Have you ever thought of becoming an EKG technician?
It certainly is an interesting field.
EKG technicians use specialized cardiac equipment to evaluate a patient’s heart health.
They work with physicians and other healthcare specialists in diagnosing heart problems and conditions of patients in their care.
As an EKG tech, you may work in a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, or other healthcare setting.
Your work can be very rewarding as you’ll be helping people with their healthcare needs.
By reviewing the pros and cons of this profession, you can determine if it’s a good career choice for you.
Pros of Being an EKG Technician
The following pros paint a positive picture of establishing a career as an EKG technician:
1. Excellent Job Security
EKG technicians can look forward to excellent job security as job openings are increasing annually.
In fact, the BLS estimates a 14% growth in the job outlook of EKG technicians through the year 2030.
As people age, they’re more prone to developing heart problems and conditions, making this service an essential need.
Greater access to health insurance puts cardiac healthcare services within people’s financial reach.
As a result, there’s greater demand for the services of EKG technicians across the country.
2. Diverse Opportunities for Employment
Although many EKG technicians work in hospitals, there are numerous other options for employment.
EKG tech jobs can be found in private clinics, doctor offices, diagnostic labs, and other medical facilities.
Once you’ve completed your training and certification, you can select the workplace environment best suited to your needs.
By comparing what different jobs have to offer in the way of salary, benefits, etc., you’ll get a better idea of what’s available in your area.
The more options you have, the easier it is to find a job you can commit to long-term.
3. Competitive Salary
Compared to other non-degree healthcare professionals, EKG technicians are paid well for their services.
Entry-level salaries may start low, but experienced EKG techs can expect to earn on average around $50,000 annually.
Private clinics, doctors’ offices, or outpatient care centers may pay even more.
Salaries are often based on experience, education, technical training, certification, and level of expertise.
The more specialized you are in your field, the better your prospects of finding work that pays top dollar.
Competitive salary is one of the greatest perks of the job.
4. Rewarding Work
The role of an EKG technician is essential to the medical field.
Doctors rely on your services to diagnose serious heart issues in their patients, so they can get accurate treatment.
Your medical input can help improve a patient’s overall health, enabling him or her to live a higher quality of life.
You may even help save a patient’s life!
Knowing you’re making a positive contribution to your community can be very rewarding.
5. Mentally Stimulating
The job of an EKG technician requires focus and attention to detail.
You’re expected to operate your equipment with precision and care to get accurate readings for your patient’s heart health.
At times, you may need to work quickly and under pressure to get the information a doctor needs to diagnose a life-threatening condition.
You’ll need to rely on your training, experience, and problem-solving skills to make split-second decisions when necessary.
In a hospital scenario, your duties will keep you plenty busy, leaving no time for monotony.
6. Short Training Period
To train as an EKG technician, you must be 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED.
Many vocational schools and community colleges offer one or two-year training programs that can help you jumpstart your career.
You can also complete an EKG technician certification program online that includes clinical training to gain hands-on experience for the job.
Once you’ve completed your technical education and clinical training, you can take an exam to become certified in your field.
7. Opportunities to Travel
As an independent EKG technician, you have opportunities to travel.
You can accept temporary positions in different cities or states to further your training and education in this field.
As a traveling EKG technician, you can be your own boss and take greater control over your career.
You can choose your own assignments, work environments, and work destinations.
Through a traveling position, you can explore new places, befriend new people, grow in your profession, and expand your career.
Cons of Being an EKG Technician
What’s not to like about being an EKG technician?
Here are some of the negative aspects of this career:
1. Health/Safety Risks
Being an EKG technician comes with health risks, especially if you work in a hospital setting.
Hospitals are filled with sick people and you can be exposed to infections or contagious diseases.
You could bring a bug home and contaminate your spouse or children.
There’s also the risk of working with hostile patients who could do you harm.
Stories abound of healthcare professionals who have been physically attacked, stabbed, or shot at on the job.
Stress is another negative aspect of the job.
Working in a fast-paced hospital environment could put you under stress and pressure.
You may have to deal with traumatic situations or distressed patients under emergency conditions.
There’s also the emotional toil of watching people suffer or die of heart conditions beyond your control.
Your patience and endurance will be tested on a daily basis.
If you don’t work well under pressure, you may need to rethink your career choice.
3. Need for Technical Training
To become an EKG technician, you need a clear understanding of the technology required for the job.
Not everyone has the intellectual ability or technical know-how to learn EKG tech skills.
The work of an EKG technician is often demanding, requiring accuracy and precision for the sake of patient safety.
Before investing in a training program, you should research what’s expected of you to ensure you’re up to the task.
This could save you time and money investing in the wrong career path.
4. Ongoing Training and Renewed Certifications
Like other healthcare professionals, EKG technicians need to stay current with the latest techniques and technology in their field.
This requires ongoing training and renewed certifications for your profession.
You’ll need to invest time and money for additional training that will benefit your future.
Otherwise, you may find it difficult to advance in your career.
The healthcare profession is ever-changing and moving forward.
Ongoing training will keep you on the cutting edge of your profession.
5. Physically Demanding Job
As an EKG technician, you’ll likely spend most of your time on your feet.
In a large hospital, you may be constantly on the move, traveling from one floor to the next to perform your EKG tests.
Your work may require lifting and repositioning patients for testing or transporting cardiac equipment around the hospital.
The physical demands of the job can be exhausting and cause muscle strain or fatigue.
If you have erratic work hours, your schedule could disrupt your sleep or wreak havoc on your work-life balance.
6. Lack of People Skills
EKG technicians interact with patients, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals daily.
This requires that you have good people skills and be able to communicate well with others.
Your line of work requires empathy and understanding of what your patients are going through, so you can meet their healthcare needs.
You’ll also need patience to deal with difficult people and avoid unnecessary conflicts on the job.
If you’re not good with people or have poor people skills, this career choice may not be the best for you.
7. No Chance of Working Remotely
With so much emphasis on remote work today, it pays to know upfront what careers can or can’t be adapted to a work-from-home environment.
If you’re looking for a career you can eventually transform into a remote job, then being an EKG technician is not for you.
This profession offers different avenues of employment, i.e. hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, etc., but your home is not one of them.
As an EKG technician, there are limits to where you can and can’t work.
By finding the right job in the right place, you can be happy and successful working outside your home in this career.
14 Pros and Cons of Being an EKG Technician – Summary Table
|Pros of Being an EKG Technician
|Cons of Being an EKG Technician
|1. Excellent Job Security
|1. Health/Safety Risks
|2. Diverse Opportunities for Employment
|3. Competitive Salary
|3. Need for Technical Training
|4. Rewarding Work
|4. Ongoing Training and Renewed Certifications
|5. Mentally Stimulating
|5. Physically Demanding Job
|6. Short Training Period
|6. Lack of People Skills
|7. Opportunities to Travel
|7. No Chance of Working Remotely
Should You Become an EKG Technician?
A career as an EKG technician can be both promising and rewarding for those who have a keen interest in this field.
There’s a great need for EKG techs in healthcare facilities across the country.
If you pursue this career path, you can look forward to steady, stable employment for years to come.
EKG technicians are paid well and can expect to earn more as they grow in specialties, experience, and expertise.
The job can be strenuous and there are health risks, but no more than normal in the healthcare industry.
As an EKG technician, you can make a difference in the lives of others while establishing a prosperous career in an expanding healthcare field.