Ashley Carty is a seasoned medical professional with over 8 years of experience working at the top hospitals in Southern California, including Hoag, Saddleback Memorial, and UCSD.
If you’re considering a career in the medical field, you’re likely familiar with the most common medical positions such as a nurse assistant, medical assistant, or registered nurse.
However, there are countless roles in the medical field that aren’t commonly talked about yet open doors and opportunities. One of these is a telemetry technician. Join us as we dive into the answer: What is a telemetry technician salary and how to become one.
Have you ever been to the ER and you were hooked up to a machine? No, not to take your blood pressure — a machine that monitors your heart? Does the beep, beep, beep sound ring a bell? No? What about your favorite medical drama?
Telemetry technicians are the people who sit behind monitors (often at the nurse’s station) and monitor the patient’s heart rhythms for the nurses. These positions generally watch 24 -50 patients’ hearts at a time. When they notice something abnormal, it’s their job to notify the RN.
In order to apply for this position, one must have prior medical experience in medical terminology, anatomy, and complete additional state-regulated training on telemetry. The minimum education needed to start training as a telemetry technician is a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate, although employers prefer an associate degree in a relevant health care field.
Once you have these recommended qualifications, you can enroll in an approved training course offered by the National Telemetry Association. Many hospitals will require you to be certified. After you’ve completed the training you’ll need to obtain your certification in-person or online through the NTA.
The test consists of roughly 300 questions about heart anatomy, EKG equipment, and how to interpret electrical impulses. To pass the exam, you’ll need a score of at least 85 percent to pass the test and become a certified telemetry technician.
According to Zip Recruiter, the average Telemetry Technician Salary is $32,292 per year or $16 per hour. Granted, it’s nothing to write home about. However, considering it only takes a few weeks to complete the training, it can be a great opportunity to get your food in the door to the medical field, especially in a hospital role without needing much experience or financial burden.
Granted, a telemetry technician salary won’t be enough to survive off of for many people across the country, one option to increase your salary rate is to work night shift. This commonly increases the salary up to $6 more per hour. Another way to increase your salary is to work as a per-diem telemetry technician, meaning you won’t get medical benefits. Some places will pay up to $28/hour for night-shift per-diem telemetry technicians. This role is popular for those that are going to school.
Although highly frowned upon, many technicians will bring their school books to work and study in between interpreting their rhythms every four hours. Granted, eyeballs are supposed to be on the rhythms at all times — many directors of nursing team members allow such behavior due to advancements in technology with the machines alerting when something is wrong rather than relying solely on the technician.
Have you considered working as a telemetry technician? Are you currently working in the field? We would love to hear from you about your telemetry technician salary and what state you are located in. Although Zip Recruiter has been accurate, we love hearing from our readers.
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