The Complete Guide
How to Become an EKG Technician
EKG Technician guide to save time and money on your certification
Why We Love EKG Tech
What if you could join the exciting healthcare field with a rewarding career you love… without going to medical school, touching blood, or needing a college degree?
EKG technicians are technology-based cardiovascular specialists that enjoy the benefits of a career in healthcare but without the expense or pains of an 8-year education. You could become trained and certified as an EKG technician within months and without any prior experience or a college degree.
In fact, we love it because it’s one of the highest paid professions that don’t require a college degree, according to recent BLS data.
If you are fascinated by the human heart, have a love of technology, and like to help others, then keep reading to discover what a career as an EKG technician offers in 2023!
What Does an EKG Technician Do?
EKG technicians are incredibly important allied healthcare team members on the frontlines of saving lives. Through non-invasive technologies like Holter monitoring, EKG (or ECG) and stress tests, these health practitioners can accurately diagnose cardiovascular irregularities and disease. Their involvement is more than just diagnosis; these technicians are involved throughout the process, from preparing patients, to reporting the results and maintaining the equipment. Trust us, that is no small feat!
Once tests have been administered, EKG technicians interpret the data and highlight any anomalies they see or areas for concern. They then present their findings to the patient’s physician, who can then decide on a treatment plan.
So let’s say you are an EKG technician that works in an emergency room. A 60-year-old man comes in complaining of chest pains. You would administer the EKG (Electrocardiogram) test to see what may be causing the pains. Is it an abnormal rhythm? A blocked or narrow artery leading into the heart? Or another heart abnormality that is causing this patient pain.
As an EKG technician, you are someone who helps save lives. EKG technicians are some of the most important members of the team, not only in maintaining patient care but also ensuring smooth workflow for other medical professionals. No wonder there is such a demand for these healthcare professionals!
7 Reasons to Become an EKG Technician
This is a very popular career choice for a ton of reasons, but here are the Top 7 reasons you should consider a career as an EKG technician:
1. No Prior Experience is Needed
You don’t need any prior experience of the healthcare or medical industry, or a college degree to begin your certification program – you could start towards a career as an EKG technician in as little as 6 months.
2. You’re Kind of Like a Superhero
Sure, doctors get all the glory. But the truth is, doctors, rely on other medical experts to help them save lives. It’s always teamwork! As a trained technician dealing with one of the most – if not THE most – important organs in the body, you play a vital role in saving the lives of countless people. Everyday EKG tech tasks consist of essential medical duties that go a long way in ensuring timely assistance as well as patient treatment.
3. You Need Excitement on a Daily Basis
If the idea of sitting in a cubicle 9-5 does not appeal to you, doing the same thing every day, then working as an EKG technician may be a perfect fit. No two days are the same on the job as well as no two patients or their conditions are the same. And if you work in a hospital setting, you can be sure to always experience the rush and excitement of treating the emergency cases that come in. EKG technicians also interact with patients, preparing them for tests and explaining the procedure. This means meeting new people and helping them through some crucial moments of their life.
4. You Thrive Under Pressure
As an EKG technician, you are required to make level-headed decisions while looking at a variety of scenarios objectively. If you are the kind of person that thrives under pressure, are detailed oriented while also being good with people, then a career in this field may just be the perfect fit for you!
5. You Love Helping People
As an EKG technician, you’re not just dealing with hearts and technology, you’re interacting one-on-one with human beings, many of whom will be scared and worried. If you are someone who has a knack for bringing comfort to others in their time of need, you will be a welcome addition to any hospital or clinical setting.
6. A Stable Job Market
With the aging baby boomer population developing chronic diseases that affect the heart, and the senior population set to double by the year 2060, there will be an increase in demands for EKG technicians ensuring a stable job market with 7% more opportunities in the field. Trust us, during economically challenging times, having a stable job market can be a huge advantage.
7. Opportunities for Advancement
During your certification training, you will most likely gain experience through an externship. This is how a majority of healthcare professionals get hands-on experience and develop their real-world experience based on their training. If you are a capable and enthusiastic team member, then hospitals and clinics will depend on you to train future EKG technicians. This will provide you with career advancement and a chance to earn a bigger salary.
How to Get an EKG Technician Certification
Hospitals and clinics typically require candidates to hold an EKG technician certification and demonstrate their abilities to land a job in the field. Certification may be the best way to stand out from the crowd and get started in this exciting new career that will offer countless opportunities.
We recommend you take our certification savings quiz to get started.Take the Quiz! >
Our quiz could help you save time and money on a certification program from an authorized school or accredited university – and it takes less than a couple minutes to complete.
5 Things to Look for In an EKG Technician Certification Program
1. Find an online EKG program from an authorized school or accredited university
Gaining the right education is the most important step you can take toward your new career. Plus, you’ll get a certification of completion to show off and hang on your wall! With adequate education, training, and experience in the field, you will be able to find work nationwide, no matter where you live.
2. Look for a discount and a low monthly payment plan
They aren’t always easy to find…but, we can help! 🙂 We understand the situation adult learners could be going through with added financial burden and economic instability in this recent time. That’s why OnlineDegree.com has taken on the mission to help adult learners get huge discounts toward their certification!
3. Make sure an externship placement is included
Real-world experience is incredibly important to make yourself marketable for the best job opportunities. Employers always remain interested in candidates that have exceptional hands-on training besides a quality certification. Externships offer the right exposure letting students learn about their work under the direct supervision of industry professionals by actively taking part in the duties every day.
4. Look for an online, mentor supported course you can take at your own pace
Online and at your own pace is key! Why not get an education that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule, all while getting the help and support you need? You can then spend more time with family and work while you start towards this new career.
5. Find out if textbooks are included in the cost of the program
Textbooks can be expensive for EKG tech programs and you certainly don’t want that just when starting on a new career! Make sure to find a program that doesn’t charge extra for books. OnlineDegree.com can help you find programs that don’t have additional charges!
6. (Bonus!) Use our free quiz to find a certification program that meets all of these criteria
We’ve done the research for you! Save time by using our healthcare quiz to get matched with the best certification programs. All programs meet these criteria and are chosen for you based on your career goals and life situation.
EKG Technician Salary Data
How much do EKG technicians make? Here is the salary and growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for these healthcare professionals in 2021 was $60,570 or $29.12 per hour. This number is dependent on a variety of factors. For instance, the industry profile for this occupation.
The following are the industries with the highest published employment and wages for EKG technicians:
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $60,230
Offices of Physicians: $62,220
Outpatient Care Centers: $78,590
Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools: $70,960
Does EKG Tech Sound Interesting?
EKG Technician Job Growth Projections and Forecast
How fast is the EKG technician field growing? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that demand for EKG technicians could increase by 10% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than for all other occupations.
As the population ages, and as cardiovascular conditions continue to become more prevalent with age, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing people into medical emergencies with a greater risk of cardiovascular conditions as well as a dormant lifestyle, EKG technicians will be needed in hospital settings, outpatient clinics and doctor’s offices more and more. With improved technology, as well as less expensive tests becoming available, the demand for EKG technicians is on the rise everywhere.
The BLS also suggests that EKG technicians who are certified will have the best job opportunities. And those certified in more than one speciality are expected to find even greater opportunities.
Coincidentally, the university certification programs we recommend will help fully prepare you to be ready for that great job.
How to Find a Job as an EKG Technician
Your first step toward your career as an EKG technician is to obtain certification training through an authorized school or accredited university. This will ensure a solid educational foundation and get you ready to enter the job market.
With a good education and training secured, your next step is to decide on what type of environment you may want to work in. This is important to determine beforehand, as this will help give you a feel of what your professional life could look like and help make informed decisions. The majority of EKG technicians work in hospitals or clinics where patients receive emergency diagnostic care. Having said this, these professionals may also find employment at labs, some doctor’s offices, and even nursing homes.
So take a little time to think about what workplace setting may appeal to you the most. Do you like the idea of working in a fast-paced hospital emergency room where there’s never a dull moment? Would you enjoy on-job learning, with occasional supervision? Do you want a more “normal” workday environment a doctor’s office offers? Or maybe you like the idea of interacting with senior citizens and bringing a smile to their faces.
Regardless, your next step should be to begin a certification program and then gain some critical hands-on experience before starting your job search. The good news is a quality certification program will include an externship so you can gain some hands-on experience and develop on the training received!
Frequently Asked Questions
Additional questions and answers you may have about EKG Technicians.
Q: What Does an EKG Technician Do All Day?
A: The duties of an EKG technician may vary slightly depending on the setting in which they work. But generally speaking, you will administer tests to record and analyze the electrical impulses transmitted by the person’s heart. These tests may be run in response to a cardiovascular episode or as a regular part of pre-surgery screening.
Q: What is EKG Technician Certification?
A: EKG technician certification is a valuable asset to have as it signals to prospective employers that you have taken the time to learn about the heart and about the specific technological tools used in the field. This certification will help you stand apart from the crowd and could get your resumé on top of the pile.
Q: What Skills Will I Learn in EKG Technician Training?
A: Your training will focus on non-invasive cardiology techniques such as stress testing, ambulatory monitoring, rhythm analysis and more!
Q: What Are the Prerequisites for Enrollment in a Certificate Program?
A: The only requirement for enrollment in these programs is a high school diploma or equivalent.
How to Start Towards an EKG Technician Career In 4 Months
Even if you don’t have any prior experience or degree – you could start towards a career as an EKG technician in just 2-4 months. That’s one of the greatest advantages of this exciting healthcare profession.
So here’s what we recommend you do to get started: Take this quiz to see if you qualify for an online certification program from an authorized school
A certification in EKG technology is required or preferred by most employers. Plus, taking a certification program could be the best way to get your foot in the door, build your network, get training and critical work experience.
Take this quiz to see if you qualify for:
- 10% Off A Certification Program
- An Externship For Real Work Experience
- Affordable Programs and Low Monthly Payments
- No Extra Cost For Textbooks – All Included and Shipped To Your Door
- Online, Mentor Supported Courses You Can Take 24/7 At Your Own Pace
If you are ready to get started on an exciting and rewarding career in the healthcare industry, then take this short quiz to get started toward your dream!