What You Need to Work as an EKG Tech in Wisconsin
EKG technicians in Wisconsin are unlicensed, so you do not need to have a degree, certificate or license to begin working in the field. Employers may set specific requirements, though, so check with jobs first to find out what you need before applying.
Most employers prefer to hire EKG techs who have completed some type of post-secondary program. EKG programs are typically eight weeks or less and do not confer a degree. Some employers will hire good candidates who have completed high school but no EKG program. They train these workers on the job.
EKG Training in Wisconsin
While it is not required, completing a program in EKG technology will improve your chances of landing the job you want. It will prepare you to work with patients, to run and analyze EKGs and to apply for national certification. Wisconsin has a few options:
- Milwaukee Area Technical College. The state’s technical college system offers an EKG program in Milwaukee that includes both online materials and in-person instruction and training. This program will prepare you for an entry-level job and to pass the Certified Cardiographics Technician exam for national certification.
- University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. This program takes a couple of months to complete and includes an optional externship. This is valuable because it provides hands-on, real world experience performing EKGs. The program will prepare you to pass certification exams including the test offered by the National Healthcareer Association.
- Trinity Allied Healthcareer Academy. This private program provides everything you need to know to work as an EKG tech and prepares you for national certification. It is located in Milwaukee.
National Certifications for EKG Technicians
You do not have to be certified, but holding a nationally recognized credential is a great way to prove to employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge for the job. A couple of certifications are most commonly accepted by employers:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA). To qualify to take the NHA exam, you must have completed an appropriate training program or have one year working as an EKG tech.
- American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT). Qualifications for the ASPT certification exam include completion of an EKG training program or relevant work experience, a verification letter from a supervisor or instructor, and an example of an EKG performed on a patient.
Job Growth and Salaries for EKG Technicians
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports much faster than average job growth for EKG technicians and related careers. The growth is 12 percent across all states. In Wisconsin, according to Projections Central, the growth in these careers is over 16 percent.
Salaries are also promising for EKG technicians. The BLS-reported averages for this career throughout the country are $68,750 per year and $33.05 per hour. In Wisconsin, techs make $65,570 per year and $31.53 per hour on average.
Landing a Job as an EKG Technician in Wisconsin
With such strong job growth in the state, you should find it easy to get your first job as an EKG technician in Wisconsin. Most opportunities will be in the larger population centers of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine. Most EKG techs work in hospitals, but you may also find jobs with health insurance companies, physician offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories.
How to Become an EKG Technician in West Virginia
The electrocardiograph, or EKG machine, takes advantage of the fact that the heart emits electrical signals with each heartbeat. Working closely with nurses and doctors, EKG technicians accurately record and interpret these signals to help diagnose a number of heart conditions. As skilled allied health professionals, EKG technicians have the opportunity to participate in a growing industry without having to undertake years of study to obtain advanced degrees.