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EEG Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an EEG technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

Electroencephalographic (EEG) technicians are required to have a high school diploma or GED and CPR certification; however, most employers prefer postsecondary training. They use equipment to locate brain abnormalities.

Essential Information

An electroencephalographic (EEG) technician or technologist, also known as an electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologist, is a trained medical professional who uses specialized equipment to locate brain abnormalities. He or she works under the supervision of doctors and neurologists. EEG technicians must be CPR certified and have a high school diploma, though some college-level preparation is often preferred.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent, though postsecondary training is preferred
Other Requirements On-the-job training; CPR certification and other optional certifications
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 23% (health technologists and technicians, all other)
Median Salary (2015)* $41,260 (health technologists and technicians, all other)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

EEG technicians are trained to operate machines known as electroencephalographs, which are used to measure and record the electrical activity of brain waves via electrodes secured to the patient's scalp. The technicians use these devices to administer tests called electroencephalograms (EEGs), which may then detect brain disorders or damage.

EEG technicians can use these tests to monitor patients during sleep cycles. EEG technicians also perform pre-test consultations and record the patient's medical history. Since the EEG can be stressful for some patients, EEG technicians can also explain the test procedure to patients in order to help assuage some of their fears.

Job Duties

The primary duty of an EEG technician is to perform EEG tests when requested by a physician. As part of the testing process, an EEG tech will gather a patient's medical history, explain testing procedures, and prepare the patient for the procedure. During testing, the EEG technician monitors the patient's status and notes any abnormalities. After testing is complete, they report their findings to the patient's doctor for further analysis. They often work at hospitals or at other testing facilities.

Requirements

The requirements for EEG technicians entering the field are a high school diploma or its equivalent, and certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). On-the-job training may also be offered as job duties can vary per employer.

Though formal training is not required, many EEG technicians may wish to pursue further education, such as certification programs or 2-year associate's degree programs. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs recommends various accredited programs, including online programs. The American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists, a non-profit credentialing board, offers EEG technician certification.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale, the majority of EEG technicians as of January 2016 earned between $17.58 per hour. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide information specific to EEG technicians, the BLS did project that the employment of all uncategorized health technologists and technicians will likely grow by about 23% between 2014 and 2024, a rate faster than the average predicted for all occupations.

EEG technicians work under the supervision of doctors and neurologists to locate brain abnormalities with electroencephalographs. The job growth expected for all health technologists and technicians will be high from 2014-2024. Although only a high school diploma or equivalent and CPR certification is required, applicants who have an associate's degree will increase their job prospects.

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