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What is an EKG technician

What is an EKG Technician?

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Grant Aldrich

An EKG (electrocardiograph) technician is a healthcare professional responsible for performing diagnostic tests using specialized equipment to measure, monitor and record the electrical activity of a patient’s heart. 

They work closely with physicians and other healthcare providers to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of heart-related conditions.

They are also commonly known as ECG technicians. EKG and ECG are same.  Elektrokardiogramm is a German spelling, and the abbreviation (EKG) is commonly used in the United States to avoid confusion. 

Also see: Facts About EKG Technicians

Now, allow us to guide you through the process of becoming an EKG Technician, discussing the job outlook, technical requirements, skills, salary, and more.

Quick Summary:

Minimum Education requiredHigh school diploma or the equivalent
Degrees AvailableAssociate & Bachelors
Recommended TrainingOnline Certification Programs
Employment growth rate10%
Average Salary$41,900

What does an EKG Technician do? Roles and Responsibilities

EKG technicians set up and maintain the EKG equipment, perform electrocardiogram and cardiovascular tests, identify heart conditions, and ensure patients are always comfortable and well-informed. EKG technicians must possess a caring nature and patience as they attend to the needs of patients. 

Here are the top duties of an EKG Technicians:-

  • Performing cardiovascular tests on patients
  • Ensuring patients are informed about each step of the procedure
  • Identifying and diagnosing heart conditions
  • Monitoring patient blood pressure
  • Collecting cardiovascular data for analysis
  • Working alongside doctors and nurses
  • Arranging EKG components and obtaining EKG Tracings for precise diagnosis
  • Ensuring the safety and comfort of patients
  • Maintaining high hospital safety standards
  • Supervising EKG equipment and promptly reporting any malfunctions

See more on: What does an EKG Technician Do?

Job Outlook

According to BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics), the EKG Technician career is experiencing unbelievable growth, with a predicted 10% increase in available positions by 2031. It is projected to have 10,100 fresh openings each year, on average, over the decade.

There is a growing demand for skilled EKG Technicians. Also, the job sector is set to boom with the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and the aging population.

Job opportunities are available in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic imaging centers, and other healthcare facilities.

Salary of EKG Technicians

The salary of an EKG technician can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the employing institution. On average, EKG technicians earn a median annual salary of around $30,000 to $40,000 in the United States. However, compensation can vary depending on:

  • Certification status
  • University Certificate
  • Years of experience
  • City or state where you are working 

According to the BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics), as of May 2021, the median annual salary for cardiovascular technicians was $60,570. The report highlights that the lowest 10% earned less than $29,910, while the highest 10% did earn more than $50,000.

Read more: Certified EKG Technician Salary

EKG Technician Requirements

While specific requirements may vary by state and employer, becoming an EKG technician typically requires – 

See more on EKG Technician Requirements

EKG Technician Skills

To excel as an EKG technician, you require the following essential skills –

  • Knowledge of cardiovascular anatomy and physiology – Solid understanding of the structure and function of the heart. This is required to accurately interpret EKG readings.
  • EKG interpretation – Proficient in reading and analyzing EKG tracings, identifying abnormalities, and reporting findings to healthcare providers.
  • Technical skills – skilled in operating EKG machines and other related equipment, ensuring accurate and reliable recordings.
  •  Attention to detail – attention to minute detail to avoid blunders while recording and interpreting EKG data.
  • Communication skills – keeping patients well informed, explaining the procedures, and conveying information to physicians.
EKG Tech

EKG Technician Work Environment

The work environment may involve standing for long periods and exposure to patients with various medical conditions.

EKG technicians typically work in healthcare settings such as –

  •  Hospitals 
  • Cardiac clinics
  •   Doctor offices
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Medical laboratories
  • Private medical practices
  • Mobile EKG services – travel to patient’s home or nursing facilities

According to BLS, 76% of EKG technicians work in hospitals; state, local, and private; while the rest work in some private capacities.

Also see: EKG Technician Job Description

How to Become an EKG Technician?

Unlike other professions, no specific degree is required to pursue this career. Becoming an EKG Technician involves two essential steps: 

To become an EKG Technician, the first step is to receive proper training. There are various EKG Technician programs available for enrollment, providing you with the necessary knowledge and skills.

The next step is to appear for certification exams. These exams are conducted by nationally-recognized agencies to assess your competence as an EKG Technician. Successfully passing these exams will grant you the title of a Certified EKG Technician.

For beginners entering the field, it is highly recommended to enroll in an online certification course or program.

However, it is recommended to enroll in an online course that prepares you for the certification exam. The duration of the courses can range from 3-6 months.

In summary, to become an EKG Technician, complete the necessary training, pass certification exams, and consider online training programs for a convenient and comprehensive learning experience. 

How long does it take to become an EKG technician?

It takes about 3-6 to become an EKG technician. They may also get professional training from a senior EKG technician for about 4-6 weeks. Certified EKG technicians need at least one year of experience.

The journey to becoming an EKG technician usually takes around 3-6 months, although it can extend up to a year in some cases. During this time, aspiring technicians undergo comprehensive training to develop the necessary skills and knowledge.

Additionally, they may have the opportunity to receive hands-on guidance and mentoring from experienced senior EKG technicians for a period of about 4-6 weeks.

It is important to note that, to be eligible for certification exams, it is mandatory to receive hands-on experience with 10 EKGs. 

The best part about our online program at Preppy – we arrange the externships for you. At your nearest possible facility. 

See: How Long Is EKG Technician Training?

Similar Jobs

  • Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians: They carry out basic laboratory tests and procedures aimed at diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases. You at least need a Bachelor’s degree. The average median salary is $57,800, as per the BLS report – May 2021.
  • Nuclear medicine technologists: They are responsible for the preparation and administration of radioactive drugs used in medical imaging or treatment purposes. You at least need an Associate degree. The average median salary is $78,760, as per the BLS report – May 2021.
  • Radiation therapists: They are involved in the administration of radiation doses to patients with cancer or other serious illnesses as part of their treatment. You at least need an Associate degree. The average median salary is $82,790, as per the BLS report – May 2021.
  • Radiologic and MRI Technologists: They perform diagnostic imaging examinations on patients. They are responsible for operating Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners to generate diagnostic images used in medical diagnosis and treatment. 

    You at least need an Associate degree. The average median salary is $61,980, as per the BLS report – May 2021.
  • Registered Nurses: They deliver and coordinate patient care services while also providing education to patients and the public regarding various health conditions. You at least need a Bachelor’s degree. The average median salary is $77,600, as per the BLS report – May 2021.

Also see: EKG Technician Jobs

Why should you consider becoming an EKG technician?

It is a career that combines a passion for healthcare with technical expertise, promising personal fulfillment and professional growth.

Here are a few compelling reasons:

  • Growing Demand

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.

  • Competitive Salary

EKG technicians can earn a respectable income, with the potential for growth as they gain experience.

  • Career Advancement

Starting as an EKG technician will serve as a 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.

  • Fulfilling Contribution

As an EKG technician, you will directly impact patients’ lives 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.

Read: Pros and Cons of Being an EKG Technician


In the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, EKG technicians are crucial in patient care. Your dedication and technical expertise will be highly valued and sought after. Embrace the opportunity to embark on this exciting career path and enjoy the rewards of being an EKG technician. 

Take the first step towards a fulfilling career by exploring the training programs and opportunities to become an EKG technician.

Related Resources: 

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Grant Aldrich

Preppy was founded by higher education expert, Grant Aldrich, who’s work on college affordability and accessibility has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader’s Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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