7 Facts About EKG Techs You Didn't Know

Reviewed by AIMS Education Staff  

August 10, 2020

EKG technicians play a key role in any cardiology department by providing essential patient care and performing EKG tests. However, their job duties won’t be the main focus of this piece. Instead, we will explore some exciting facts and aspects of their profession you will love to know. Get ready to learn about this prospective field with great opportunities for success and career advancement.

EKG and ECG Technician Jobs Are The Same

Photo by  Michael Fainshtein on Flickr


You are probably wondering what the difference between ECG and EKG is. Surprisingly they are just two abbreviations, both standing for electrocardiogram, which is the recorded signal of the heart. The only distinction between them is that EKG is from the German spelling of the term – Elektrokardiographie. The two abbreviations are mutually interchangeable.

While the meanings of these terms are the same, EKG (ECG) Techs are sometimes mistakenly taken for other experts, like EEG technologists.

Electrocardiography Techs Don’t Do EEG

Photo by  Medikoma Technology on Flickr 


EKG and EEG techs are medical professionals with distinctive duties. In addition to providing patient care, EKG (ECG) technologists are responsible for administering a variety of cardiac tests. They measure the electrical activity of the heart to determine the health of patients.

Unlike them, EEG techs study the electrical activity of the brain rather than the heart. Also called NDT techs, these professionals are at the forefront of exciting new medical discoveries. So if you find the human brain fascinating, starting a career as a neurodiagnostic technologist might be among the best options for you.

EKG Techs Are Mobile

Electrocardiography technicians also provide mobile EKG services. These are designed for patients with reduced mobility, who require urgent examination or are unable to travel. Mobile EKG is also ideal for nursing homes where a large number of elderly patients can be tested at once, avoiding the hassle of waiting times and traveling.  

Other than that, the majority of technicians work in hospitals, physician’s offices, and labs. They can also be employed in private practices, clinics, and medical centers. As you can see, one of the best advantages of an EKG tech’s job is the flexibility it offers. You will also find different work schedules available, including morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend shifts.

EKG Techs Can Be Phlebotomists, Too

Depending on their training and qualification, electrocardiography techs can have a diverse skill set applicable in other allied health professions. Becoming a phlebotomy technician is one of the popular choices. Many EKG Technician programs are combined with phlebotomy training to train students for both specialties. 

Although drawing blood and monitoring the activity of the heart require different expertise, combining them prepares students for a wider variety of possible careers. Upon successful completion of Phlebotomy and EKG technician training, students leave prepared for an entry-level position in either occupation. In some cases physician's offices and clinics may even prefer technicians with both phlebotomy and EKG skills.

EKG is a Short Training Program

An advanced EKG technician training program takes about 2-3 months to complete. This duration may vary based on the class schedule you’ve opted for. While day instruction is usually the shortest possible option, evening and weekend classes often take longer

In comparison, some EKG and phlebotomy tech programs can be completed in 2 months if an internship is not included. However, don’t let the shorter duration define your career path as both programs have their advantages. While the joint training will prepare you to become a skilled entry-level healthcare technician quickly, the advanced EKG program, also known as cardiac monitor technician, will provide you with more advanced EKG knowledge as well as a clinical internship. Make a decision based on your long-term goals and your field of interest.

Certified EKG Technicians Have Better Job Prospects

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash 

Obtaining an EKG tech certification is a good move to start your career off on the right path. Although having one is not required by all states and employers, it is highly recommended. A certification demonstrates your skills are up to date and improves your overall job prospects. What’s more, many insurance providers only cover procedures carried out by certified EKG techs. This means it can be a key factor when you are trying to secure an entry-level position.

Certification for EKG professionals is offered by several credentialing agencies including Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

An EKG Technician’s Career Is Full of Opportunities

Applying for an EKG technician program is a great decision because of the bright job outlooks and ever-increasing demand. Professional training will also give you the chance to fast-track your career in several prospective fields. What do we mean by this? Many EKG techs use their job as a stepping stone toward bigger and better careers. With valuable healthcare experience and additional training, the sky is the limit. You can pursue careers in medical lab technology, cardiovascular technology, neurodiagnostic technology, and many other fields.

If you are still not sure whether this career is right for you, why don’t you explore some more reasons to become an EKG tech.