EKG Certification and Training Program Overviews

EKG technicians, also called electrocardiograph or cardiographic technicians, operate machines that record heart activity. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate programs for aspiring technicians.

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Essential Information

Prospective EKG technicians may complete a certificate or non-credit training program, teaching skills needed to qualify for professional certification. Applicants to EKG technician programs must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Program length varies but many require 50 hours of classroom instruction and clinical training. Certification is offered by the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians.

EKG Certificate Program

EKG technician programs train participants according to standards set by the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT). Students learn to use EKG machines and Holter monitors to facilitate diagnosis and to interpret electrocardiogram tests. They also take courses in anatomy, patient safety and medical technology. Common class topics include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Electrocardiography and EKG interpretation
  • Troubleshooting EKG machines
  • Medical ethics
  • Heart anatomy
  • Legal issues in patient care

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of all cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including EKG technicians, is projected to increase 22% from 2014-2024 (, a rate much higher than average. BLS data also shows that the median annual salary for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was $54,880 in May 2015; the top 10% of earners in this field made over $87,170 annually during the same time.

Certification Information

After completing an ASPT-approved EKG technician training program, individuals may apply for certification, which involves passing an exam and paying a fee. Individuals who have not completed formal training may apply for the exam after completing six months of practical work experience. A verification letter from an instructor or supervisor is required as proof.

An EKG technician certificate program teaches students to use EKG machines and Holter monitors so they'll be prepared to enter a very fast-growing career field as cardiovascular technicians. These programs also qualify graduates to sit for certification exams with the ASPT.

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