EKG Technician | How to Become One, Job Description, Salary, Skills & More.

EKG Technician: How to Become One, Job Description, Salary, Skills & More

An EKG Technician is a specialist who knows how to listen to the heart, look at the heart, and use technology to ensure that the heart is healthy. As an EKG Tech, it is vital to be vigilant and precise, as the heart is intricate and complicated.

Who is an EKG Technician?

There are several things that an EKG can discover in a person, and such a technician is the one who will ascertain what is going on. From heart attacks, heart disease, and other diseases, he/she uses procedures like an echocardiogram to verify the patient’s health.

He/she may listen to your heart, view your heart in an ultrasound, and perform physical tests to diagnose and treat disease and illness.


It is possible to find EKG Technician jobs that do not require any education, but that does not sound practical. Rather than bursting into a career with no knowledge, it is best to earn some certificate or degree.

Many Electrocardiogram Technicians earn a certificate from an educational program taking about one year to finish. These certificate programs offer the basic level of education that an Electrocardiogram Technician would need to gain employment.

In this program, you can expect to learn:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Electrocardiography Introduction
  • Medical Terminology
  • Written Communication

Other Electrocardiogram Technicians choose an Associate’s degree to set them on the right path, which can take about two years to complete.

Either way, ensure that your education is accredited and at least have some hands-on experience and labs. There are different kinds of classes that you will take with this degree. You will likely take core classes, like English, math, and science.

Once you have some experience as an EKG Tech, you may want to attend a Bachelor’s degree program. This should take about two more years and provide even more education and work experience for Electrocardiogram Technicians.

Certification and Licensing

There are several certifications available for someone interested in becoming an EKG Tech. Although there is no necessity to become licensed as an EKG Tech, having a certification is almost essential. Many states do not require certification, but it does help when it comes to getting hired.

Via the National Healthcareer Association, you can acquire the Certified EKG Technician credential. Another popular certification among Electrocardiogram Technicians is the EKG Tech Certification through the American Medical Certification Association.

When looking to become certified as an Electrocardiogram Technician, it is crucial to ensure that the association you go through is accredited. Acquiring certification or working toward specialization as an Electrocardiogram Technician can provide new opportunities, raises, and promotions.

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Job Duties

Aside from having to do paperwork and fill out data as an EKG Tech, there are other essential aspects of this career. Some of the duties that an EKG Tech should expect daily are:

  • Book appointments
  • Clean and sanitize equipment
  • Prep patients
  • Run EKG tests
  • Transcribe doctor’s notes

EKG Technician Salary

On average, an EKG Tech makes about $59,000 yearly in most areas. Those with certifications and years of experience can expect to earn up to $95,000 in certain states. However, it is not likely that you will make that much on starting the job; those with little experience usually make about $29,000 yearly.

Working in bigger hospitals or highly populated areas is another means to make a higher salary as an EKG Tech. Gaining experience and credentials also affects how much you can make yearly as an Electrocardiogram Technician.

Job Outlook

Over the next ten years, Electrocardiogram technicians will have access to increasing career opportunities available. Those interested in getting into the medical field as an EKG Tech can expect growth of around 17 percent in this area.

With this advancement in science, it is now easier to take images of the vascular system. It is crucial to have the right certification and education, as that is a good way to increase career opportunities in this field.

How to Become an EKG Technician

Be Educated

Working with EKG equipment is an extremely skilled job, so you will need to have some education to become an EKG Tech. There are various avenues that you can explore as an aspiring EKG Tech.

Some people choose to do an EKG Tech program, which can take about one year to finish. There is also the option to earn an Associate’s degree; this can take about two years to complete.

After acquiring a degree or certificate, you can become certified as an EKG Tech and work in the state you choose. These degrees can be done online or in person, but most require some hands-on experience to graduate.

Get Certification

All states and employers do not require Electrocardiogram Technicians to become licensed or certified. However, it is a great thing to have it on your resume. Having it on your resume shows employers and patients that you have competence in the field and can deliver the correct treatment.

To gain certification in this field, you will need to take an exam. Most exams feature about 100 multiple-choice questions and can be done online or in person at testing locations across the country. Most educational programs will render testing information to students. However, many of them go through the National Healthcareer Association.

Be Employed

Whether you eventually become certified or not, there are some essential things to do before you gain employment as an EKG Tech. First, you want to ensure you have some on-the-job experience; this can be done through internships and labs during your educational program.

If you did not have any of that in school, you could volunteer at hospitals or EKG treatment centers in your area. Most employers want their Electrocardiogram Technicians to have some knowledge and experience before becoming employed.

Some places that you can explore for employment opportunities as an EKG Tech after graduation are:

  • Cardiac Centers
  • Emergency Rooms
  • Hospitals
  • Private Practices
  • Urgent Care Centers

After many years of experience, you can think about advancing your career in this field. An Electrocardiogram Technician is a great job to start your journey in the medical field, but many choose to gain more education to further their opportunities.

Progress your Career

Once you become well-versed in EKG Technician jobs, it may be time to consider what is next on your career ladder. There are a number of options for people interested in gaining promotions and raises as an Electrocardiogram Technician.

If you want to rise in the healthcare field, you will likely need to earn a Bachelor’s degree, which takes about four years to complete, but with an Associate’s degree, it can be reduced to two.

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There are certain career opportunities for an EKG Tech to further their career. They include:

  • Medical Laboratory Technologist
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  • Radiation Therapist

After getting a Bachelor’s degree and completing an internship, countless opportunities await you in the medical field.


How much does an EKG Technician make?

With an Associate’s degree, the average EKG Technician salary is about $59,000 yearly. Acquiring a Bachelor’s degree and certification can lead to a salary of about $100,000 yearly for some Electrocardiogram Technicians.

When you are at the early stage of this career, you will likely make closer to $30,000 for a start. Other factors that can influence the salary for an EKG Tech are the state where you work and the size of the facility.

How long does it take to be an EKG Technician?

There are several paths that an Electrocardiogram Tech can take in terms of education. Some people can choose to enroll in a one-year certificate program, while others choose to obtain an Associate’s degree, which takes about two years to finish.

Then there are Electrocardiogram Technicians with a strong desire to be at the top of their career. Therefore, they step up by earning a Bachelor’s degree. This kind of degree takes about four years to complete. It can last anywhere from 1 to 4 years to be an EKG Tech.

How much does it cost to be an EKG Technician?

The cost of being an EKG Tech can be affected by how long you go to school. Certificate programs can last for about one year to finish and cover the basics of being an EKG Tech which can run about $2,500.

An Associate’s degree takes about two years to complete and costs about $10,000. A Bachelor’s degree is four years and costs $35,000 on average. It can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $35,000 to become an EKG Tech.

What is the demand for EKG Technicians?

It seems that heart-health is becoming more common among Americans nowadays. That means there will always be EKG Technician jobs.

This career will grow about 17 percent over the next decade. Therefore, it means that there is hope of being employed.

How long is EKG tech training?

EKG technician training takes about 50+ hours in Class, 6 day course.

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