Your Guide to Becoming an EKG Technician in Michigan

In days of old, physicians diagnosed illness through the evidence of their senses—even their sense of smell! Today, modern medicine gives patients the benefit of up-to-date technology. The echocardiograph, or EKG machine, helps to diagnose heart problems by measuring the electrical current the heart gives off as it beats. As an EKG technician, you’ll work with patients from all walks of life to safely and accurately conduct tests and interpret their results. As our population ages, this skilled role is always in demand.

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Requirements for Becoming an EKG Technician in Michigan

While there is no state-level licensing of EKG technicians in Michigan, one thing that employers like to see is a certification from a national body such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The NHA and other certifying bodies require passing an exam, and anyone who sits for the exam needs to have completed a registered training course or to have undertaken a year’s properly supervised work experience in the field. They must also prove they’ve conducted 10 successful EKG exams on live patients.

To get experience or undertake training you’ll need to be 18 years old with a high school or general equivalency diploma. Some courses and work placements require background checks, drug tests and health checks.

Training Programs for EKG Technicians in Michigan

Programs are available at colleges and universities, online or in stand-alone training schools. Here are a few examples:

  • Dorsey Emergency Medical Academy offers EKG training at its Woodhaven, Madison Heights and Bay City campuses. Their 45-hour program consists of 25 hours of lecture and 20 hours of laboratory work, including live EKG testing. The course will train you in correct procedure and in how to detect heart problems, as well as in safety and infection control. Successfully completing the course will qualify you to take the NHA exam.
  • Washtenaw Community College offers a 50-hour training course that prepares you to take the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians EKG certification exam. The course involves all technical aspects as well as the legal background of patient confidentiality so you can handle patient data properly. Customer service is also an integral part of the training.
  • Healthcare Solutions and Career Group offers an EKG technician course consisting of two weeks of evening classes, laboratory practice and clinical experience. Based in Detroit, the course prepares students for the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) exam.

Certification for EKG Technicians in Michigan

The most widely recognized certification is from the NHA, but any of the certifications discussed above will be an advantage when seeking employment. Most of the examinations carry a small fee—for example, the NCCT exam costs $90. Many training courses will include the cost of the exam for their students.

Certifying bodies encourage their members to undertake continuing education, which can keep technicians up to date with the latest advances in technology. You can also get certified in EKG specialties such as Holter monitor testing, which will increase your appeal to employers.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

EKG technicians—like other allied healthcare workers—are much needed across the country. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is predicted to grow by 12 percent nationally by 2029, much faster than average job growth.

In Michigan, EKG technicians can earn a median hourly wage of nearly $28, with a median annual salary of $56,590.

Working as an EKG Technician in Michigan

Even as economic instability can disrupt other fields, EKG technicians and other allied healthcare workers will be needed to combat cardiac problems, particularly those linked to age. As a trained, skilled and valuable worker, you will likely be able to find a job that suits you and meets your needs. Most EKG roles are advertised online, on websites like ZipRecruiter, Monster and Indeed. Hospitals, insurance testing facilities, laboratories, nursing homes and doctor’s offices are good places to look for work.

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