Phlebotomy Certification in San Diego
Known for year-round sunshine and mild temperatures, San Diego boasts beautiful beaches and a natural harbor. For many years the city thrived on its involvement with the United States Navy, and on the tourism industry. However it has recently begun to emerge as a hotspot for the biotech and healthcare industries.
With a population that exceeds 1,350,000, San Diego is a desirable place to live, work, and play. The cost of living in sunny San Diego can be considered somewhat steep, but the more you move out into the suburbs, the more affordable housing costs become.
There is a high demand for medical professionals in San Diego, which means that those holding a phlebotomy certification are sure to find plenty of opportunity for securing a great job. The average salary for phlebotomists in San Diego is $33,000.
San Diego is a thriving metropolis that offers a great lifestyle for those who chose to call it home.
The Phlebotomy Certification Process in San Diego:
As we mentioned in our Phlebotomy certification guide for California, California is one of the
few states in the country that requires phlebotomists to obtain certification through state-approved
methods versus the nationally recognized programs that the majority of other states accept. Most other
states actually do not require that a phlebotomy certification be held before performing the duties
expect of a phlebotomist.
In California however, unless you are a licensed physician, nurse, or clinical lab scientist,
you are not permitted to do blood draws on patients without the right certification in hand.
Medical assistants can do blood draws, but only in a doctor’s office and under supervision.
The California Department of Public Heath maintains and enforces the guidelines for the state.
3 Types of Phlebotomy Certification:
In San Diego, and in the entire State of California, there are three types of certifications
that can be pursued for those interested in working as a phlebotomist.
1. The Limited Phlebotomy Technician (LPT) can only do skin puncture blood
collections; with means that technicians can only perform finger sticks
2. The Certified Phlebotomy Technician-1 (CPT-1) can perform both skin puncture
blood collections, and also do venipuncture collections
3. The CPT-2 is allowed to do finger sticks, venipuncture and also arterial blood draws
Regardless of the setting, or of the level of certification that a phlebotomist has, no point of
care treatment or testing is permitted. As an example, a phlebotomist cannot administer a
breath test or a glucose test on a patient.
Earning Your Phlebotomy Training in San Diego:
Earning your phlebotomy certification is the first step on your path to a secure and
rewarding career. It should also be noted that many use phlebotomy as a stepping stone to
a career as a medical assistant, registered nurse, and other healthcare specialties.
Step one is to find a State approved training facility and complete a phlebotomy training
program that will prepare you to sit the certification exam. Prerequisites may vary between
schools and between each of the three types of phlebotomy technicians, however all
programs will require that students have graduated from high school, or have the
equivalency in hand.
Let’s take a look at the requirements that the California Department of Health mandates
each type of phlebotomy tech meet in order to satisfy the needs of earning the certification:
The Limited Phlebotomy Technician (LPT) program asks for 20 hours of classroom
instruction. The LPT will also need to complete 25 successful skin punctures on
patient in a clinic setting
The Certified Phlebotomy Technician-1 (CPT-1) program asks for 20 hours of
classroom instruction, 20 hours of advanced instruction, and 40 hours of practical
instruction. The CPT-1 must also complete skin punctures and 50 successful
The CPT-2 needs to have 1040 hours of on-the-job experience as a CPT-1. The
CPT-2 must also complete an additional 20 hours of advanced classes, and also 20
successful arterial punctures, under supervision
While it may seem like it is a lot of work, the great news is that with your certification in
hand, you’ll be able to secure a position at any healthcare facility in the State of California.
National Certification Recognition and Renewals:
If you have already obtained your national certification as a phlebotomist you may be
disheartened to learn that it is not valid for allowing you to work in your chosen field in San
Diego. The majority of states do not require phlebotomists to hold a certification. However,
California absolutely does.
If you want to work as a phlebotomist, you must take the steps to get the right training and
certifications before you can start to work with patients.
The State of California does not require that phlebotomists continue to hold onto their
national certification. This means that it is entirely up to you as to whether you want to
renew it when the expiration date rolls around.
Your certification from the State of California will be valid for two years. Make certain that
you stay on top of your phlebotomy certification so that you don’t inadvertently find yourself
unable to keep the job that you love.
Finding a Phlebotomy Certification School in San Diego:
Family Health Services:
Family Health Services offers the first State of California approved online course for the 20
hour advanced phlebotomy course. It is a great option for those who would otherwise
struggling juggling other responsibilities and continuing education.
You can view more details on their website:
San Diego Mesa College:
San Diego Mesa College offers the phlebotomy training course as a part of the medical
assisting program, which makes it a great choice if you are planning on continuing your
education and expanding on your career in the healthcare field.
South-Western College, located in Chula Vista, offers phlebotomy training course that will
see students leaving confident that the exam will be passed. Students are required to pass
a background check prior to enrolling.