How To Become An EKG Technician In New York

An electrocardiogram, or EKG test, measures the electrical signals that your heart gives off and is a painless and noninvasive way of measuring heart health. The frequently used test is administered by EKG technicians. This allied healthcare role is a valuable, skilled and well compensated profession in a growth field. As an EKG technician you’ll prepare people for and run their tests, conduct similar exams such as stress tests and Holter monitoring, transcribe physician comments and keep equipment in good working order.

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Requirements for Becoming an EKG Technician in New York

While there is no official requirement or certification for EKG technicians at a state level, most employers will require that you have passed a training course, and have undertaken and passed an exam with one of the national private certifying organizations. Training courses require applicants to have a high school diploma or general equivalency, to pay a tuition fee and to attend several weeks of classes. Some training courses—and most EKG positions—require applicants to be reasonably physically fit and to undergo a background check.

Training Courses and Educational Programs in New York

A sampling of training programs for EKG techs within the state of New York include the following:

  • Based in Manhattan and Jackson Heights, the Royal Learning Institute EKG Technician program comprises 60 hours of learning over four weeks. The program includes books and one uniform, issues a diploma upon completion and prepares you to take a certification exam from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), Medical Career Assessments or the National Center for Competency Testing. The program also arranges work experience and helps with career placement.
  • Available in Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester, Bryant and Stratton’s EKG technician program combines classroom work with internship-based training in a clinical setting. The course prepares students to take the NHA exam and issues a certificate of completion to successful students. Financial aid is offered at federal and state levels, and the program also has payment plans available.
  • City College of New York offers a combined EKG and phlebotomy program. With fifteen three-hour sessions, the program prepares you to take the NHA certification exam. The course sessions take place in the evening, which is ideal for people who are working during the day. Assistance with finding work experience and job placement is available.

Certification for Becoming an EKG Technician in New York

While New York does not license or certify EKG technicians, the three programs listed above offer certifications after completing their exams, which take place either at your training course premises or at another local educational institution. These will help you find work. Exams carry a small fee, and supplementary study materials are also available to purchase.

The NHA certification is the most broadly accepted one, and to take this exam you must have completed a training course within the past five years, or have one year of work experience within the past three years. You’ll also need to have performed ten EKG tests on live individuals.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for New York EKG technicians is nearly $63,000. The average hourly wage is a bit over $31 per hour. However, new technicians may find they need to work in the field for a few years before they can attain this level of pay.

By 2029, nationally, the number of jobs in the field of EKG technicians and similar roles is projected to increase by 12 percent—much faster than average job growth across all fields.

Working as an EKG Technician in New York

Hospitals and doctors’ offices employ the vast majority of EKG technicians, but any large institution that has in-house medical staff, such as nursing homes or prisons, may have occasional openings. Staffing agencies, state and national government websites and job sites like Indeed.com and Monster.com are good starting places to find a position.