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Electrocardiography Technician: Employment Info & Career Requirements

Mar 21, 2019

An electrocardiography technician performs EKG tests, which help physicians diagnose problems with patients' hearts. They can work in the insurance industry, clinics, hospitals, or medical laboratories. Keep reading to learn more details of this profession.

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Career Definition for an Electrocardiography Technician

Electrocardiography technicians explain procedures to patients and attach electrodes to them to prep them for EKG tests. The electrodes then are hooked up to an EKG machine, which measures electrical impulses from the heart. Electrocardiography technicians monitor patients during EKG tests and make adjustments to EKG machines to get accurate results. Electrocardiography technicians with advanced training may perform stress and Holter tests.

Education Certificate programs and on-the-job training available
Job Skills Communication skills, medical knowledge, clerical skills
Median Salary (2017)* $55,270 for cardiovascular technologists and technicians
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 10% for cardiovascular technologists and technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Electrocardiography technicians usually complete a certificate program or on the job training. Courses in a certificate program may include anatomy, CPR, diagnostic electrocardiography, electrocardiogram techniques, and EKG analysis. Some states require electrocardiography technicians to be licensed, and there are several organizations that provide certification. Though not required, many employers seek electrocardiography technicians who hold certifications.

Necessary Skills

Electrocardiography technicians must have good communication skills to be able to explain procedures to patients and calm them if they become agitated. Electrocardiography technicians also must possess the clerical skills to take patient medical histories and medical knowledge to detect the quality of an EKG test.

Economic Outlook

Cardiovascular technicians will continue to be in high demand from 2016 through 2026, with faster than average job growth of 10% expected, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median annual salary for these positions was $55,270 as of May 2017, according to the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

For other choices in the field of medical imaging careers, consider the following:

Radiologic or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist

Faster than average employment growth was projected for both of these careers by the BLS between 2016 and 2026, with an increase of 12% expected for radiologic techs and a 14% increase anticipated for MRI techs during that same time.

Radiologic techs perform X-rays and MRI techs use magnetic fields to produce patient images. They both commonly complete associate's degree programs to enter their fields; some states require licensing. According to the BLS in 2017, radiologic technologists earned an annual median wage of $58,440, while MRI technologists took home $69,930.

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