CARDIOVASCULAR TECHNICIANS assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) ailments. Cardiovascular technicians, who specialize in electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress testing and Holter monitors are known as electrocardiograph or EKG technicians. They operate an instrument called an electrocardiograph that records graphic tracings of heartbeats to provide data to physicians for the diagnosis of heart ailments. An EKG test is done before most kinds of surgery and as part of a routine physical examination.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $48,500 average per year ($23.25 per hour)
- A medium occupation (62,300 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.8% per year)
For basic EKG's, Holter monitoring, and stress tests, 1-year certificate programs exist, but most CARDIOVASCULAR (EKG) TECHNICIANS are still trained on the job by an EKG supervisor or a cardiologist. On-the-job training usually lasts about eight to sixteen weeks. Most employers prefer to train people already in the health care field, nursing aides, for example. Some EKG technicians are students enrolled in 2-year programs to become technologists, working part-time to gain experience and make contact with employers. No special licensing or certification is required for cardiovascular technicians.