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As a consequence of the unparalleled growth in the region’s healthcare sector, demand has reached an all-time high for those interested in phlebotomy certification in California. Like other healthcare jobs, the field of phlebotomy is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to enjoy unprecedented expansion over the upcoming decade (a projected 24.4% growth through 2024). California is one of only 3 states in the country that require certification from their phlebotomists. The other states are Louisiana and Washington.

How to become a phlebotomist in California

California has its own unique requirements for becoming a phlebotomist in the Golden State. Unlike most states, California requires any professional who draws blood to be certified as a phlebotomist, and provides three different levels of certification in state. The three levels of phlebotomy certification available in California are:

  • Limited Phlebotomy Technician (LPT)
  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician I (CPT I)
  • Certified Phlebotomy Technician II (CPT II)

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is the overseeing body that sets the training and regulatory requirements for phlebotomist instruction in California. Students who graduate from training approved by this body are eligible to sit for most national certification exams. Therefore, it’s mandatory that aspiring phlebotomy techs who intend to work in California search for courses administered by a CDPH-authorized school.

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The certification process for becoming a certified phlebotomy technician in California

The process for becoming a phlebotomy technician in California can be summarized in the following four steps.

Step 1 – Complete your high school diploma or GED

Earning your high school diploma is a basic foundation to becoming employed in any type of professional job. This really is the case when it comes to working as a phlebotomist in California. The CDPH requires anyone who applies for a phlebotomy certification in the state to be a high school graduate or have a G.E.D. When looking for a phlebotomy certification course, you will find that almost all programs require trainees to hold a diploma or G.E.D. before registration as well. For that reason, if you’re planning on earning a living in medical care, it’s always a wise decision to finish this essential initial step.

Step 2 – Get your certification – it’s mandatory in California

As mentioned above, California is one of the few states that legally requires its phlebotomists to become certified. Without a current certification, you will not be eligible for employment as a phlebotomist in the state. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recognizes three different levels of phlebotomy certification in state. You must hold one of these prior to applying for any job in the state.

Limited Phlebotomy Technician (LPT)

This entry-level certification allows the certified individual to only perform basic skin puncture procedures to draw blood.

Certified Phlebotomy Technician I (CPT I)

The Certified Phlebotomy Technician I certification allows the individual to collect blood samples using either skin puncture or venipuncture procedures.

Certified Phlebotomy Technician II (CPT II)

The Certified Phlebotomy Technician II certification is the highest credential awarded in the state, and allows the individual to draw blood through skin puncture, venipuncture, and arterial punctures.

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Step 3 – Finish a California phlebotomy training program accredited by the CDPH

The organization in control of regulating phlebotomy classes in California is the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). To become able to challenge for certification, you will need to first finish a training course that is approved by this body. Below is the list of approved California phlebotomy schools.

Phlebotomist schools in California

Trinity School of Health and Allied Sciences 1149 W. 190th St. Suite 2000 Torrance CA 90248 310-834-3065 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Long Beach City College 4901 E. Carson St. Long Beach CA 90808-1706 562-938-4111 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Modern Technology School 16560 Harbor Blvd., Suite K Fountain Valley CA 92708-9821 714-418-9100 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

National Career Education 6249 Sunrise Blvd Citrus Heights CA 95610 916-969-4900 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Universal Healthcare Careers College 1625 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 708 Los Angeles CA 90015-3811 213-384-0900 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Medical Allied Career Center 12631 East Imperial Highway Bldg D-108 Santa Fe Springs CA 90670-4710 562-807-2420 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Healthcare Career College 8527 Alondra Blvd, #174 Paramount CA 90723-5258 562-804-1239 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Bakersfield College 1801 Panorama Dr Bakersfield CA 93305-1299 661-395-4011 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Los Angeles ORT College-Van Nuys Campus 14519 W.Sylvan Street Van Nuys CA 91411 818-382-6000-6025 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Santa Rosa Junior College 1501 Mendocino Avenue Santa Rosa CA 95401-4395 707-527-4011 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Cuesta College Highway 1 San Luis Obispo CA 93403-8106 805-546-3100 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Palo Verde College One College Drive Blythe CA 92225 760-921-5500 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

National Polytechnic College 4105 South Street Lakewood CA 90712 888-243-2493 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Saddleback College 28000 Marguerite Pky Mission Viejo CA 92692-3635 949-582-4500 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Butte County Regional Occupational Program 2491 Carmichael Drive Ste 500 Chico CA 95928-7191 530-879-7462 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Advanced College 13180 Paramount Blvd. South Gate CA 90280 562-408-6969 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Institute for Business and Technology 2400 Walsh Avenue Santa Clara CA 95051-1303 408-727-1060-260 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

De Anza College 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd. Cupertino CA 95014 408-864-5678 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Riverside County Office of Education-School of Career Education 47-336 Oasis St. Indio CA 92201 760-863-3054-3103 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

MTI College 5221 Madison Avenue Sacramento CA 95841-9817 916-339-1500 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

California Nurses Educational Institute 5200 E. Ramon Rd. Suite I-1 Palm Springs CA 92264 760-416-5955 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Los Angeles ORT College-Los Angeles Campus 6435 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles CA 90048 323-966-5444-210 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Central Coast College 480 S Main Street Salinas CA 93901-3301 831-424-6767 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

Angeles College 3440 Wilshire Blvd Ste 310 Los Angeles CA 90010 213-487-2211 Phlebotomy Technician/Phlebotomist

What to search for in a phlebotomy school in California

Finding the best training for your specific situation always involves a few considerations. Consider the things that mean the most to you and your education when comparing a program against another.

Step 4 – Pass the CA Phlebotomy certification exam

The state phlebotomy certification tests administered in California are the seven primary national tests. The examinations include sections on all important areas of knowledge you would have studied in your course. Several of the major national certification tests recognized in California are detailed below. For more details about getting certified, see our in depth article here.

Phlebotomist salary and jobs in California

In California, as well as the remainder of the country, the demand is extremely high for phlebotomy technicians. Up through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 24.4% growth in new job opportunities for phlebotomy technicians in California. Typical workplaces are: medical laboratories, hospitals and physicians offices. Below is a record of the major metropolitan areas in California and even more info on phlebotomist compensation by area and county.
LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$11.22$15.72$22.52
Redding, CA MSAHourly$15.86$25.50$30.79
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA MSAHourly$18.49$23.66$29.50
Northern Mountains Region (BOS)Hourly$15.63$21.80$29.66
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan DivisionHourly$13.65$21.80$32.35
Stockton, CA MSAHourly$15.19$21.78$29.25
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA MSAHourly$17.14$21.67$24.75
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA Metropolitan DivisionHourly$15.43$21.51$30.24
Napa, CA MSAHourly$15.05$21.10$26.71
Salinas, CA MSAHourly$16.03$20.59$25.92
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA MSAHourly$14.61$19.82$23.83
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA MSAHourly$11.01$19.59$23.99
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan DivisionHourly$13.61$19.43$27.89
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA MSAHourly$15.05$19.33$29.37
North Coast Region (BOS)Hourly$12.97$19.25$24.50
Modesto, CA MSAHourly$13.62$19.14$26.26
Chico, CA MSAHourly$15.33$19.10$25.36
Merced, CA MSAHourly$15.96$18.94$24.27
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSAHourly$15.68$18.84$24.62
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSAHourly$14.00$18.78$25.41
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSAHourly$13.46$18.62$25.39
Fresno, CA MSAHourly$14.10$17.89$24.39
El Centro, CA MSAHourly$13.28$17.28$23.52
Madera-Chowchilla, CA MSAHourly$13.26$17.05$22.49
Visalia-Porterville, CA MSAHourly$12.35$16.91$23.90
Bakersfield-Delano, CA MSAHourly$10.53$15.12$21.71