The healthcare sector is growing, and with that, a lot of career opportunities have started to come up. Well, there’s one career in the healthcare sector for which you don’t even need a degree. Yes, we are talking about EKG Technicians.
Here’s a crazy fact. With just a high-school or GED equivalent, you are eligible to pursue this exciting career that is not only growing and in demand but also provides job stability and a healthy salary package.
By now, you must be wondering about – ‘what is an EKG Tech’ or ‘what they do’ and ‘how to become one.’ That’s where we come in to help you.
In this article, we will provide you with a blueprint on how to become an EKG technician, what they do, the reasons to choose this career, and much more.
So, without wasting a sec, let’s dive in:
What is an EKG Technician?
An EKG technician is a healthcare professional who plays a vital role in conducting and monitoring electrocardiogram (ECG) tests. They keep a close eye during the EKG test and instantly report to the doctors if they observe any irregularities in cardiac activity.
They then submit the test report to the doctor, which assists in the diagnosis and treatment of heart-related conditions. They ensure your heart is healthy and ticking.
Know more -> What is an EKG Technician?
What does an EKG Tech Do?
EKG technicians use their knowledge and skills to help doctors analyze and diagnose the heart health of the patient. Let’s discuss the Duties of an EKG technician:
- You will prepare the patients for their electrocardiogram (EKG) test after explaining the procedure, answering their questions, and making them comfortable.
- You will check if the EKG machine is working properly and then set up the EKG equipment for tests.
- You’ll place those sticky electrodes on the patient’s chest, arms, and legs.
- You’ll operate the (EKG) machine, record the cardiac activity and create a picture called an electrocardiogram.
- You’ll then monitor the test closely and report if you find any irregularities with the test.
- You are crucial in supporting the medical team by providing the EKG test results, thus helping them analyze and interpret the cardiac activity.
- You are responsible for EKG equipment handling and maintenance.
- You should also ensure patient safety and comfort by providing all the support needed.
- You will adapt, learn, and grow as an EKG technician.
How To Be an EKG Tech?
EKG technician is an exciting career that neither requires a fancy degree or years of schooling nor needs to empty your pockets. It just requires a combination of education, skills, and training.
Here is a blueprint for the entire process of becoming an EKG Tech:
Obtain High School Diploma (GED)
To start your career as an EKG Technician, you need to have completed your high school diploma or GED equivalent. You have that; right?
Enroll in an EKG Training Program
There are two main ways you can enroll in an EKG Training Program. One is a full-time option, and the other is the recommended Online route. Let’s discuss them both:
Full-Time Program (Associate Degree & Diploma Program)
For the full-time options, you again have two routes. Either you get an Associate Degree from an accredited University for a 2-year program with fees of $30,000. Or, you go for a Diploma which will take 1 year to complete and can cost between $5,000 to $15,000.
Hope you know this is a full-time option, and there are certain T&Cs, associated with it, like – scheduled classes, expenses for accommodation or travel, and a looming fear of student loans.
Recommended – Online Training Program
Why do we recommend online training programs? Because enrolling in an online program will cost you less than $5,000. You can learn at your own pace, from your comfort zone. You can finish your training conveniently in less than 4 months. And the best part, there is likely to be no burden of student debt.
Moreover, if you choose Preppy’s EKG Technician Online Certification Program, you will get plenty more, such as:
- Accredited University Certificate
- Self-Paced learning experience
- In-Depth training
- Prepares you to Get CET Certified
- Externship Opportunity
- 24*7 Student Support
- Finishes in 2 Months
Check out our program -> Our EKG Training Program
Get Clinical Experience & Complete 10 ECGs
You have successfully completed your EKG Technician program, and now it is time to gain some hands-on experience through an internship or externship. You must understand; that you need practical knowledge of performing EKGs on live patients to feel more confident about the role.
Also, it is mandatory to perform 10 EKGs on live patients to become eligible for the certification exam (CET) conducted by the NHA. Employers, too, value and prefer the ones with valuable clinical experience. So, it’s a win-win situation for you.
Apply for NHA CET Certification Exam
As per a survey, 87% of employers prefer EKG Technicians to be certified under the NHA. So, post-completion of your mandatory 10 EKGs, you must apply for the CET exam.
The process, in brief, is as follows:
- You have your high school or GED
- You have completed your EKG program online
- You have completed 10 EKGS
- Now, register online at the NHA website
- Pay the exam fee
- Schedule the exam at your convenience
- Appear for the exam
- Get the results
Know the process -> CET Certification
Get Certified as an EKG Technician
Once you clear the CET examination conducted by the NHA, you are a Certified EKG Technician. You will hold an edge over others, and your journey as an EKG Technician truly begins; from here on.
Look for Jobs
Now, you can look for jobs. You should find it easily after your certification. You will require a suitable resume, and then you can go job-hunting.
-> Guide on EKG Tech Resume
Note: Our program offers students with career and resume support.
Top Reasons to Become an EKG Tech
EKG technicians are crucial in patient care and are highly valued and sought-after professionals. It is high time to embrace the opportunity and enjoy the rewards of being an EKG technician.
Don’t believe us right away. Check out some of the most compelling reasons to become an EKG Tech.
With the increased prevalence of heart-related conditions, there is a rising demand for skilled EKG technicians. This translates into ample job opportunities and career stability. It is projected that the job growth rate will be around 10% in the next decade.
EKG technicians can earn somewhere between $58,000 to $77,000 per year. With the potential for growth as they gain experience, add more certifications, or relocate to a high-paying city.
Starting as a Certified EKG technician is the stepping stone toward further career advancement in the healthcare sector. You can pursue additional certifications to expand your skill set and open doors to higher-level positions.
As an EKG technician, you will directly impact a patient’s life by helping to diagnose and monitor heart conditions. Your work will make a difference, providing comfort and reassurance to individuals and their families during challenging times.
Stable Job Market
The demand for skilled EKG technicians is growing as the aging population and chronic diseases affecting the heart become more prevalent. It is expected by the year 2060 senior population will double, creating even more opportunities in the healthcare field.
So, rest assured, with a stable job market and projected growth of around 10%, this appears to be a secure career path, even during these challenging economic times.
No healthcare degree Needed
You know by now that you don’t require any healthcare degree, or any degree, for that matter, to begin your online EKG program. Once you complete it and get certified, you start your dream career as a Certified EKG Tech in less than 6 months.
You have a Superhero Attitude
Yes, doctors are termed superheroes in healthcare. But, in Avengers, the sidekick of Iron Man is Spider-Man. Likewise, it makes you a Superhero too.
You assist the doctor in detecting and treating the heart-related conditions of the patient. The doctor trusts you and relies on your test reports which means you are respected. You are worthy. You make the team complete.
How Much Do EKG Techs Make?
The estimated salary of an EKG Tech ranges between $58,000 to $77,000 per year. But, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of EKG Technicians in 2021 was $60,570 or $29.12 per hour. These numbers depend on a variety of factors, such as the industry profile for this occupation.
As job prospects are concerned, the predicted growth is 10% for the next decade, projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is much faster for all other healthcare professions.
What is the most important quality of an EKG technician?
Well, there are many skills that are important, but some of the most important are:
- Attention to detail
- Having patience and compassion toward the patients
- Communication skills
Read – What Does an EKG Tech Do?
What is the difference between ECG and EKG technician?
ECG and EKG tests are actually the same.
-> Know more such amazing Facts about EKG Technician
Where can I study ECG?
You can study ECG or EKG courses at a university and get an Associate degree in 2 years spending $30,000. Or, you go for a Diploma which will take 1 year to complete and can cost between $5,000 to $15,000.
Here are some more FAQs that you might consider to clear your misconceptions.