The 411 On Becoming EKG Technician: Taking the First Steps | MedCerts

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The medical field has come a long way since the introduction of electrocardiograph (EKG) monitors. These machines allow physicians to track electrical activity in the heart, thus allowing them to diagnose many heart conditions. EKG machines also help to monitor the health of the patient’s heart so physicians can catch any issues or complications as soon as possible.

EKG technicians are professionals with the responsibility of operating EKG equipment. They will set up the monitors, collect any relevant information from the patient, and connect electrodes and leads to begin the electrocardiogram. It’s also the EKG technician’s job to observe the heart rhythm for any irregularities, spot any urgent issues, and guide the patient in terms of any physical exercise they need to do during the electrocardiogram.

Interested in becoming an EKG technician? Here’s what you need to know:

The Benefits of Becoming an EKG Technician

This is a fast-growing field with plenty of job opportunities. In a 2021 report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that by 2024, job opportunities within cardiovascular technology would grow by 22%. It’s no wonder that working as an EKG technician is such a popular career, with such benefits as:

  • Affordable and quick training. Training and career development can often require substantial upfront investments from the professional, something not everyone can afford. But the tuition to attend a technician school for EKG technician training can be fairly affordable, with programs as low as $2000. Training is relatively quick, so you can start your career soon.

  • Great starting salary. You can also make good on that initial investment with great pay. According to Salary.com, the average starting salary for EKG technicians is $40,200. You’ll also have plenty of opportunity for growth, so the money you make can start to advance.

  • Sense of fulfillment. EKG technicians are ultimately helping to save the lives of the patients. By operating EKG machines and recognizing rhythm irregularities, they can alert the physician so that they can diagnose and address the potential abnormality. At the direction of the physician, the EKG technician can relay information to the patient about their health, and there’s not much that beats that in the way of fulfillment.

How To Become An EKG Technician

With the benefits in mind, now you might want to know how to become an EKG technician. Fortunately, the process is simple:

  • Step one: gain a high school diploma or GED. EKG technicians are often not required to have a four-year college degree, which is part of what makes this career path so affordable. You’ll need a high school diploma or GED as a base requirement. It can help in high school to focus on classes like anatomy or advanced math if this is the career path you want.

  • Step two: complete an EKG training program. It’s typically not required that EKG technicians go to technical school or acquire any certification — but it helps. EKG training helps you stand out as a knowledgeable candidate. You’ll be more likely to get the job and have higher pay as a result.

  • Step three: apply for the job. Once you have the base education requirements and training, it’s time to apply for the job. Prep by creating a resume that best represents you and reviewing potential interview questions. Good luck!

The best news is that MedCerts can help with both final steps. Even if you’re still in the process of deciding if this is the right career for you, you can check out our Career Training Readiness Quiz. Beyond that, we offer an immersive learning environment where you can receive top-notch EKG training, certification tests, and access to our terrific support network. When you’re ready to apply for a job, we can help with job placement.

A career as an EKG technician is exciting, rewarding, and achievable. With the right help, you can land your first job as an EKG tech and work your way up to a fulfilling career. MedCerts has the training programs and certifications you need to cultivate your dream career in EKG tech.

Portrait of Barbara Westrick
MedCerts Program Director / Clinical Medical Assistant Program; CMA, CPC, CET, CPT, CPCT, CHUC, PTTC, MCBC, CMSP

Barbara has over 40 years of experience in healthcare. She’s worked in various roles and environments in the ambulatory setting as a healthcare team member. Her expertise also extends to the hospital setting and a medical department of a large corporation. Barbara is a member of the American Association of Medical Assistants, the American Academy of Professional Coders, and the National Healthcareer Association.

Prior to joining MedCerts, healthcare education became her focus over 18 years ago when she began teaching administrative and clinical medical assisting, medical billing and coding, office administration, and electronic health record courses at Ross Education. As a lead instructor, her role advanced to Program Chair for Medical Assisting and Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration.

Along with her role in education, she has worked closely with learning solution representatives as a technical and content expert reviewer for healthcare publications and technology. As a part of MedCerts’ Product Development team, she is involved with instructional design and development, content writing, production, and quality assurance. She serves as a subject matter expert in allied health, provides training and quality assurance for additional curriculum content writers, and is a Program Director at MedCerts.

Published on July 20, 2022

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