How to Become an EKG Technician in Arkansas

EKG technicians are skillfully trained healthcare workers who conduct tests called echocardiograms (EKGs), to read the electrical impulses of a person’s heart. EKGs can detect heart disease and see evidence of a heart attack.

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EKG technicians are high demand in the state of Arkansas as well as across the U.S. This is a well-paying career, especially for experienced technicians. Continue reading to learn more about state regulations, training options and the outlook for this career in Arkansas.

Arkansas Requirements for EKG Technicians

The career of an EKG technician is regulated in some states; however, Arkansas is not one of them. This means that no state agencies require specific training or certification. The minimum requirement you’ll need to meet to work in this field will be to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Yet, most employers will prefer to hire someone who has completed at least a healthcare training program. Some employers may also choose to hire a certified EKG technician. And just because the job is not regulated on a state level doesn’t mean it isn’t monitored. In Arkansas, EKG techs are typically supervised by the head of nursing at their place of employment. Under the Arkansas Nurse Practice Act, nurses can delegate some practices to unlicensed personnel including EKG technicians.

Training and Certification for Arkansas EKG Technicians

You can either receive on-the-job training as an EKG technician upon being hired, or you can complete an EKG or similar healthcare-related training program before you seek employment. Many facilities do not provide training, so it would be wise to complete a training program or apply for certification. Many Arkansas healthcare employers also except EKG technicians to have some EKG and phlebotomy experience as well as basic computer skills.

As far as EKG training, there are a few programs available in the state. Here are a couple of your options:

  • Petra Allied Health . Petra Allied Health has campuses in Fort Smith and Springdale that offer an EKG tech program. This program consists of 48 credit hours that can typically be completed in two years. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for national certification.
  • Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas. The De Queen campus of Cossatot Community College has an EKG technician program that can also be completed in two years. Fifty credit hours must be taken to graduate from this program. Graduates will receive a certificate of completion and will also be able to take the national certification exam.

There are quite a few national certification options for EKG technicians. Certification is a smart choice because not only will it help you advance in your career, it may help you make more money as well. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers a certified EKG technician (CET) exam. To take the exam, you will need to set up an NHA account, apply to take the exam and pay the exam fee.

American Allied Health also has a CET exam. You must register for the exam, show proof of eligibility and pay the exam fee. You can take the exam online and receive instant results once you have completed the exam.

Salary Expectations and Job Outlook for Arkansas EKG Technicians

Arkansas EKG technicians earn an average of $52,260 annually. This is just slightly below that national average income for this career. The top-earning EKG technicians in Arkansas can make as much as $78,490 annually.

According to the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), the state of Arkansas is predicted to see an 8.6 percent increase in the number of EKG technician jobs by 2028. This is slightly higher than the expected national increase of 6.7 percent.

Working as an Arkansas EKG Technician

Considering this is a career that is high in demand, you should be able to find work almost anywhere throughout the state. Most EKG techs are employed by hospitals or healthcare facilities. Some of the popular places of employment in Arkansas include Baptist Health and Wellpath. The larger cities in the state, like Hot Springs, Little Rock and Mountain Home, are most likely to have the most job opportunities.