Though some entry-level EKG technician jobs require only a high school diploma and on-the-job training, most positions require a certificate in EKG technology. This certification can usually be obtained by taking courses at a vocational school or community college, and completion normally takes between one to two years.
Certification for EKG technicians is available through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, the American Certification Agency for Healthcare Professionals and the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians. General courses cover the role an EKG technican plays in the workplace, legal issues associated with the profession, medical disease processes, heart anatomy, electrocardiography, echocardiography and medical terminology. Clinical topics explored in depth during EKG technology courses include Holter monitor use, identifying heart rhythms, basic EKG interpretation and 12-lead placement.
The main job function of EKG technicians is to aid medical professionals in the treatment of heart disease by performing electrocardiograms, and most training courses offer students hands-on experience to help them know what to expect once on the job. As of 2015, job growth in this field is projected to reach 30 percent between 2012 and 2022. An aging population in the U.S. contributes to this job growth. The median salary of EKG technicians was $32,316 in 2013.