Your EKG Technician Resource

Welcome to EKG Technician Central!

Congratulations on your desire to join a life-saving field! Careers in the health care industry are in high demand and continue to grow. Your opportunity for becoming an EKG Technician and making a difference in people’s lives has never been better!

Check out the Bookstore and find all kinds of reading material to bring you up to speed!

What is an EKG and why do it?

EKG TechnicianAn EKG is an electrocardiogram (also known as an ECG). This test checks the electrical activity of your heart to access heart rhythm (steady, irregular), rate (how fast), strength, and timing. How does the heart have electrical signals? Good question. An electrical signal travels from the top of your heart to the bottom of your heart each time your heart beats. As it travels, the signal causes the heart to pump blood. This process repeats during each heartbeat.

An EKG…

    • Checks the heart’s general electrical activity
    • Checks for causes of shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness, or irregular heartbeat.  These may indicate heart disease.
    • Checks for causes of unexplained chest pain.  This may indicate a heart attack.
    • Checks to see if the wall of the heart are too thick
    • Checks to see if any mediation you may be taking is affecting the heart
    • Checks general health of the heart when other diseases are being treated

Who is an EKG Technician and what do they do?

EKG Technician

As you can see, EKG tests are critical in helping a physician detect serious conditions in patients.  The individual responsible for conducting the test is known as an EKG Technician.  The technician is trained in operating specialized equipment used to measure the heart’s performance.  The technician will work directly with the patient, administer the test, and provide the resulting data to the physician for analysis.

 

Typical duties include

  • Comfort and assist the patient throughout test procedures
  • Conduct and oversee the EKG test
  • Record EKG readings
  • Perform stress tests, where applicable
  • Conduct Holter monitoring tests, where applicable
  • Provide data to physicians

Work locations:

  • Cardiac unit of hospitals
  • Private cardiology offices
  • Emergency department
  • Laboratories

EKG Technician Education, Certification, and Licensing

EKG TechnicianThere are no formal education requirements for becoming a technician, however, you should have a high school diploma or GED and an Associate’s Degree will boost your job prospects.

You can also get a certification to further enhance your chance of employment as a technician. While obtaining a certification or license is not required, it is recommended and often key to many employers, especially since some medical insurance companies, and Medicare, require the test to be performed by certified technicians for payment.

Being certified benefits you by…

  • Increasing your job opportunities
  • Providing you greater career stability
  • Allowing you to make more money
  • Enhancing your subject matter expertise

There are multiple providers for certification.  Each tests the same body of knowledge and is viewed as equivalent within the health care field.  The two types of certification as well as the certifying authority is listed below.

Your choices for certification include…

    • Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT)
      • Cardiovascular Credentialing International
    • American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians
      • EKG Certification
    • Certified EKG Technician (CET)
      • American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals
      • American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians
      • National Healthcareer Association

In order to take the exam, you’ll be required to have experience on the job or by taking formal classes.  Many schools provide training programs and classes for those interested in becoming a technician.

To take the test, you need to…

    • have a high school diploma or GED
    • have met the training requirements
      • Approximately 6 months of on the job clinical training or
      • Completion of an accredited training program

For more information on the certification and to find test locations click here.

Career Outlook

EKG TechnicianThe demand for EKG Technicians is expected to rise significantly.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics rated the job outlook for 2010-2020 to grow by 29% (much faster than average).  The healthcare industry is growing significantly due mainly to the fact the baby boomer generation is aging.  The need for technicians will continue to grow as advances in technology continue to evolve.

The median annual pay was $49,410 in May 2010.  The lowest percentage of technicians earned less than $26,610 while the top 10 percent earned more than $77,020.