EKG Technician: Definition, Schools, Licenses, Salary, Cost, and More

The risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and various heart diseases is currently on the rise, resulting in high demand for EKG Technicians. So, what exactly are you waiting for? Here’s how to get started as an EKG technician right away. Electrocardiograph (EKG) technicians, also known as a cardiographic, cardiac monitor, or electrocardiogram technicians, perform tests to record the condition of the heart and detect any underlying heart disease.

Tests are conducted by electrocardiograph technicians (EKG), cardiographic, or electrocardiogram technicians. They help doctors diagnose and treat patients with cardiovascular diseases. You must enroll in a Bronx EKG technician certification course to become an EKG technician. Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about EKG technicians, including how to become one. An EKG technician’s main responsibility is to record a patient’s heart activities and operate the machines. 

The EKG Technician begins by taking the patient’s medical history. The patient’s chest, arms, and legs are then fitted with electrodes. The physician will need a printout of the patient’s heart rate, so the electrodes are used to track it. These tests aid in detecting abnormalities that could lead to a heart attack or heart disease. It is, however, instrumental in detecting and treating cardiovascular problems in patients. 

Explaining procedures to patients, monitoring patients’ blood pressure, and positioning patients are all typical responsibilities. These technicians may spend a significant amount of time standing, and they may also be required to lift or turn patients. Some technicians work overnight, evenings, or on weekends in medical facilities.

Who is an EKG Technician?

Electrocardiograph (EKG) technicians, also known as cardiographic, cardiac monitor, or electrocardiogram technicians, are vital members of the allied healthcare team who perform diagnostic tests on patients using non-invasive cardiology technologies such as Holter monitoring, EKG, and stress tests daily to assist doctors in identifying and treating cardiovascular problems.

What is the role of an EKG technician?

EKG technicians work in hospitals with doctors and technologists, specializing in patient electrocardiogram (EKG) testing. EKG machines are sophisticated devices that track the heart’s activity. Wires and electrodes are attached to the patient’s chest, arms, and legs to accomplish this. EKG technicians keep track of the readings, ensure that the machine is properly connected and operating, and record the results of the EKG tests. 

EKG technicians may also take a patient’s medical history, ask questions, maintain equipment, check the quality of recorded data, and assist technologists and physicians during procedures.

Why Do You Want to Be An EKG Technician?

Because health is the most important aspect of human life, EKG students are educated in this area. EKGs can reveal if you’ve had a heart attack or if you have heart disease. Heart birth defects, problems with your heart valves, muscles, and pericardial sacs, irregular heartbeats, artery blockages, and heart failure are all things that they can reveal. This vital test is one of the responsibilities of an EKG technician.

How Much Does an EKG Certificate Set You Back?

Even though an EKG technician certificate program takes less than a year to complete, costs are still involved. Tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, and food are just a few costs to consider when enrolling in an EKG technician program. Tuition for an EKG technician program, on the other hand, can range from a little over $400 to more than $1,000. The 60-hour EKG technician training program at Carroll Community College, for example, costs $629 and does not include books. In the meantime, California State University offers an EKG technician certification program for $1,099.

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This already includes the textbook for the course. Knoxville’s EKG technician program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology costs $478. This includes tuition, books, supplies, and other costs. After completing all prerequisites, the EKG technician program at Edmonds Community College can be completed in one quarter. The 22-credit program, which includes requirements, costs around $2,350. The cost of books is approximately $334, and the cost of laboratory fees is roughly $227.

What Are The Prospects For Employment?

Healthcare professionals, such as EKG technicians, are in high demand. This is due to an aging population that is retiring at an increasing rate, resulting in job openings in the industry and a higher demand for healthcare services. Certification and specialized skills, particularly in Holter monitoring and stress testing, are best to secure opportunities as an EKG technician.

Information on EKG Technician Certification

Individuals may apply for certification after completing an ASPT-approved EKG technician training program, including passing an exam and paying a fee. Individuals who have not completed formal training but have six months of practical work experience may apply for the exam. The proof is required in the form of a letter from an instructor or supervisor. EKG technician certificate programs teach students how to use 

EKG machines and Holter monitors, preparing them for a career as cardiovascular technicians, which is a rapidly growing field. Graduates of these programs are also eligible to sit for ASPT certification exams.

How Much Does An EKG Technician Make?

A cardiac monitor technician’s average annual salary is around $35,100, but salaries can reach $48,240. You won’t get the highest pay right away, but an EKG tech in New Jersey can expect to earn around $12-$15 per hour as a starting wage. In the United States, the average hourly wage for an EKG Technician is $20.78. Salary estimates are based on 121 anonymous salary submissions to Indeed by EKG Technician employees, users, and data collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the last 36 months. An EKG Technician’s average tenure is 1-3 years.

Average Annual Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$49,520
Alaska$62,430
Arizona$61,320
Arkansas$52,260
California$76,630
Colorado$69,560
Connecticut$75,570
Delaware$61,130
District of Columbia$78,850
Florida$50,330
Georgia$62,380
Hawaii$65,250
Idaho$60,940
Illinois$54,370
Indiana$55,570
Iowa$50,810
Kansas$56,760
Kentucky$47,190
Louisiana$42,170
Maine$62,760
Maryland$65,080
Massachusetts$72,960
Michigan$56,590
Minnesota$65,070
Mississippi$43,110
Missouri$52,280
Montana$64,130
Nebraska$53,410
Nevada$64,430
New Hampshire$64,740
New Jersey$78,030
New Mexico$57,720
New York$64,670
North Carolina$65,890
North Dakota$59,550
Ohio$54,260
Oklahoma$46,170
Oregon$81,410
Pennsylvania$56,860
Rhode Island$78,620
South Carolina$58,880
South Dakota$52,550
Tennessee$49,400
Texas$55,590
Vermont$57,300
Virginia$59,280
Washington$64,330
West Virginia$43,790
Wisconsin$65,570
Wyoming$56,350
Puerto Rico$29,330

What Is The Best Place To Get EKG certification?

1. College Of Health Care Professions

At CHCP, the EKG program is part of the Online Medical Assisting Certificate Program, including phlebotomy, examinations and documentation of patient histories, vital sign taking, basic insurance, and billing procedures. For those who qualify, financial aid is available. Friendly and helpful financial aid staff will assist you in determining what financial aid you are eligible for and will walk you through the application process.

2. Vista College Ground Campuses

Vista College is an EKG technician school that offers EKG certification. It is a private, accredited college that offers a variety of flexible career training programs to prepare students for immediate employment. It has nine Texas, Arkansas, and New Mexico campuses that offer associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and diplomas. Vista’s programs are designed to provide students with practical training while also preparing for the workforce in the shortest amount of time possible. 

Career services are available to Vista College students, and financial aid is available to those who qualify. The Council on Occupational Education has accredited Vista College’s ground campuses (COE).

3. Southern Technical College

Southern Technical College is an EKG technician school that offers EKG certification. It is a private college that offers extensive hands-on training in various careers to students interested in developing the skills that employers seek in allied health, nursing, design, business, and technical trades. Externships and clinical labs are available in many programs, providing plenty of opportunities for hands-on experiences that allow students to apply methods and concepts learned in the classroom to help them develop the skills they need for their chosen careers.

In some cases, students can earn an associate’s degree in as little as a year and a half or a diploma in 36-40 weeks. Externships or simulated lab experiences are used in medical and technical trade programs such as electrical technology, welding, and veterinary assisting in providing hands-on training. Medical sonographers, medical assistants, surgical technicians, medical lab technicians, and medical billers/coders are all careers that can be prepared through allied health programs. These allied health careers offer associate degrees and diplomas. 

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Nursing students complete an associate’s degree program accredited by the Florida Board of Nursing and prepare them for national certification exams. STC’s career services office supplements classroom and career training by offering students and graduates the opportunity to brush up on interviewing skills. Prepare resumes, attend career fairs and on-campus recruiting events, and take advantage of other benefits that help them with the job search. STC students also receive discounts on Dell, Microsoft, and Apple electronic products.

4. Institute of Technology 

Since 2004, the Institute of Technology has offered education programs at a private, career-focused college. The school is an EKG technician school that offers EKG certification. They also offer certificate, diploma, and associate’s degree programs in the West Coast’s business, medical, culinary, criminal justice, and technical fields. Institute of Technology programs are taught by experienced instructors and use cutting-edge technology to help students get started in a real job faster than they ever imagined.

IOT’s programs rapidly provide students with focused training to prepare them for a rewarding career. Nearly 20 programs are available to IOT students, including hands-on training in the technical skills required for the industry. HVAC students, for example, learn how to install, maintain, and troubleshoot HVAC systems. In contrast, pharmacy students get hands-on experience in medication packaging and learn PioneerRx, the industry’s leading pharmacy management system.

The specific program options vary by campus, but they may include a Practical Nursing Certificate, Medical Billing and Office Administration Diploma, and others. AAS in Criminology and Emergency Response Management, Culinary Arts Diploma Accounting AAS, and Industrial Maintenance and Automated Technology AOS. The Clovis, CA campus also offers cosmetology and barbering programs. 

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) has accredited IOT’s California campuses, and the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training has accredited the Salem, OR campus (ACCET).

5. Herzing University 

Herzing is an EKG technician school that offers EKG certification. The university expanded its educational programs to include business, health care, technology, design, public safety, and expanding its campuses. It also raised the level of credentials from diplomas to bachelor’s and associate’s degrees on all US campuses and master’s degrees on the Online campus. Herzing’s executives and managers have all been industry leaders, and Herzing University has received national recognition for its community service.

What Does It Take to Become an EKG Technician?

To become an EKG technician, you must first complete the following steps:

1. Get your high school diploma or the equivalent.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent to be considered for most jobs. Individuals who wish to further their education must generally possess a high school diploma or its equivalent to meet admissions requirements. Consider taking math and science courses in high school. High school students should take math, anatomy, and physiology courses who want to work as EKG technicians after graduation.

2. Acquire Healthcare Work Experience

While most EKG technicians receive on-the-job training, some employers prefer applicants who have prior healthcare experience. Becoming a nurse, paramedic, or EMT, on the other hand, can provide individuals with the necessary knowledge to begin careers as EKG technicians.

3. Finish an EKG Technician Program or get on-the-job training.

According to the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals, the most common way to become an EKG technician is through on-the-job training. The training usually lasts four to six weeks and is done under the supervision of a cardiologist or EKG supervisor. On the other hand, they are offered at many colleges across the country. These programs teach students how to use an EKG machine and properly place 12-lead electrodes on patients.

Medical terminology, anatomy, and legal aspects of interacting with patients may all be covered in some programs. During labs, students will be able to familiarize themselves with EKG equipment and gain hands-on experience.

4. Get a Certificate

EKG technicians with the necessary experience or education can take a certification exam offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International. Although certification as a Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) is not required, employers prefer applicants who have earned professional certification, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Students who have completed an approved EKG training program or have at least six months of experience can also take the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians’ Electrocardiograph (EKG) Technician exam (ASPT).

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It is critical to prepare for the exam. Individuals interested in taking the Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) exam should review sample questions and reference materials on the Cardiovascular Credentialing International website.

5. Completing Additional Training

Individuals who want to learn more advanced EKG tests, Holter monitoring, and stress tests can do so. This additional on-the-job training usually lasts 18-24 months and necessitates a thorough understanding of physiology and cardiovascular anatomy. Importantly, this training has the potential to improve job prospects and provide opportunities for advancement. You can get a job with a high school diploma, on-the-job training, or a training program. 

EKG technicians make between $35,100 and $48,240 per year performing diagnostic tests to help doctors diagnose and treat cardiovascular problems in patients.

EKG Technicians Education

Some EKG Technician jobs don’t require any education, but that doesn’t sound very practical. Rather than entering a career with no prior experience, obtaining a certificate or degree is preferable. Many EKG Technicians obtain a certificate after completing a one-year educational program. These certificate programs provide the fundamental education that an EKG Technician will require to find work. You can expect to learn the following things in this type of program:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Written Communication
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Electrocardiography Introduction

Other EKG Technicians opt for an Associate’s degree, which takes about two years to complete. Make sure your education is accredited and includes at least some practical experience and labs. With this type of degree, you will be able to take various classes. Many of the classes will be required, such as math, science, and English. Others will be more specific to the industry in which you want to work, such as;

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Medical Terminology
  • Medical Diagnostics
  • History of the EKG
  • Cardiac Diagnostic Procedures

You may want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree program after gaining some experience as an EKG Technician. This should take about two more years, and it will provide EKG Technicians with even more education and work experience. The majority of the classes will be similar to those taken for an Associate’s degree, but they will be tailored to your specific career goals. EKG technicians will take courses in EKG techniques and procedures as well as anatomy and physiology. 

EKG Technicians have more career options as their education progresses. Indeed, with a Bachelor’s degree, you might be able to find work as a:

  • Certified Nurse Assistant
  • Medical Assistant
  • Phlebotomist
  • Home Health Aide

Conclusion

To sum it up, An EKG, also known as an electrocardiogram or electrocardiograph, is a test that monitors and records a patient’s heart’s electrical impulses and rhythms. The results will be interpreted by the patient’s physician, who will then diagnose any heart abnormalities. However, you can provide a valuable healthcare service as an EKG technician. But, whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced allied health professional looking to learn a new skill, it’s critical to know what EKG training entails.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is EKG Tech a promising career path?

Cardiographic technicians work a 40-hour week on average. Typically, they work in hospitals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cardiovascular technology and technician jobs are expected to grow at 24% in 2018. (BLS).

How long do you have to go to school to become an EKG Tech?

A supervisor or cardiologist oversees the training, which lasts about four to six weeks. Although some technicians have completed a two-year cardiovascular technology program, operating an EKG is not necessary or required.

Where can EKG techs work?

In hospitals, these technicians work alongside doctors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most cardiologists work in hospitals and cardiac centers, though some work in private practices.

What makes certification as an EKG technician so important?

As a Certified EKG Technician (CET), you’ll play an important role in diagnosing cardiovascular diseases. EKG rhythms provide crucial information for diagnosing heart conditions. These tests can be done as part of a physical examination, when a cardiovascular problem is suspected, or in advance of surgery.

Is there an expiration date for EKG certification?

Certifications are only valid for two years. The ten credits can be applied to any number of certificates.

Where can I look for job openings?

The majority of EKG technician jobs are in hospitals’ cardiology departments. Outpatient clinics, doctors’ offices, medical imaging centers, and other healthcare settings do, however, offer employment opportunities.

Is it necessary to have a high school diploma?

There are some programs where you can enroll without having a high school diploma or a GED. However, because it is frequently a requirement for certification or licensing exams, it is good to check the requirements of the various organizations that regulate the industry.

Lastly, candidates can check our careers and reviews categories, or check out the Apply for a Job homepage for more essential information.

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