How to Become an EKG Technician in Louisiana
Our heart health is absolutely crucial to our well-being, and anything that goes wrong with the heart can put our lives at risk. That is why EKG technicians are such an important part of the skilled teams that diagnose and treat issues with the heart.
EKG technicians operate a machine called an echocardiograph (EKG), which measures electrical currents from the heart as transmitted through adhesive monitoring pads applied to the body. They also interpret the results in concert with heart specialists.
Requirements for Becoming an EKG Technician in Louisiana
The state of Louisiana doesn’t regulate EKG technicians, but employers generally look for applicants who carry a certification with one of the private certifying bodies, such as the American Center for Competency Testing (ACCT) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To get certified you’ll need to pass an exam and undertake an accredited training course or a year’s training, appropriately supervised. You’ll also need to have conducted 10 EKG tests on live patients.
Training courses are open to people 18 and over with a high school or general equivalency diploma. Some courses will also require background checks and drug testing, as the practical aspect of your learning is likely to take place in a real clinical setting.
Training Programs for EKG Technicians in Louisiana
As electrocardiography is such a desirable career, training programs are readily available. Here are a few examples in the state:
- Acadiana Area Career College, based in Lafayette, offers a 64-hour course for EKG technician training. The course covers the anatomy of the heart and the technicalities of EKG tests and interpretation of results, consisting of practical experience and classroom education.
- Unitech Training Academy offers a combined EKG and phlebotomy course at many of its campuses, including Alexandria, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and West Monroe. The course prepares you to take certifying exams in EKG and phlebotomy, increasing your desirability to potential employers.
- The Academy of Acadiana is based in New Iberia and offers an EKG technician program that takes four weeks to complete the 80 hours of instruction. The program prepares you for national certification exams, and class hours are Monday through Thursday mornings.
Certification for EKG Technicians in Louisiana
The widely recognized national certifications from groups like the NCCT and NHA confer major advantages to candidates applying for EKG technician jobs. The exams and applications for these certifications tend to carry a small fee, although some training programs will cover this fee for you. Certifying bodies also offer continuing professional education for their members, which can keep you up-to-date with the latest technological developments. You can also get certified in specialist aspects of electrocardiography such as Holter testing, a take-home method of monitoring the heart over a few hours or days.
It’s important to note that many healthcare roles require a reasonable level of physical fitness, and successful hires may need to pass drug tests and background checks.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of roles available in the US for EKG technicians and similar fields is likely to grow by 12 percent by 2029, much faster than average job growth.
The median hourly wage for EKG technicians in Louisiana is $20.28, with median annual salary of $42,170.
Working as a EKG Technician in Louisiana
In the context of our aging population, demand for allied healthcare roles including EKG technicians means that trained and qualified applicants can find roles with good job security. Weekend and evening work is often part of the job, and successful technicians have patience and an eye for detail. Workplaces like hospitals and doctor’s offices are often hiring—and general employment websites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed and Monster are good places to find currently available opportunities.