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Schools for Aspiring Sleep Technicians: How to Choose

Sleep technicians, better known as polysomnographic technologists, monitor sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, insomnia and sleep apnea. Certificate and associate degree programs in polysomnography technology prepare aspiring sleep technicians for employment and national certification with the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT). Certification is preferred or required by most employers.

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In order to sit for the BRPT exam to become a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT), an aspiring sleep technician should seek a program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Accredited programs are available at community colleges and vocational and technical schools throughout the nation.

Schools with Polysomnography Programs

These schools provide programs in polysomnography for aspiring sleep technicians:

College University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Gannon University Erie, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate $29,258
Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin, GA 2-year, Public Certificate $4,122 in-state, $7,326 out-of-state
Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate $29,520
River Valley Community College Claremont, NH 2-year, Public Certificate $6,855 in-state, $15,015 out-of-state
Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath, OR 4-year, Public Associate, Certificate $8,838 in-state, $24,825 out-of-state
Baker College of Flint Flint, MI 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate $8,640
GateWay Community College New Haven, CT 2-year, Public Associate, Certificate $4,032 in-state, $12,096 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking into a sleep technician school:

  • Students might want to choose a school with the option for clinical experiences in hospitals and sleep clinics in order to get hands-on training.
  • Students should look at the curriculum for different degree levels and determine which best meets their educational needs. For instance, associate's degree programs typically include general education coursework, and credits may be transferred to a bachelor's degree program in the future.
  • Students with scheduling constraints should find out if a school has online options to help with flexibility in scheduling.
  • Those who are interested in specific subjects should determine whether the school provides specialization options in their interest area, such as cardiac studies or studies of particular population demographics.

Certificate for Polysomnographic Technologists

An accredited certificate program in polysomnographic technology can be completed in one or two years and qualifies students to take the RPGST certification examination. Clinical experiences are commonly required.

Associate Degree for Polysomnographic Technologists

Two-year accredited associate degree programs in polysomnographic technology qualify graduates for national certification. Internships and clinical experiences are typically extensive at this level, and general education courses are required.

In an accredited polysomnography program, aspiring sleep technicians can get the hands-on and lecture-based training they need to start working in the field. Specialization options and alternative scheduling formats may be available at some schools.

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