What should I major in if I want to be a phlebotomist?

Ok so a phlebotomist draws blood so do I need to major in something that will teach me about blood? I read that I should pay attention in biology and chemistry and that I need to know about the human anatomy.

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  • Jason

    Being a phlebotomist does not require a degree. There are training programs that vary from 3-9 months in length. The phlebotomist only draws blood — they do not process the samples or run the tests. There is a certification exam required depending upon the state you live in, but they are not licensed. Just Google "phlebotomist training" and you’ll get a number of hits for training programs in your area.

    A medical lab technician draws blood and also runs various lab tests. That requires at least a two-year degree. Four-year degrees are also available. It requires at least a board exam and in some states, licensure.

    A medical assistant works primarily in an office or clinic and has a number of responsibilities which also include drawing blood. Drawing blood is a very small part of what MAs do; it is pretty much all a phlebotomist does. Medical assistants are typically registered, not licensed and there is a board exam as well.

    All three are specific training programs. You do not major in biology and then take the exam to be an MA for example. You go to MA school. You don’t major in chemistry and become an MLT; you go to MLT school. To do any of these three means enrolling in a specific program. While a B.S. in microbiology makes you a competitive applicant for an MLT position, the degree doesn’t qualify you to work in the field. It’s its own discipline with its own training program.

  • Thomas 7


    Well, if you went Pre-Med you could definitely fit the bill of what you want to do or more.

    There are medical assistants in primary care physician’s offices that do that very thing. If I were you, to be certain, I would call them and ask them.

    You may not even need to go to collage, but go through vocational training to be a Phlebotomist.
    However, you might want the college experience, and, considering that over 90% of college students do not know what they want to do when they graduate from college (like me), or do something totally different that their major, you may want to get the education and experience, and go into some type of degree that focuses on medicine. Check with colleges and the doctor assistant who draws blood.

    Good luck 2U

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