How To Become A Phlebotomist


The Job

Phlebotomy or venipuncture is the process of taking blood from patients so that it can be tested in laboratories.

Phlebotomists need to have good people skills and should be able to reassure patients, who may be worried about the procedure.

Phlebotomists must ensure that bloods are taken and labelled correctly and that specimens are not contaminated before they reach the laboratory.

Annual Salary

Phlebotomist Salary

Minimum Education Level

Level: Level - Entry

Minimum Qualifications

Training to be a phlebotomist requires no minimum qualification, although a basic knowledge of literacy and numeracy is required (Level 2)

Recommended Qualifications

Although you do not need to be educated beyond GCSE level you may find previous healthcare experience to be an advantage

Other Qualifications Needed

There are no formal entry requirements to work as a trainee phlebotomist, although you will have passed an accredited course and will need to have some practical experience to work as a phlebotomist without supervision.

Training is often given on the job in a clinical environment, such as a hospital. Training varies but will include theory and lab experience, methods of blood collection, anatomy, training on mannequins and taking bloods under supervision.

You will be awarded a certificate of competence once you successfully complete your training, which will demonstrate that you can work without close supervision as a phlebotomist.

Average Working Hours Per Week = 37.5 hours a week, 9-5


Common Working Pattern

Common Working Pattern

Time Taken To Qualify

3 days

What Next/Career Development

You could find work as phlebotomist in the NHS or in a private healthcare environment. Jobs and trainee opportunities are usually advertised on the NHS jobs website.

Opportunities for career development include becoming a team leader or training for a more responsible role within the health profession, such as within haematology or immunology.

Qualifications you might consider once you are a certified phlebotomist include:

Level 2/3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support
Level 3 Diploma in Blood Donor Support

Facts And Figures

Each year in England 800 million pathology tests are processed and reported; 90% of these involve taking blood samples.
(Source: First Steps to Improving Phlebotomy, NHS, 2011)

The health sector employs 2 million people, or 5.5% of the working age population of the UK.
(Source: National Careers Service, 2013)