Top 11 EKG Technician Certifications
This article provides an overview of the different certifications available to EKG technicians and how to choose the best one for your career.
Published 17 min read
Certifications are an important part of the job market for EKG technicians because they demonstrate a technician's knowledge and proficiency in the field. Employers will often require that applicants have their certification in order to be considered for a position, and having one can make a technician more competitive against other applicants. Additionally, certifications can help to validate a technician's experience and expertise, giving them an edge over those without one. Certifications also provide evidence that a technician has taken the necessary steps to maintain their knowledge and skills in the field and can show employers that they are committed to providing excellent patient care.
The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for EKG Technicians and explain how they can benefit an ekg technician's career.
What are EKG Technician Certifications?
EKG technician certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to perform electrocardiograms (EKGs) to assess heart health. Certification is available through various organizations and can be earned by taking an accredited course or passing an exam. The certification process also involves completing a clinical practicum and obtaining CPR/BLS certification.
EKG technicians are responsible for preparing patients for EKG tests, attaching electrodes to their chest, arms, and legs, operating the EKG machine, recording data accurately, and communicating results to medical personnel. With certification, individuals demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform these duties safely and accurately. This can help them secure employment in hospitals, physician’s offices, clinics, laboratories, or other healthcare facilities.
Having EKG technician certification can also help individuals advance their career by increasing job opportunities as well as salary potential. Employers may be more likely to hire someone with a recognized credential than those without one. Additionally, employers may offer higher salaries or better benefits packages for certified technicians than those without credentials due to the added responsibility associated with this role.
Pro Tip: When pursuing EKG Technician Certification, make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques. The field of EKG is constantly evolving and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve!
Related: What does an EKG Technician do?
Top 11 EKG Technician Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to EKG Technicians today.
1. Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Technician (RCET)
A Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Technician (RCET) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders. RCETs are trained to perform electrocardiograms (ECGs), Holter monitoring, exercise stress tests, and other cardiac diagnostic procedures. They also assist physicians with cardiac ablation procedures, implantable device programming, and other electrophysiology treatments.
In order to become an RCET, one must first complete a two-year associate degree program in cardiovascular technology or a related field from an accredited college or university. After completing the educational requirements, candidates must pass the National Board of Cardiovascular Technology Certification Exam (NBCCT) to become certified.
The cost of becoming an RCET varies depending on the school attended and the type of program chosen. The average cost for tuition and fees for an associate degree program is around $15,000-$20,000. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with books and supplies, as well as fees for taking the NBCCT exam.
Once certified as an RCET, individuals can expect to earn between $40,000 - $60,000 per year depending on experience and location.
2. Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS)
A Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS) is a medical professional who specializes in the care and management of cardiac devices, such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The CCDS credential is offered by the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE) and is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a level of proficiency in the field of cardiac device management.
To become certified, an individual must complete an approved training program or possess a minimum of two years’ experience in cardiac device management. Once these requirements are met, applicants must then pass a comprehensive exam administered by IBHRE. This exam covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, pacing systems, ICDs, arrhythmia recognition, troubleshooting techniques, and more.
The cost to take the CCDS exam varies depending on the applicant's country of residence. In the United States, it costs $395 for members of IBHRE and $495 for non-members. The exam fee includes access to online practice exams and study materials.
It typically takes six months to one year to prepare for the CCDS exam. During this time, applicants should review relevant textbooks and practice questions to ensure they are adequately prepared for the test. Additionally, many organizations offer review courses that provide additional guidance on how to successfully pass the exam.
3. Certified Cardiovascular Technologist (CCT)
A Certified Cardiovascular Technologist (CCT) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. They use advanced imaging technology such as echocardiography, electrocardiography, and intracardiac ultrasound to diagnose and monitor heart conditions. CCTs also assist physicians with invasive procedures such as cardiac catheterizations, angioplasties, and pacemaker implantations.
It typically takes about two years of full-time study to become a CCT. Most programs are offered at community colleges or technical schools and include courses in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, patient care skills, ECG interpretation, and echocardiography. Some programs may also require clinical experience in a hospital or clinic setting.
To become a CCT you must pass the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) certification exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions covering topics such as anatomy and physiology, ECG interpretation, echocardiography principles and techniques, patient care skills, pharmacology, medical terminology, ethics/law/regulations related to cardiovascular technology practice.
The cost for the CCI certification exam is $350 USD for members of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), $400 USD for non-members of ASE. There may be additional fees associated with your program depending on where you attend school.
4. Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS)
Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) is a professional certification for individuals who specialize in the field of cardiac sonography. Cardiac sonographers use ultrasound imaging to examine the heart and its surrounding structures, helping physicians diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases. The RCS credential is offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
In order to become an RCS, individuals must have completed a minimum of two years of full-time clinical experience in cardiac sonography and have successfully passed the ARDMS’s Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) examination. The exam consists of two parts: a written section and a practical assessment. The written portion covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, physics, instrumentation, patient care, safety protocols and image evaluation. The practical assessment evaluates an individual’s ability to apply knowledge gained from the written portion to real-world scenarios.
The cost for taking the RCS exam varies depending on location; however, it typically costs around $400-$500 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with registering for the exam or obtaining study materials. It generally takes about two months to prepare for the exam; however this can vary significantly depending on an individual’s background knowledge and experience.
Once an individual has passed the RCS examination they will receive their certification card from ARDMS which must be renewed every three years by completing continuing education requirements or retaking the exam.
5. Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) is a professional certification offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). It is an internationally recognized credential that demonstrates a sonographer’s knowledge and expertise in performing ultrasound examinations. RDMS certification is highly sought after in the medical field, as it provides employers with assurance that the sonographer has met rigorous standards of education, experience, and examination.
To become an RDMS, one must first complete an accredited educational program in diagnostic medical sonography. This typically takes two years to complete and includes both classroom instruction and clinical training. After completing the educational program, applicants must pass the ARDMS certification exam to be eligible for RDMS certification.
The cost of becoming an RDMS varies depending on the educational institution attended. In addition to tuition fees, there are also costs associated with taking the ARDMS exam such as registration fees and study materials. The total cost of obtaining an RDMS can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars depending on individual circumstances.
6. Certified Electrocardiograph Technician (CET)
Certified Electrocardiograph Technician (CET) is a certification program designed to help healthcare professionals demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the use of electrocardiogram (ECG) technology. The program is administered by the National Board for Certification in Cardiovascular Technology (NBCCT).
To become certified as a CET, applicants must have completed a minimum of an accredited training program in ECG technology, which typically takes between 6-12 months to complete. They must also pass both a written and practical exam administered by NBCCT.
The cost of the CET certification varies depending on the applicant’s state of residence. Generally, it costs around $300-$400 for the application fee, exam fee, and any additional fees associated with taking the exam.
Once certified, CETs are required to maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits every two years.
7. Basic Life Support (BLS)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is a set of life-saving techniques and procedures used to support the circulation and breathing of an individual in cardiac or respiratory arrest. It is also known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). BLS includes chest compressions, rescue breaths, and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
How long does it take to get BLS?
It depends on the type of certification you are seeking. Most basic life support courses can be completed in 1-2 days. However, some certifications may require additional training or testing.
How to get BLS?
You can obtain BLS certification through a variety of organizations such as the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, National Safety Council, and other local organizations. You can find classes online or at your local community college or hospital.
How much does it cost?
The cost for a basic life support certification course will vary depending on the organization offering it. Generally speaking, most courses range from $50-$100 USD.
8. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) is a specialized training program designed to improve the quality of care for patients suffering from life-threatening cardiac and respiratory emergencies. It is an advanced form of CPR, which includes the use of medications and electrical therapies to help restore normal heart rhythms. ACLS is based on international guidelines that are updated regularly to reflect current best practices in emergency cardiovascular care.
The ACLS course typically takes two days to complete and consists of lectures, simulations, and hands-on practice. The course covers topics such as basic life support, airway management, pharmacology, rhythm recognition, resuscitation techniques, and post-resuscitation care. Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive an American Heart Association (AHA) ACLS certification card valid for two years.
To get ACLS certified, you must first take an AHA approved course taught by an AHA certified instructor. The cost of the course varies depending on the provider; however, it generally ranges from $200-$400 per person. You can find AHA approved courses online or through your local hospital or medical center.
9. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is an advanced level of pediatric emergency care training. It is designed to help healthcare providers recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies in infants and children. PALS is a two-day course that typically takes 16 hours to complete. The course covers topics such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), airway management, shock management, and rhythm recognition.
To get PALS certification, you must attend a course taught by an American Heart Association (AHA) approved instructor. You can find AHA approved instructors through the AHA's website or by contacting your local hospital or medical center.
The cost of PALS certification varies depending on the provider and location of the course. Generally, the cost for a two-day course ranges from $200-$300 USD.
10. International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners Certification in Electrophysiology Testing and Mapping (IBHRE-EPTM)
The International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners Certification in Electrophysiology Testing and Mapping (IBHRE-EPTM) is a comprehensive certification program for healthcare professionals who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cardiac arrhythmias. This certification is offered by the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE), which is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in electrophysiology (EP).
To become IBHRE-EPTM certified, applicants must have a minimum of two years of experience in EP testing and mapping as well as successfully complete a written examination. The exam consists of 200 questions that cover topics such as anatomy & physiology, pharmacology, device therapy, ablation techniques, and more. The exam fee is $550 USD.
Once an applicant has passed the written exam they must then pass a practical assessment. This assessment involves demonstrating proficiency in performing EP testing and mapping procedures on live patients under direct supervision. The practical assessment fee is $1,400 USD.
Finally, applicants must submit documentation that verifies their professional qualifications and experience in EP testing and mapping. Once all requirements have been met, the applicant will be awarded their IBHRE-EPTM certification.
In total it can take up to six months to become IBHRE-EPTM certified due to the time needed to prepare for the exams and submit all required documents.
11. National Commission for Certifying Agencies Certified Clinical Medical Assistant with EKG/ECG Certification (NCCA-CCMA).
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies Certified Clinical Medical Assistant with EKG/ECG Certification (NCCA-CCMA) is a credentialing program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of clinical medical assistants who have demonstrated proficiency in performing electrocardiography (EKG/ECG) testing. The NCCA-CCMA is a voluntary certification program administered by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
To become certified, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements, pass an exam, and adhere to the NCCA Code of Professional Conduct. The exam covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, patient assessment and management, EKG/ECG testing procedures, safety and infection control procedures, pharmacology, medical law and ethics, laboratory procedures, medical office administration skills, communication skills, patient education techniques, and other related topics.
It typically takes between six months to one year to complete all of the requirements necessary to become certified as an NCCA-CCMA. Applicants should contact their local community college or technical school for information about courses available in their area that will prepare them for the certification exam. Additionally, applicants should review the NCCA website for additional information about the certification process.
The cost of becoming certified as an NCCA-CCMA varies depending on where you take your courses and how you choose to prepare for the exam. Generally speaking however it can range from $200-$600 USD depending on course fees and study materials purchased.
Do You Really Need a EKG Technician Certificate?
An EKG technician certificate is an important credential for anyone wishing to pursue a career in the field of electrocardiography. It is designed to provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to accurately interpret and perform EKG tests. The certificate can be earned through formal education programs or on-the-job training.
The importance of an EKG technician certificate cannot be overstated. An individual with this certification will have the skills and knowledge needed to properly set up equipment, interpret results, and provide valuable information to physicians that can help diagnose heart problems in patients. Furthermore, having this certification will demonstrate a commitment to quality patient care and make you more attractive to potential employers.
In addition, those who possess an EKG technician certificate may have access to better job opportunities than those without one. This is especially true if you wish to work in a hospital setting where more specialized skills are required. Additionally, many states require licensing for those seeking employment in medical facilities as an EKG technician; possessing a valid certificate can help you meet these requirements.
Ultimately, whether or not you need an EKG technician certificate depends on your career goals. If you are serious about pursuing a career in electrocardiography, then obtaining a valid certification should be considered essential. Doing so will give you the necessary knowledge and skills required for success in this field as well as increase your chances of gaining employment in this ever-growing industry.
Related: EKG Technician Resume Examples
FAQs About EKG Technician Certifications
1. What is an EKG Technician Certification?
Answer: An EKG Technician Certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual has been educated and trained in the proper operation and interpretation of electrocardiogram (EKG) machines.
2. Where can I get an EKG Technician Certification?
Answer: You can obtain an EKG Technician Certification through a variety of accredited educational programs or online certification courses.
3. How long does it take to become certified as an EKG Technician?
Answer: The length of time it takes to become certified as an EKG Technician varies depending on the type of program you choose, but typically ranges from 6-12 months.
4. What are the requirements for obtaining an EKG Technician Certification?
Answer: Requirements for obtaining an EKG Technician Certification may vary depending on the certifying body, but typically include completing a training program, passing a written exam, and demonstrating proficiency in performing 12-lead EKGs.
5. Is there any additional certification required to work as an EKG Technician?
Answer: Depending on the state you work in, additional certification may be required to work as an EKG Technician such as Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).