Phlebotomists collect blood samples from patients, and send them off for analysis and testing.
Salary range: £17,652 to £23,671
How to become a phlebotomist
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
There are no set entry requirements to become a trainee phlebotomist, although you may have an advantage if you’ve got a college qualification like:
- Level 2 Diploma in Healthcare Support Services
- Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care
- Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support
Level 2 or 3 courses in health and social care usually include work placements, which will help you to get a job afterwards.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could do an intermediate apprenticeship as a healthcare science assistant, specialising in phlebotomy.
You could also do an intermediate apprenticeship as a healthcare support worker and then apply for a trainee role in phlebotomy.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You could start as a healthcare assistant and work your way up through training and promotion.
Volunteering and experience
Employers look for relevant work experience so it would be helpful if you’ve worked or volunteered in a health or social care role.
You could apply directly to work as a phlebotomist. There are no set requirements, although at least 2 GCSEs and a first aid certificate may be helpful.
Some employers may ask for a qualification in healthcare or health and social care.
Professional and industry bodies
You can find out more about how to become a phlebotomist from Health Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- knowledge of English language
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks
- have a first aid certificate
You may need a driving licence for some jobs.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- explaining the procedure to patients
- reassuring nervous or distressed patients
- inserting a hypodermic needle and drawing off the blood into a tube
- applying a dressing to the puncture made by the needle
- labelling the blood sample
- delivering the sample to the correct laboratory
- completing records and entering data on a computer
You could work in an NHS or private hospital.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience you could be a senior phlebotomist and have responsibility for more complex work. You could also become a team leader or manager.
Your skills and experience in phlebotomy could give you an advantage if you want to go into donor care and work with the NHS Blood and Transplant Service.