically find employment in hospitals, medical and diagnostic labs or offices of physicians. California has numerous jobs available for aspiring phlebotomists.

  1. Renew your license regularly

Once you have received your license, you will have to renew it every two years. To renew it, you will be required to pay a certain fee and submit the relevant documents regarding continuing education.

How much does a Phlebotomist make in California?

As of May 2018, California has the highest level of employment for phlebotomists, with 12,190 people currently employed in the occupation. The mean annual wage for phlebotomists is California is $45,030. This data has been taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Phlebotomist in California?

Generally speaking, it can take you around 1 month to prepare and apply to schools, while the phlebotomy training itself would last around 4 to 8 months, depending on the college. Following this, you would have to obtain a certification, which can take around 12 months to prepare. The entire process can take 12-20 months approximately.
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