A Career as an EKG Technician in Minnesota

Electrocardiography (EKG) is an allied health discipline in which trained technicians take a series of adhesive pads and attach them to specific areas on a patient, connecting the pads to an EKG machine, which measures electrical currents generated by the beating heart. In concert with doctors and nurses, EKG technicians interpret the measurements, which can help diagnose a number of heart conditions.

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Requirements for EKG Technicians in Minnesota

EKG testing is done at the instruction of a doctor or nurse, so while EKG technicians are very skilled, they’re not regulated by the state in the way that doctors and nurses are. Most employers looking for EKG technicians will expect you to be certified by one of the private, national certifying bodies like the National Healthcareer Association, the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians or the National Center for Competency Testing.

To be certified, you’ll need to have graduated high school or have a general equivalency diploma. You’ll also need to pass an exam, which you won’t be allowed to take unless you can show that you have a year of properly supervised experience in the field or have completed a training course. You’ll also need to have performed at least 10 EKGs on live patients.

Training Programs for EKG Technicians in Minnesota

As EKG technicians are in demand in a variety of healthcare settings, training opportunities are available in person throughout the state and online. Here are a few examples:

  • Dakota County Technical College is based in Rosemount and offers a six-credit trimester course for EKG technicians, consisting of four hours of classroom training and two hours of laboratory and clinical training per week. The course prepares students to take the NHA certification exam.
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester has a competitive cardiovascular specialist training that cross-trains students in skills including EKG. It is a 21-month program designed to graduate extremely hirable people and awards an associate’s degree and a completion certificate. (An associate’s degree that includes EKG training can supersede the need for specific certification in EKG).
  • MedCerts is an online course to be completed in 11 weeks. Topics include EKG interpretation, the anatomy and physiology of the heart, and compliance with the legal requirements in handling patient data. The training meets the academic requirements to take the NHA exam, and the program finds work placements for students to meet the clinical requirements for the exam. The program also helps graduates find work.

Certification for EKG Technicians in Minnesota

EKG technicians work closely with doctors and nurses, who are ultimately responsible for any clinical decisions made, so EKG techs are themselves not regulated by the state. Nationally recognized certifications demonstrate technical competency and increase your attractiveness to employers. Certification and examination have a small cost attached, which is sometimes covered by your training program.

You can also get trained in EKG specialties like Holter monitoring and stress testing. Many EKG techs also cross-train in other skills like phlebotomy and medical recording to boost their value and compensation.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians in Minnesota earn significantly more than the national average. The data shows that the average annual salary for these professionals in Minnesota is $80,810, compared to the national average of $66,170. The wage distribution within the state indicates higher earnings across all percentiles compared to the national figures. The highest wages are seen in the Duluth and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington areas, reflecting the local economic conditions and demand for these professionals.

National vs. Minnesota Salaries:

Location 10th Percentile 25th Percentile Median (50th Percentile) 75th Percentile 90th Percentile
United States $36,620 $44,160 $66,170 $85,930 $105,140
Minnesota $51,130 $66,510 $80,810 $89,650 $99,070

Salaries and Percentiles by Region within Minnesota:

Region 10th Percentile 25th Percentile Median (50th Percentile) 75th Percentile 90th Percentile
Duluth, MN-WI $47,240 $66,250 $81,640 $106,430 $106,430
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $51,600 $66,830 $83,040 $90,740 $99,070

EKG TechnicianTrends in Minnesota

The employment trends for cardiovascular technologists and technicians in Minnesota show moderate growth over the decade from 2020 to 2030. In 2020, there were 1,420 individuals employed in this occupation in Minnesota, and this number is projected to increase to 1,510 by 2030, reflecting a 6% growth rate. Additionally, there are expected to be about 110 job openings annually during this period, which includes positions due to both growth and replacement needs.

Nationally, the employment for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was 58,900 in 2022, with a projected increase to 61,100 by 2032, indicating a 4% growth rate. The average annual job openings nationally are projected to be around 3,900.

Table of the Data

Location Employment (2020/2022) Projected Employment (2030/2032) Projected Growth (%) Projected Annual Job Openings
Minnesota 1,420 (2020) 1,510 (2030) 6% 110
United States 58,900 (2022) 61,100 (2032) 4% 3,900
Source of data:
  • Minnesota source: Projections Central 2020-2030 long-term projections.
  • United States source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022-2032 employment projections.

Working as an EKG Technician in Minnesota

EKG technicians work long hours, with evening and weekend work a common occurrence. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, medical testing centers, and large organizations like prisons or big workplaces employ EKG techs. With dedication and hard work, it is possible to find suitable roles in every type of region of the state and country. When you’re ready to enter the workforce, big job websites like Indeed, Monster and ZipRecruiter are good places to find employment.

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