EKG Tech Salary
What is the average EKG Technician Salary?
As with many careers, pay for an EKG technician can vary. In fact, payscale.com shows that the average annual income for EKG techs is $28,000, but it can range anywhere between $20,414 or less for the bottom 10 percent of professionals and $42,079 or higher for the top 10 percent as of June 2015. EKG technicians at the upper end may have opportunities for overtime or, in some cases, incentives, like a bonus. Also, pay can increase with experience, most likely after 5 to 10 years, but after that period, pay does not increase significantly, reports payscale.com.
In Atlanta, which is a major health care hub, the average hourly pay was $14.01. This compares favorably with the average nationwide wage of $13.24 per hour. Geographic location can always be a factor in pay, and a place like Atlanta, which has a lower cost of living than most metropolitan areas, could prove to be a good place to work.
What are the hours like for an EKG Technician?
The schedule an EKG technician works depends largely on the size of the facility in which they are employed. Most small to mid-sized facilities only staff EKG techs during the day. An EKG tech may sometimes be on call for stress tests and respond from home.
Is there room for advancement in this field?
Often, students in school for a cardiovascular technologist or cardiac sonographer program can work as an EKG tech. With additional schooling, an EKG tech may decide to pursue a career in invasive cardiology, such as working in a catheterization lab as a cardiovascular technician. Or, they may further their education to perform ultrasounds of the heart as a cardiac sonographer. Almost any type of advancement for an EKG Tech will involve furthering their education.
Some may find it advantageous to seek certification through an organization like the National Certification Career Association (NCCA) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). As the NHA points out, the benefits to certification can include increased pay, improved expertise in subject matter and better job opportunities.
That said, some EKG techs do go on to pursue other health care occupations, such as that of a registered nurse (RN), according to payscale.com. Although this career requires more education, RNs can earn much more in hourly pay and annual salary with a mean income of $69,790 yearly, according to May 2014 information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
What are the challenges of a job in this field?
The main challenge as an EKG tech is obtaining a quality EKG reading. Since some individuals are larger than others, it may be more difficult to obtain the quality data the cardiologist needs to give the patient a diagnosis or determine if surgery is necessary.
Who do EKG techs report to?
Typically, EKG techs report to the manager of the non-invasive cardiology department in a hospital setting. Cardiac sonographers and those who work with people after surgery in cardiac rehabilitation also report to the manager of the non-invasive department. Some hospitals combine pulmonary with cardiac to have one cardiopulmonary unit. The reporting structure would be different in that case. In many cases, EKG techs also report directly to physicians, reports the NCCA.
- Cost of Living, Metro Atlanta Chamber. http://www.metroatlantachamber.com/atlanta/cost-of-living
- EKG Technician Certification, National Healthcareer Association. http://www.nhanow.com/ekg-technician.aspx
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) Technician Salary, payscale.com, June 2015. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Electrocardiogram_%28EKG%29_Technician/Hourly_Rate
- Registered Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm