EKG Technician Salary
February 5, 2010
Salary, schooling, job description and demand are some important aspects to consider before making a career choice. When these key aspects of a career fall in line with your train of thought and dedication to a job, chances are that career choice will be a great one for you as an individual. Choosing a technical career in the medical field has proven over the years to provide great job security due to the high demand of qualified medical specialists, along with excellent pay, benefits and an exciting work environment. How does pursuing a career as an EKG technician fair in today’s medical competitive career environment? Let’s review some of those key aspects of this fast track career.
What does EKG stand for and what is their job description? It is short for electrocardiographic technician, one who administers cardiovascular tests on patients by using the electrical impulses that are transmitted by a patient’s heart. A basic EKG test involves putting electrodes on different parts of a patient’s body such as the chest, arms and legs to obtain a print out for a physician to read in order to analyze and diagnose issues such as an irregular heartbeat. These basic tests are common and are often done before many kinds of surgery as a routine checkup with any patients advanced in age or having a history of cardiovascular problems.
If you seek advanced training, you can perform advanced testing such as Holter monitoring and stress testing. These tests involve monitoring a patient for an extended period of 24 hours or greater with a portable EKG monitor. A patient will wear this monitor, usually attached to their belt, along with traditional electrodes that will be attached to their chest. After the testing is done, the results are then printed out to be interpreted by a physician who can use the information and once again diagnose cardiovascular problems.
This job can be somewhat stressful at times when working with patients who suffer with serious and life threatening cardiovascular problems. The work schedule will usually consist of an average five day, 40 hour work week and you will most likely spend much of this time either standing or walking in a hospital or physician’s office.
To pursue this career you will need your high school but diploma or GED and a training certificate. In most cases, many today are still trained on the job, receiving on-the-job training from an EKG supervisor or cardiologist. EKG training courses are offered by many technical schools and community colleges.
Attending a career specific school will allow you to enroll in basic EKG training courses that will last between 8 and 16 weeks. However, to increase their annual income many technicians choose to take advanced training that allows them to perform stress testing and Holter monitoring.
As in any professional career field, there are particular variables that come into play when considering the average annual wage for that job. Some of these variables that play a vital role in income variances are that of schooling, experience, demand and location.
The average income range is around $24,000 per year. Taking certain variables into play such as location, experience, job demand and extended training you can expect to see an EKG technician salary be as high as $30,000 per year and be as low as $22,000 per year.
Choosing any career in the medical field is often times a wise decision. However, with RN’s and nursing aides being taught in hospitals how to perform basic EKG procedures, job opportunities for technicians who only specialize in the EKG field may have fewer job opportunities. If you are considering pursuing a career, keep in mind that those who seek further training and can perform Holter monitoring and stress tests will have higher prospects in finding jobs and keeping them.