How to Become an EKG Technician in Massachusetts
An EKG technician is a specialized healthcare worker who is trained to administer tests that help to determine the cardiac health of patients. If you pursue a career as an EKG technician, you’ll be specially trained to administer an electrocardiogram, also called an EKG. It’s an important diagnostic tool that records the electrical activity of the heart and may show signs of heart disease. During the test, you’ll explain the steps of the procedure to the patient, set up EKG equipment and collect cardiac data for analysis by doctors.
What’s Required to Become an EKG Technician in Massachusetts?
The first thing you’ll need to prepare for a career as an EKG Technician in Massachusetts is a high school diploma or the equivalent. This is needed before you can enroll in postsecondary education at a community college or other setting where you’ll learn the professional skills required for this career. Most employers require an associate’s degree or completion of a certificate program.
Training Programs for EKG Technicians in Massachusetts
Most EKG training programs in Massachusetts consist of both courses taken in a classroom setting and hands-on training in a clinical setting. Examples of EKG technician training programs in this state include:
- Quinsigamond Community College. Located in Worcester, MA, this community college offers a certificate program entitled Phlebotomy/EKG Technician. This program prepares students to gain basic knowledge of the use of the EKG machine including EKG tracing, rate, rhythm and heart abnormalities. Students also learn venipuncture and capillary puncture. This is a 9-credit program, which includes a clinical externship.
- Bunker Hill Community College. At this Boston community college, students can pursue an associate’s degree in Health Sciences, Medical Imaging: Cardiac Sonography Option. Students learn about imaging technology, cardiac scanning and vascular ultrasound and are well-prepared to work to run the diagnostic equipment needed for cardiac care.
- Bristol Community College. This community college in Fall River, MA, offers a Certificate of Accomplishment in Electrocardiography. This is a 17-credit program that prepares students for entry-level employment as EKG technicians.
Do You Need a License to Work as an EKG Technician in Massachusetts?
You aren’t required to obtain a license or certification to work as an EKG Technician in Massachusetts. However, obtaining certification from a national organization demonstrates to potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills needed for this career and can help make you more competitive in the job market. Cardiovascular Credentialing International offers certification exams for cardiovascular professionals.
The certification exam to become a Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) is a two-hour multiple choice exam. Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or GED and to be a student or graduate of a cardiovascular or allied health training program in order to sit for the exam.
Salary and Job Outlook for Massachusetts EKG Technicians
Skilled healthcare careers in Massachusetts are usually well-paid. As of August 2020, the average salary for cardiac technicians in this state was $50,602, according to Salary.com. The amount you earn can vary based on location, education and years of experience and typically ranges between $42,637 and $66,939 per year.
Healthcare is a rapidly growing field, and job opportunities for cardiac technicians are likely to be plentiful. Projected employment growth for cardiac technicians in Massachusetts between 2016 and 2026 is approximately 9 percent, according to CareerOneStop.
Working as an EKG Technician in Massachusetts
As an EKG technician, you’ll play a key role in the process of diagnosing heart abnormalities. Opportunities for EKG technicians are available in hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient centers and diagnostic laboratories. Some settings may require you to work evenings, weekends and holidays. While the largest numbers of opportunities are concentrated in large cities such as Boston and Worcester, EKG technicians are needed all over the state of Massachusetts.