Electrocardiograph Technician

Electrocardiograph (EKG or ECG) technicians operate equipment that measures, monitors and graphically traces the electrical activity of the heart. Physicians use the graph (electrocardiogram/EKG/ECG) to diagnose and monitor patients’ heart problems.
Electrocardiograph technicians:
• obtain information for EKG records.
• connect electrodes to leads from the EKG machine.
• conduct the electrocardiogram.
• instruct patients to perform physical exercise as specified by the physician.
• identify abnormal heart rhythms.
• recognize emergencies and assist the responding physician.
With additional on-the-job training and experience, EKG technicians may move
to positions that perform some or all of the following:
• monitor special EKGs that record heart action over 12- to 24-hour periods.
• insert a catheter (tube) into a blood vessel leading to the heart to examine
its condition with the aid of a television monitor.
• use procedures to test the lungs and heart.
• record heart murmurs and other abnormal sounds.
• use ultrasound equipment.
• record heart activity during physical exercise.
• monitor special, three-dimensional tracings of the hearts’ electrical activity.
• schedule appointments, maintain patients’ files and send bills.
EKG technicians often work under the direction of cardiologists. They work in hospital laboratories, clinics or doctors’ offices and may work at bedside.
Average Salary Range
$16,000 – $23,000
Educational Requirements
Students intending to pursue a career as an electrocardiograph technician should take challenging high school courses in science, math and computer technology. The minimum educational requirement for electrocardiograph technicians is high school graduation or its equivalent, along with three to six months of supervised on-the-job training. Specialized training requires 12 to 24 months