There are several paths to electrocardiogram (ECG) certification, but they all culminate with passing an exam. Whichever path you choose, you must first earn a high school diploma or GED. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps together the category of cardiovascular technologists and technicians, and lists the national annual median salary as slightly more than $49,000 nationally, you can be assured that the more specialized education you have in this field, the higher your salary will be. Learn about the requirements for eligibility to take the ECG exam using the guide set forth by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), one of the organizations that certifies ECG technicians.
As stated above, an applicant must have a high school diploma or GED and the required documentation for such, plus eligibility in one of the four categories described here:
This category includes individuals who have completed a formal education program in this area. These programs are normally offered at vocational or technical institutes.
This category is for individuals who gained on-the-job experience working as an ECG technician or in another related field. As part of the certificate application process, a candidate must provide proof of this experience by means of a letter from their employer.
The third category provides eligibility for those who have completed at least an undergraduate degree in a science or other health-related field.
The final category of eligibility pertains to individuals who have been engaged as unpaid volunteers and have worked in a cardiac laboratory, with two years of full-time experience administering ECG testing.
While it is possible to work as an ECG technician with no formal training, any education you have in addition to certification will notably boost your earning potential and your ability to find job opportunities. CCI's examination fee is $160, but you may also incur associated costs such as ordering official copies of any educational transcripts. ECG certification must also be renewed every three years at a cost of $150 and a recertification exam, but you will also encounter the associated costs of continuing education training. All of these costs are investments in your future. They show your current or potential employers that you are committed to being the best ECG technician you can be.