Becoming an EKG Technician in Texas
EKG stands for electrocardiogram. This is a common medical procedure that can help doctors detect serious changes in normal heart health. EKG technicians are the medical personnel who use electrocardiogram equipment. In the modern world, no hospital operates without these trained healthcare workers on its staff.
Texas is home to some of America’s premier healthcare facilities. The state also boasts one of the nation’s largest populations. With these facts in mind, it’s no surprise that EKG techs work daily in Texas cities of all sizes.
Want to become one of these in-demand professionals? This informative overview will help you sort out the state’s rules, training options and likely salaries for electrocardiogram operators.
Oversight for Texas EKG Technicians
You need an officially issued license to perform many medical procedures in states throughout America. However, not all healthcare workers must have a license. In Texas and most other jurisdictions, state rules allow for a category of workers called unlicensed assistive personnel. People in this category do not have the power to make patient-related decisions on their own. Instead, they perform their jobs under the authority of a licensed healthcare provider. The providers who issue this authority are usually registered nurses (RNs).
Texas has no specific regulations for the oversight of EKG technicians. However, as a rule, these technicians work as unlicensed assistive personnel under the supervision of an RN. This supervision helps ensure patient safety and the accuracy of electrocardiogram procedures.
Training Expectations for Texas EKG Techs
Since there are no state-level rules for EKG techs in Texas, each individual healthcare facility sets its own standard for training and other job qualifications. In most cases, standards are pretty high. Before you can hope to get a job, many facilities require you to do one of three things:
- Graduate from a continuing education program in allied health
- Work in some capacity in the medical arena for at least a couple of years
- Get certified as an EKG tech on a national level
Some people get the training they need while working as nurses’ aides or medical assistants.
Options for Suitable Training
In metropolitan areas across Texas, you’ll find schools that offer training programs for EKG technicians. In the state’s larger cities, examples of these schools include:
- University of Houston – Downtown – UHD offers an online EKG technician program. This program covers all aspects of EKG-related work responsibilities. It also gives you experience with another heart-testing procedure called an echocardiogram. Your coursework will help get you ready for nationwide certification.
- Lamson Institute – Lamson is based in San Antonio. It offers a combined program that prepares you to work as an EKG technician, phlebotomist (blood-draw technician) or lab assistant. In addition, the program gets you certified to perform CPR.
You will also find training options in smaller Texas cities. One example is Central Texas College in Killeen. This institution offers a 60-hour program that combines fast-track classroom education with supervised, real-world electrocardiogram training. Graduates receive a certificate from the school. They also get the chance to take the National Healthcareer Association’s EKG technician certification exam.
How Much Can Your Earn as a Texas EKG Technician?
The annual income average for Texas EKG techs sits just below $38,000. Half of all techs working in the state earn an income somewhere between the low $30,000s and the low $40,000s. Typical starting pay is in the mid- to upper $20,000s. About 10 percent of all Texas EKG technicians make $49,000 or more per year.
What Does the Future Look Like for EKG Techs?
Job markets are always unpredictable to some degree. However, all current statistics point to serious employment growth for EKG and echocardiogram technicians. In 2029, there will be roughly 15,600 more positions for these professionals than there were in 2019. It’s hard to beat that kind of expansion in today’s economy.