Phlebotomists in the Golden State of California have to jump through a few more hoops than in some other states, but in San Francisco, the job opportunities are plentiful and the salaries are among the highest in the nation. Not to mention that San Francisco has more than a few training programs in community colleges, universities, and technical/vocational schools.
List of Phlebotomy Training Schools in San Francisco
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Requirements & Eligibility
No matter what training program you choose, you must have a high school diploma to become certified in California or take the national certification exams. Other requirements are school or employer specific. Many employers will require national certification. In general, however, you will need to meet the following requirements:
~ Be 18 or older at the time the training program begins.
~ Have a valid CPR card.
~ Have proof of immunizations, especially hepatitis B.
~ Pass a drug screen and background check.
~ Meet other institution-specific requirements, such as prerequisites for math, English, science or anatomy and physiology.
Unlike most states, California has three levels of phlebotomy technician: Limited Phlebotomy Technician (LPT), Phlebotomy Technician I (PTI) and Phlebotomy Technician II (PTII). An LPT needs less training but can only perform skin punctures. A PTI must have a minimum of 40 hours each theory and clinical training. PTIs can perform skin punctures and venipunctures. To become a PTII, you must be certified as a PTI and have at least 1,040 hours of experience. PTIIs can do all the tasks of the other two categories and also perform arterial punctures. Although all programs must meet basic requirements to be accredited, the length of the program and the content may vary by institution.
Application Process & Costs
Each training program has its own application requirements, process and fees. For example, the De Anza College program offers a PTI certificate for about 12 months of training (part-time) and a cost of approximately $3,500 to $3,700. Santa Rosa Junior College has an eight- to 10-week program for a cost of approximately $46 per unit for California residents. Non-residents pay $176 per unit.
Although online programs may be available for the didactic portion of phlebotomy training, a clinical practicum under the supervision of a qualified instructor is required. Some programs may offer more clinical training than others, which is a benefit as it allows you to practice the technical skills required for this occupation.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
California certifies phlebotomy technicians but does not license them For all intents and purposes, the certification is a license to practice. You must pass an examination to become certified, and the national certification exam cannot be used to meet this requirement. Certification is good for two years. You can renew your certification by completing approved continuing education credits or taking the exam again.
Salary & Job Prospects
California offers excellent wages for phlebotomy technicians; it is one of the highest-paying states in the nation. Job demand is also high; the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job growth for phlebotomists is projected to be almost three times as fast as the average for all occupations through 2022. Metropolitan areas like San Francisco typically have higher than average wages and plentiful job opportunities due to the wealth of university medical centers, hospitals, clinics and clinical laboratories. The average hourly wage in California was $18.16 in May of 2014, according to the BLS. In the San Francisco Bay area itself, the average hourly was was $17.67 and the average annual salary ranged from $21,710 to $53,860. In nearby San Jose and Vallejo, hourly wages were $20.59 and $21.24, respectively.