A Career as an EKG Technician in Nebraska
As long as our hearts beat, they generate an electrical current that can be measured and analyzed in order to diagnose various forms of heart disease. An EKG technician uses an electrocardiograph, or EKG machine, to carry out this form of diagnostic testing. Working in close coordination with nurses and doctors, EKG techs play an essential part in our complex, growing healthcare industry.
Requirements for EKG Technicians in Nebraska
EKG technicians work under the direct supervision of doctors and nurses, who are ultimately responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of patients. For this reason, the state of Nebraska does not register or certify EKG techs. Most employers, though, will expect applicants to have a national certification. Certifying bodies include the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians and the National Center for Competency Testing.
To be certified by any of these bodies you’ll need to pass an examination, and before you can take the exam you need to prove that you’ve passed an accredited training program or have worked as an EKG technician for a year under appropriate supervision. You’ll also need to have conducted at least 10 EKG exams on live patients. Training courses require that students have a high school or general equivalency diploma in order to enroll.
Training Programs for EKG Technicians in Nebraska
Aspiring EKG technicians have multiple options for training in Nebraska. Here are some examples:
- Based in Beatrice, Milford and Lincoln, Southeast Community College offers an EKG Technician program that prepares you to take the NHA CET exam. The course covers everything from equipment maintenance to interpreting and accurately recording EKG results.
- Based in Lincoln, Bryan College of Health Sciences offers a two-year Associate of Health Science degree, which prepares you for a number of certifications and careers such as phlebotomy, medical assisting and EKG. This degree involves a significant time and financial investment, with financial aid available, but vastly increases the hireability of graduates.
- For those who prefer an online course, MedCerts offers an 11-week program that covers anatomy and physiology, the essential job tasks for an EKG technician and skills like infection control and the safe handling of confidential patient data. The course will work with you to set up hands-on clinical externships with local partners, allowing you to get the practical experience required to take a certification exam.
Certification for EKG Technicians in Nebraska
It is advisable to check job listings in your area to see what certifications are preferred by local employers, but most national certifications are widely recognized across the U.S. Certification processing costs and exam fees are generally modest but may be covered by your training program.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
Healthcare is a major growth industry, which is good news for people in allied health professions. Economic projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that by 2029, the number of jobs for EKG techs and similar specialists will have increased by 12 percent nationally—much faster than average job growth across all careers.
Nebraska EKG technicians enjoy an average hourly wage of $25.68, with an average annual salary of $53,410. Experience, cross-certification and the ability to perform specialist EKG tasks like stress testing and Holter monitoring can lead to higher levels of compensation.
Working as an EKG Technician in Nebraska
As an EKG technician, you might find yourself working in doctor’s offices, hospitals, or nursing homes. Some large workplaces with in-house healthcare hire EKG techs, and even prisons may have roles available. A strong work ethic, stamina and flexibility are required, as many positions call for evening and weekend work. Available job listings often appear on major employment websites like ZipRecruiter, Monster and Indeed.