Telemetry Nursing

Categories: salary

ekg technician and telemetry technician salary data in the united states

Who Are Telemetry Technicians & What Do They Do?

Telemetry technicians are responsible for monitoring the heart activity of a patient. The human heart exhibits rhythms in the form of electrical patterns. It is the job of telemetry technicians to monitor these electrical patterns to identify possible problems or diseases so that the patient’s physician can develop an appropriate care plan.

In addition to monitoring a patient’s heart rhythms, telemetry technicians may also be required to apply EKG leads. EKG leads are connected directly to a patient’s body, which feed into an EKG machine. The EKG machine displays the patient’s heart rhythms on a monitor. This is why sometimes telemetry technicians are also referred to as monitoring technicians, or EKG technicians.

So Who Are EKG Technicians?

In the past, physicians were the only ones who performed EKGs on patients during the early days of EKG machines. As the technology became more advanced and ubiquitous, the operation of EKG machines was delegated to nurses and other hospital staff. The delegation of this task created a new, specialized role called an EKG technician.

EKG technicians were first only responsible for applying EKG leads and operating EKG machines. Over time, however, the role of EKG technicians evolved to much more than just operational tasks and into interpreting cardiac rhythms. Teaching this skill to EKG technicians greatly increased the value that they could provide to patients, and the healthcare system overall, as they could proactively take action if an abnormal EKG reading appeared on the monitor.


This is when the roles of Telemetry Technicians and EKG Technicians fused, and is also the reason why the titles for each role are often interchanged.

What is the Hourly or Yearly Salary of a Telemetry Technician or EKG Technician?

EKG technicians’ or telemetry technicians’ salary can vary greatly depending on the following factors:

  • Workplace setting – Will you be working in a hospital, outpatient care, clinic, or physician’s office?
  • Department – Do you plan on working in a critical care environment such as an emergency room?
  • Geographical location – What city or state do you plan on working in?
  • Experience level – Are you a new EKG/Telemetry Tech or do you have a lot of experience?

We’ve compiled a list of salary averages, broken down by hourly and yearly rates, from a variety of websites, listed below:

EKG Technician & Telemetry Technician Pay Per Hour

SourceAverage Hourly RateBottom 10%First Quartile (25%)Median (50%)Top 25%Top 10%
Payscale$10.84 to $19.27$11.10$12.25$13.89$16.17$19.27
Indeed$13.25 to $18.36$7.25$15.90$16.37$22.50$32.30$15.10 to $18.25$13.10$15.34$16.05$18.27$20.35

EKG Technician & Telemetry Technician Yearly Salary

SourceAverage Hourly RateBottom 10%First Quartile (25%)Median (50%)Top 25%Top 10%
Payscale$24,375 to $48,454$24,124$26,375$35,447$40,190$48,750
Indeed$25,440 to $25,251$13,920$15.90$31,430$43,200$62,016$28.992 to $35,040$25,152$29,452$30,816$35,078$39,072

Where are the Best Places to Become a Telemetry Technician or EKG Technician?

As previously mentioned, your geographical location has a big influence on how much you will get paid in terms of hourly or annual pay. Based on our findings, we have identified the following states and metropolitan areas as the best places to start your career as a telemetry technician or EKG technician:

  • California – The average salary of a cardiac monitor technician (aka telemetry tech or EKG tech) is $20 to $21 per hour. The highest paying cities include Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, with hourly pay reaching as much as $22 per hour. These numbers are roughly 22% above the national average.
  • Pennsylvania – The average hourly pay of a telemetry technician or EKG technician in Pennsylvania is $23.49 per hour, a whopping 43% above the national average. In Pittsburgh alone, telemetry technicians have reported average annual salaries of $41,870 per year.
  • West Virginia – The median salary of a telemetry technician in West Virginia is reported to be $45,040 per year, which is 46% above the national average.

If you are a certified telemetry technician or are thinking about becoming one, and you don’t currently live in California, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia, you might want to consider packing your bags!

How Do I Get Started on Becoming a Telemetry Technician or EKG Technician?

In order to become a telemetry technician (or a cardiac monitor tech or EKG tech), the best place to start is with becoming certified in reading patient cardiac rhythms. This is where our online certification program at the National Telemetry Association can help you jumpstart your career.

The National Telemetry Association offers a nationally and internationally recognized telemetry certification course that is 100% online. Students have the option to take the exam only, or purchase additional study materials at a marginal cost. These study materials include practice exams, PowerPoint presentations, and even instructional videos.

Once a student passes the national exam, the student will then receive a unique certification number along with a patch and embossed certificate.

Furthermore, upon passing, you can begin to apply to a variety of clinical settings to get your career started as a cardiac monitor technician, telemetry technician, or EKG technician, which are all basically the same thing.

Hint: move to California, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia!

If you’re ready to get your career started in telemetry and EKG reading, visit our main website at to learn more about our offerings.


Test Your Telemetry Knowledge

Download 10 free sample questions straight from the official National Telemetry Association practice exam to get a head start on your certification prep!

Test Your Telemetry Knowledge

Download 10 free sample questions straight from the official National Telemetry Association practice exam to get a head start on your certification prep!