EKG Tech Training, Certification and Salary in California

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Many people would like to work in the medical field but don’t want to spend many years getting the right education.

Choosing to become an EKG tech in California means you can start your healthcare-related career rather quickly.

Read on if you’re curious to learn more!

Search EKG Technician Programs

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

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EKG Tech Job Description and Duties in California

One of the first things you’ll learn about this occupation is the tasks you’ll have to complete daily.

These are the tasks EKG technicians usually have to complete:

  • Evaluating patients
  • Explaining procedures
  • Verifying patients identity
  • Performing EKG
  • Point of care testing
  • Preparing test results for the doctor
  • Maintaining the area and equipment
  • Updating patient records

Through these tasks and procedures, an EKG tech helps physicians realize what is wrong with the patient, and find the best treatment.

EKG Tech Job Requirements in California

California doesn’t have formal regulations related to the requirements related to the training and certification of EKG techs.

As such, you can just apply for a position, though the employer is not likely to hire you without experience or certification.

Here are the most common requirements coming from employers when seeking future EKG techs:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be healthy
  • Be detail-oriented
  • Have good communication skills
  • Have an EKG technician certification
  • Be legally allowed to work in the US
  • A clean criminal record

EKG Technician Education in California

If you want to become a certified EKG tech, you need to undergo some training first.

The courses can be found both at schools or training centers, and online.

California also doesn’t have any regulations at the state level regarding enrollment into these programs.

As far as the schools go, it’s common to be asked for:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Over the age of 18
  • A clean background check (no felonies)
  • Negative hepatitis test
  • Negative TB test
  • Immunization records

At some of the institutions offering such programs is possible to enroll even if you’re under 18.

You will need parental permission though.

Training through a dedicated program is the best way to learn how to best perform your EKG tech duties.

These programs last for up to 4 months.

Your EKG curriculum will include these subjects:

  • Heart anatomy
  • Medical disease processes
  • Medical terminology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Echocardiography
  • Ethics
  • Anatomy of the chest wall for proper lead placement
  • Pacemakers

Keep in mind that some of these theory classes also have practice counterparts, that will take place in a clinical setting.

Next table shows which schools in California offer EKG training courses.

Top 19 Schools in California

School NameAddress
Altamont Healthcare2027 West March Ln, Suite 3 Stockton, CA 95207
Altamont Healthcare5000 California Ave, Suite 209 Bakersfield, CA 93309
BAMA Institute530 Bush St. Suite 301 San Francisco, CA 94108
BAMA Institute31 N. 2nd St. Suite 250 San Jose, CA 95113
Best American Healthcare University6700 Indiana Avenue Suite 255, Riverside, CA. 92506
Best American Healthcare University777 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Ste 200. Palm Springs. 92262
Best American Healthcare University337 N Vineyard Avenue, 4th Floor, Ontario, CA. 91764
Cal State East Bay25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, SF 102 Hayward, CA 94542
California Community Colleges1102 Q Street, 6th Floor Sacramento, CA 95811
California Medical College7851 Mission Center Court Suite #326 San Diego, CA 92108
California Medical Training Center10200 Sepulveda Blvd #160, Mission Hills, CA 91345
California State University6300 E. State University Dr. Suite 104 Long Beach, California 90815
Contra Costa Medical Career College4041 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, CA 94531
Critical Care Training Center6426 Bellingham Ave North Hollywood, CA 91606
De Anza College21250 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014
Fresno City College1101 East University Ave Fresno, CA 93741
Oroville Adult Education2750 Mitchell Avenue Oroville, CA 95966
Regan Career institute11350 VALLEY BLVD. EL MONTE, CA 91731
San Francisco State University1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132

Training through an apprenticeship is another possibility for a future EKG technician.

EKG Technician Certification in California

Once you complete your training, you’re ready for the certification exam.

You can choose one from the several available:

  • ASPT – Electrocardiograph (EKG) Technician exam
  • NHA Certified EKG Technician exam
  • ASET

For this, you need to contact a proctoring testing center near you to see which exam they have.

Most of these tests have national recognition if you pass them.

These documents might be needed to take the test:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Official school transcripts of certificate of completion
  • Payment of some fees
  • Proof of identity
  • Completing 10 EKGs

If you enrolled in an apprenticeship, you’ll need to accumulate at least 1 year of experience to take the exam.

The apprenticeship will replace the papers issued by the school, but not the other documents.

The certification of an EKG technician has to be renewed periodically.

The time between renewals varies on the agency issuing the diploma.

This is what you’ll need to renew your certificate:

  • A renewal application form
  • A renewal fee
  • Proof you continued your education

EKG Technician Employment and Salary in California

Once you have your certificate, you can start applying for an EKG position.

These facilities can be your starting point:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Physician’s offices
  • Various other healthcare facilities

As far as your salary goes, it will be determined by your experience, diplomas, the city you live in, as well as the number of shifts you work.

For a clearer idea of numbers related to the salary, have a look at the table below.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of EKG Technicians in California

City NameSalary
Los Angeles$44,400
San Diego$42,400
San Jose$49,300
San Francisco$49,100
Long Beach$43,800
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in California

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA90$80,060$38.49$107,430$43,910
Fresno, CA110$79,150$38.05$121,250$46,080
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA1,960$81,920$39.39$131,910$46,300
Modesto, CA70$85,350$41.04$167,940$47,920
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA40$102,080$49.08$129,850$48,820
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA470$72,500$34.86$112,470$39,760
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA310$95,870$46.09$136,860$51,130
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA510$79,500$38.22$131,460$45,750
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA480$96,130$46.22$159,460$58,970
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA250$97,810$47.02$156,570$59,340
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA60$71,780$34.51$107,060$44,980
Santa Rosa, CA40$91,910$44.19$128,770$47,760
Stockton-Lodi, CA30$75,140$36.13$123,440$42,620
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA40$96,120$46.21$150,320$48,700
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, OCC Code 29-2031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information for EKG Technicians in California

The exam offered by the American Society of EKG Technicians offers the most benefits, as we’ll explain here.

ASET has a very attractive package for $150 that helps you pass their exam.

It includes:

  • Full study guide
  • Unlimited practice exams,
  • 3 final certification exam attempts
  • A professional resume revision

One of the best features of this offer is that you can complete the steps online.

Certified EKG Instructor (CEI)

Some of you might want to become teachers.

With 5 years of experience as an EKG technician, you’ll qualify to become a Certified EKG Instructor (CEI).

You must also meet these criteria:

  • The right to work in the USA
  • A clean criminal record

As a CEI, you can teach in a training center or open your own school.

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