Certified EKG Tech in PA

How to Become an EKG Technician in Pennsylvania

Sometimes called ECG or cardiovascular technicians, EKG techs are important healthcare professionals.

Using an electrocardiograph machine, they perform diagnostic tests on patients to monitor heart movements and check for irregularities.

Many healthcare workers get their start in the field by starting as an EKG technician.

Education & Training

The first step to becoming an EKG tech in Pennsylvania is to attend a training course or trade school that’s state approved and accredited.

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    Course Benefits

    The main objective of the online courses above to help you pass an official certification exam from either the AECA or the NHA.

    Once you finish your training, you’ll receive a voucher of completion to prove you’ve finished an accredited program. This certification then qualifies you to take the national certification exam so you can become a certified EKG tech.

    There is also a clinical component to the course.

    Cost & Length of Time

    Course pricing is about $2,000 .  Estimated timeframe for completions is about 1 year, though you might be able to finish faster since online courses are self paced.

    Some clinics and hospitals may even pay to train current employees to become EKG techs.

    What Do You Study?

    Courses typically cover topics like:

    • Anatomy of the heart
    • Physiology
    • Medical diseases and terminology
    • Medical ethics
    • Patient care and contact
    • Electrocardiography
    • Stress testing
    • Interpreting rhythm strips
    • Operations of the EKG machine
    • Analyzing readings and results
    • Determining normality of test results

    During your time spent learning about the heart and how to perform EKGs, you’ll also learn various important skills and information associated with the job.

    Course Requirements

    To begin training, you must have either a high school diploma or GED and be 18 years of age or older.

    You also need to undergo a background check, have complete immunization records, and test negative for hepatitis and TB.

    Average Salary for EKG Techs in PA

    As one of the five states with the highest employment level of cardiovascular techs, the average EKG technician salary in PA is $63,740 as of May 2022, according to the BLS.

    Some EKG techs may also earn hourly pay at a statewide average of about $30.64 an hour. This rate may vary based on experience in the field and workplace location.

    Below is a table with the average EKG technician salary in PA cities for entry-level employees:

    Area Name Hourly wage Annual wage
    Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ $31.22 $64,930.00
    Altoona, PA $29.10 $60,530.00
    Erie, PA $23.44 $48,750.00
    Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA $27.52 $57,240.00
    Northern Pennsylvania $25.69 $53,440.00
    Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $30.28 $62,970.00
    Pittsburgh, PA $32.57 $67,750.00
    Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA $32.89 $68,400.00
    Southern Pennsylvania $28.60 $59,490.00
    Western Pennsylvania $23.02 $47,880.00
    York-Hanover, PA $30.03 $62,460.00

    source: data.bls.gov
    Occupation:Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians (SOC Code292031)

    Working as an EKG tech in Pennsylvania offers many opportunities and advantages. Because there’s always a chance to grow in the healthcare industry, there are also ways to boost the salary you earn.

    Medical assistants and lab techs stand a chance at earning more in their professions with the additional training and certification.

    EKG Tech Requirements in Pennsylvania

    To become certified as an EKG technician in PA, you must have your high school diploma or GED, complete training at an accredited institution, and finish one year of on-the-job experience within the past three years.

    Hands-on training is crucial because students must have 10 successful EKGs completed to take an exam.


    For those new to healthcare, it’s important to gain certification.

    As mentioned, the courses above will prep you for one of the following exams:


    The National Healthcareer Association administers the Certified EKG Technician (CET) exam.

    NHANOW logo


    The American Education Certification Association administers the Certified EKG Technician Specialist (CETS) exam.

    American Education Certification Association logo

    However, nurse aids and other medical professionals who receive EKG training may not need to take the test to become certified.

    You can also access a national exam through third-party endorsers like the National Performance Specialists who work with National Healthcareer Association and administer a CET exam.

    EKG techs must renew their certification every two years and complete continuing education credits.

    Accredited Schools

    When looking for a training program, ensure the institution that provides all the necessary education and hands-on training to become a certified EKG is accredited.

    Job Description

    EKG technicians work in doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.

    They typically help physicians in identifying and treating heart problems in patients.

    EKG techs can also work various other jobs, such as phlebotomist, nurse, medical assistant, or laboratory technician, if they’ve met that role’s certification or licensing requirements.

    A list of job duties for an EKG tech in Pennsylvania include:

    • Speaking with patients to verify their identity
    • Evaluating patients and explaining diagnostic procedures
    • Placing leads on the body to perform the test
    • Using the EKG machine to begin test
    • Prepping the test results for the physician
    • Maintaining your work area, the EKG machine, and other equipment

    In Pennsylvania, EKG technicians must complete the proper training courses and become nationally certified to gain employment.

    A certified EKG Technician, or CET, has the knowledge, skills, and experience to perform their job duties successfully.

    Career Outlook

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, EKG technician jobs have an expected growth rate of 8% between 2020 and 2030. This projected increase includes about 4,700 job openings nationwide due to workers transferring to different jobs or retiring from the workforce.

    Pennsylvania has a slightly higher expected growth rate than the national average, with a 9% increase in EKG tech jobs expected before 2030.

    The state expects about 340 new jobs with increased demand as current EKG techs transfer or retire and as Pennsylvania residents age and need more cardiac care.

    Benefits of Working as an EKG Technician in PA

    There are several advantages to working as an EKG technician, especially for those interested in an entry-level career or building on their current profession.

    Working as a technician in healthcare leads to good job stability and benefits, including health insurance and increasing pay rates. EKG techs also have the benefit of helping people live healthier lives.

    Search EKG Technician Programs

    Get information on EKG Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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