How do you become an EKG technician?


Quick Answer

EKG technicians have earned a high school diploma or GED, have received on-the-job training from an employer and have obtained certification. An EKG technician needs good interpersonal skills, empathy, emotional stability, attention to detail, accurate hand-to-eye coordination, flexibility and physical stamina.

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Full Answer

A high-school student interested in a career as an EKG technician should take courses in anatomy, physiology, mathematics, health and general science. Many prospective cardiovascular technicians go on from high school to obtain associate or bachelor's degrees focusing on these subjects. Most employers put their EKG technicians through a four- to six-week program of on-the-job training. Alternatively, some employers prefer EKG technicians to first take a one-year certification course, as Medicare and other insurance providers do not pay for procedures unless the technician who performed the work is certified. Apart from required training hours, to receive a Certified EKG Technician, or CET, certificate, a candidate must pass an exam consisting of 110 multiple choice questions. To retain the certificate, a technician must show proof of a certain number of continuing education hours every year.

As of 2012, the job outlook for EKG technicians is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of cardiovascular technicians in the United States to grow much faster than that of most other professions in the decade of 2012 to 2022, although the best job opportunities are expected to be for those who have certification.

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