EKG Certification

The electrocardiogram technician is someone who administers the electrocardiogram (EKG). This procedure is used to evaluate the heart’s electrical activity and to identify irregularities. Similar to other medical providers, technicians working in this profession are often required to pass a nationally recognized certifying exam as a condition of employment. Certification is important because it demonstrates that an EKG technician has met common standards of competence and is able to provide the highest level of care possible.

There are a handful of EKG Certification options available to individuals who plan to pursue a career as a technician in this specialty area. Before deciding on an exam, it is important for technicians to contact potential employers about the certification option that they require. There is nothing more frustrating than investing the time and effort in obtaining credentials that do not meet the standards adopted by the facility where a technician is seeking employment. Taking time to verify expectations prior to completing a training course and sitting for an exam can prevent a lot of headache and can go a long way in securing a higher salary along with a broader array of career advancement opportunities.

EKG Certification Organizations and Exams

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) – This organization is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and is designed to demonstrate that technicians are capable of setting up and administering EKGs and stress tests, preparing patients for Holter monitoring, editing and delivering results to healthcare professionals, scheduling appointments, and transcribing physician interpretations. Successful completion of the NHA exam results in the Certified EKG Technician (CET) credential. The exam consists of 110 questions that must be completed within 1 hour 50 minutes. The cost of the exam is $105. The minimum passing score is 390.

In order to be eligible to take this certification exam, candidates must…

1. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent

2. Successfully complete a training program or 12 months of work experience

    • Must include at least 10 successful EKGs

3. Written proof of training or experience

NHA Exam Resource Links

Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) – This organization has been one of the credentialing industry professionals since 1968 and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 Program. The CCI offers a wide variety of EKG Certification exams for both generalists and specialists within the field. Individuals who are just entering the profession will likely want to complete the Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) examination prior to pursuing the more specialized options. The CCT exam is designed specifically for individuals who work in the areas of ECG, stress testing, and Holter monitoring. This exam consists of 130 multiple choice questions. The cost of the exam is $160 and it requires a minimum passing score of 650.

In order to be eligible to take this certification exam, candidates must…

1. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent

2. Fulfill one of the following qualification requirements:

    • Currently enrolled in training program
    • Currently employed or previously employed in the field
    • Completed a graduate or undergraduate degree in science or physical health
    • Volunteer service of at least 2 years in the field

3. Supporting documentation of qualification fulfillment

CCI Exam Resource Links

The NHA and CCI are two of the most well-recognized providers of the EKG Certification exam. While there are a few other companies that offer certification exams, they may not be accredited and are often not considered to be legitimate credentials. Individuals who plan to pursue this career opportunity are encouraged to contact local employers directly to learn a little bit more about their unique certification expectations prior to completing any exam.