Career Definition for a Pediatric EEG Technician
A pediatric electroencephalogram (EEG) technician usually works in a hospital or diagnostic center. Their responsibilities begin with greeting a patient, taking a medical history and explaining the upcoming procedure to the patient and his or her family. The pediatric EEG technician then applies electrodes to a patient's scalp and stays with the patient throughout the procedure, applying various light patterns and other stimuli for the patient's brain to react to, and then removes the electrodes when the EEG is complete. The findings of the technician help diagnose neurological disorders, such as epilepsy.
|Education||Associate degree required, registered programs available|
|Job Skills||Good with children, compassionate, technology-minded, ability to follow directions|
|Median Salary (2019)*||$44,985 for EEG technicians|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)**||20% (health technicians and technologists, all other)|
Source: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
It was once common for an EEG technician to only have a high school diploma and certification in CPR before receiving on-the-job training; today, however, a 2-year degree program in EEG technology is expected. For pediatric EEG technicians interested in career advancement, becoming a registered EEG technologist is often the answer. Becoming a registered EEG technician requires 1-3 years of work experience and passing oral and written exams.
A pediatric EEG technician must have patience to work with children, and the compassion to work with young people who may be ill or frightened. To work in pediatric EEG technology, one must also be technology-minded, detail-oriented and able to follow precise directions.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of jobs among health technicians and technologists not listed separately (including EEG technologists) is expected to increase by 20% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average. According to PayScale.com, the median salary among EEGs was $44,985 as of March 2019.
Alternative Career Options
Check out these other options for careers in diagnostic imaging:
Like EEG technicians, electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians place electrodes on patients to monitor health, but EKG technicians are concerned with monitoring heart health instead of brain health. EKG techs place electrodes on patients' chests and appendages and may monitor heart rates and rhythms while patients walk or run on a treadmill. EKG technicians typically learn on the job during a 4-6 week training period. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for all cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including EKG technicians, was $55,270 in 2017. The BLS projects that employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians will increase by 10% during the 2016-2026 decade.
For those interested in helping to diagnose neurological problems in children, a career as a neurosonographer might be a good fit. Neurosonographers provide images of the brain and spinal cord, and they often are called to image the nervous system of newborns to determine if injury or disease is present. Sonographers typically need to complete a 2-4 year education program and may be required to become certified. Some states require sonographers to be licensed as well. The field of diagnostic medical sonographers, including neurosonographers, is a fast-growing field. In fact, the BLS projects that jobs in the field of diagnostic medical sonography will increase by 23% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average. In May 2017, the BLS reported the median annual salary for diagnostic medical sonographers was $71,410.