Electrocardiograph Technicians EKG Technicians are healthcare employees who conduct ECG tests, identify cardiovascular problems, and report their findings to the physician.

Demand for EKG Techs is growing, and  according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the EKG Technician job growth rate is expected to be 8% (2020-2030)

You’re probably here because you’ve been thinking about a career in EKG Tech, but you want to know how long will it take. To start your EKG Tech career, you need to first enroll in a training program.

In this article, we’ll be giving you insights related to different types of training programs and how long it takes to complete different training programs.

how long is ekg technician training

EKG Technician Training – How Long Do Different Programs Last?

There are different types of training programs for EKG Technicians, and students are often confused about which program they should enroll in.

Typically there are three ways in which you get your EKG Tech training –

  • Associate Degree through a university
  • Diploma or Certification program through a community college or a technical school.
  • Online Certification Programs

Generally, when you think about starting a new career, you think of getting a degree. Well, to become an EKG technician, you don’t need a degree. All you need is to complete your EKG tech training, and you’re good to go.

In the following sections, we break down the different training options and what kind of programs we recommend for EKG techs.

How Long Does An Associate’s Degree Take For EKG Technicians?

  • Duration- 2 Years
  • Cost- $15000-$30,000

You can get your associate degree in EKG Tech in 2 years by enrolling in a university.

Due to the comprehensive skills and education offered in this program, it has always been a popular option. An associate degree allows you to gain advanced skills and techniques that are required for EKG Technician Jobs.

The best thing about a university program is that you get a university certificate, and that’s always a good thing. Employers take note of that university certificate, and you can likely get preference over other candidates.

Sadly, there are major disadvantages to a university program. They are expensive and cost up to $30,000. This can lead to massive student loan debt. Other than the tuition cost, a significant amount of expenses are also expected for travel, accommodation, and lifestyle.

Plus, since this is a full-time program, you have to attend classes on a schedule. And that, too, for 2 years. This can prove to be challenging. Finally, few universities offer associate degree programs for EKG Techs.

EKG Techs Education

How Long Does An EKG Technician Diploma Take?

  • Duration-  1 Year
  • Cost- $5000- $10,000

You can take an EKG Tech diploma program by enrolling in a community college or technical college. Typically, it will take 1-year to complete this program. Like a university program, you have to attend classes on a schedule, and that comes with its expenses.

Diploma programs are faster compared to degree programs, but they can be expensive for many. Also, if you enroll in a diploma or a certification program from a local organization (not affiliated with any school or university), you run the risk of enrolling in an unaccredited program.

How Long Do Online EKG Technician Programs Take? [Recommended]

  • Duration:- 3-9 Months
  • Cost- $5,000

Online EKG Technician training programs are highly recommended. But why is that? Well, you complete an online training program within months, and they are far more affordable compared to on-campus programs.

With an online program, you can get your training from the comfort of your home. Usually, online programs are self-paced, which means you don’t have to attend classes on a schedule.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to save money and want to start your career faster, you can enroll in an online EKG Technician Training program.

Hands-on Experience EKG Tech

What Are The Next Steps After Completing Your EKG Technician Training Or Course?

Right after you’re done with your EKG Tech training, you can sit for your certification exam.  You can opt for the Certified EKG Technician Exam (CET) conducted by the NHA.  The CET Exam includes 100 questions and 20 pretest questions.

But to sit for this exam, it’s mandatory to perform at least 10 EKGs. Once you clear the exam, you’re a Certified EKG Technician. You can also gain some hands-on experience through an internship or externship. If you enroll in an online training program, you’ll have to go through an externship to perform the mandatory 10 EKGs.

Here’s The Timeline For Becoming An EKG Technician

If you’ve read the article here, you must be thinking of the timeline to become an EKG Technician. The exact time it takes to be an EKG Technician can depend on various factors, such as the type of program you enroll in and how long it takes to clear the EKG Technician certification exams as well.

A basic timeline to become an EKG Technician can look like this:-

Getting A High-School Diploma Or GED

Obtaining a high school diploma or GED is the first requirement to become an EKG Technician. It can usually take you 4 years to obtain your high school diploma or GED.

Enrolling In An EKG Technician Program

This depends upon the program you opt for to become an EKG Technician and the time it takes you to complete that specific course. With a full-time program, it would take 1-2 years to complete your training. But if you go for an online program, your education will be completed within 3-6 months.

Getting Certified & Entering The Workforce

As a last step, you can apply for the CET certification exam (Certified EKG Technician), which can take an additional 2-4 months, including preparation. Right after you get certified, you can enter the workforce by reaching out to employers and applying for jobs.

How Long Does It Take To Become an EKG Technician?

If you choose the online option, your EKG Technician training will take 3-6 months. With a full-time program, your EKG technician training will take 1-2 years to complete

Is EKG School Worth It?

How Hard Is EKG Technician School?

The difficulty of an EKG (Electrocardiogram) Technician program or school can vary depending on various factors, including the specific program you choose, prior knowledge in healthcare, and your ability to grasp medical concepts.

However, you can always try to be regular with the studies and training materials which can help you to avoid any type of difficulties.

It’s always advisable to research different EKG Technician Schools or programs, read reviews, and speak to current or former students to get a better understanding of their experiences and the level of difficulty they encountered.

Is EKG Technician School Worth It?

Before you enter the healthcare industry, its advantages and disadvantages must be taken into account. Everyone has different perspectives, backgrounds, and interests, so attending an EKG Tech school may or may not be the best decision for everyone.

Most individuals who opt for on-campus EKG Tech School find it difficult to manage the fixed schedule, expenses, and travel commitments.

If you aspire to finish your EKG Tech Program faster and conveniently, online programs are recommended. They are specifically designed for busy individuals who face difficulties in managing their schedules and want to start their careers faster.


About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and 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.