Nursing Education
Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Electrocardiograph Technician


Electrocardiograph (EKG or ECG) Technicians operate equipment that records and measures heart activity. These measurements are used to assist cardiologists and other physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) problems. An EKG technician first obtains a patient’s medical history and medication use. Then they prepare a patient by attaching electrodes to the chest, arms, and legs. These electrodes will measure trace electrical impulses transmitted by the heart in order to obtain a printout that can be used by the physician. These tests are often done as part of routine examination before surgeries, especially on older patients or those that have a history of cardiovascular problems. With additional on-the-job training or experience, EKG technicians may specialize in areas such as cardiac catheterization, Holter monitoring, phonocardiography, stress testing, and vectorcardiography. EKG technicians must be able to recognize an emergency and assist the physician in responding to them. Anyone interested in this field should have an interest in high-tech mechanical equipment. He or she should also be able to sympathize with people and reassure them when they are apprehensive about the testing procedure.

Work Environment:

EKG technicians usually work under the direction of a cardiologist and may help in the training of less experienced EKG technicians. They may work in hospitals, clinics, cardiac rehabilitation centers, and doctors’ offices.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in becoming an EKG technician should take high school courses in biology, algebra, health occupations/medical professions education, physical education, English, computer skills, emergency medical technology, and typing.

College Requirements:

Individuals interested in a career as an EKG technician must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Most people entering this profession receive on-the-job training under the supervision of an experienced EKG technician that lasts 3 to 6 months. There are longer programs offered through community colleges that offer an associate’s degree and board certification. Students graduating these programs usually command higher pay and are placed in supervisory roles. Most employers prefer to train people who are already in a health-related field, such as a nurse aid or physician assistant.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities for electrocardiograph technicians are expected to grow faster than the average for all other occupations. The US Department of Labor predicts an increase of 21% to 35% over the next eight years. The rapidly growing older population will be one reason for this growth, since older people tend to have more incidence of heart problem. The largest growth in employment will be in specialty areas such as echocardiography, vascular technology, and Holter monitoring. Technology will also help spur demand in this sector because newly trained individuals will be needed to operate the high-tech and increasingly complicated equipment. Due to the small size of the profession, few openings will result from need to replace individuals who retire or leave the labor force for some other reason.




Average Annual Salary



Salary Range



Professional Organizations:


Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals

4356 Bonney Road, #103
Virginia Beach, VA 23452-1200
Phone: (757) 497-1225

Fax: (757) 497-0010


American Society of Echocardiography

1500 Sunday Drive, Suite 102

Raleigh, NC  27607

Phone:  (919) 861-5574

Fax: (919) 787-4916


Cardiovascular Credentialing International

4456 Corporation Lane, Suite 120

Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Phone: (800) 326-0268

Fax: (919) 787-4916


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