Electroencephalogram Technician Careers: Job Description & Salary

About this article
Get the truth about an electroencephalogram (EEG) technician's salary, training requirements and career prospects. Read the job description and see the pros and cons of becoming an EEG technician.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of an Electroencephalogram Technician Career

EEG technicians use diagnostic equipment to help physicians treat patients with neurological illnesses. You may be interested in this career for the short educational requirements and the high demand for qualified professionals, but the work could be challenging and entry-level positions commonly offer below-average salaries. Read the pros and cons of becoming an EEG technician to see if it's the right career for you.

Pros of an Electroencephalogram Technician Career
The job requires specialized skills that are in high demand**
Education requirements are minimal (certificate, diploma or associate degree program is sufficient)**
You get to help people by diagnosing serious but treatable neurological diseases*
Variety of job tasks (applying electrodes, operating instruments, monitoring patients, writing reports, etc.)**

CONS of an Electroencephalogram Technician Career
Job tasks can be challenging (assisting in surgery, long monitoring times, etc.)*
You may be asked to handle medical emergencies during monitoring, such as a patient having a seizure**
The profession can require working weekends and holidays, especially if employed by a hospital**

Sources: * The American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, Inc. (ASET), ** The Florida Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Network.

Job Description and Career Information

EEG technicians operate the machines that produce electroencephalograms, which serve as records of a patient's brain wave patterns and electrical activity. Physicians use these records in diagnosing a variety of brain illnesses, such as epilepsy, as well as assessing the damage caused by brain trauma and stroke. Technicians work closely with patients in attaching the electrodes and keeping the patient calm during a procedure, which may take up to 90 minutes to complete. They are often asked to schedule the appointment and take the patient's medical history prior to the day of the procedure.

EEG technicians may be asked to monitor brain activity during important operations. Though you would usually work a 40-hour week, this may still entail working on the weekend and on holidays. You may be asked to perform long-term monitoring of any neurological activity of a patient over extended periods of time, such as in sleep studies, requiring extra work time.

Career Outlook and Salary Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for health technologists and technicians, all other (a broad category that includes EEG technicians), was $41,420 in May 2014. Job growth was projected to be 24% from 2012-2022 (much faster than average). According to Payscale.com, the average hourly wage for EEG technicians was $16 as of June 2015, which translates to about $39,000 annually. Hourly wages ranged from $11.75 to $24.65.

What Do Employers Look For?

If you are interested in becoming an EEG technician, you will want to pursue a program in electroneurodiagnostic (END) technology. In order to become registered through the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET), you must complete a program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). While some CAAHEP-accredited certificate and diploma programs are available, 2-year associate degree programs are far more common in this field.

Besides how to produce an EEG, students in a program can learn about other procedures that involve the observation and recording of neurological activity. These include long-term monitoring, intraoperative neuromonitoring, evoked potential, polysomnography and nerve conduction studies. Important interpersonal skills for the job usually include communication and the ability to work independently. Some previous training life support skills may be needed as well.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Employers typically look for someone who has graduated from an educational program and who has work experience. Some may require registration or relevant certification. Below are examples of actual job listings from February 2012.

  • A New Jersey health system is looking for an EEG technician to do laboratory recordings for both adult and child patients. The position would include working with physicians and other co-workers daily, providing critical care and storing data. Between one and two years of experience is required; strong communications skills and adequate data entry skills are preferred. ABRET registration is preferred.
  • A hospital in California is looking for an EEG technician to take detailed medical histories, take care of equipment, keep records, keep supervisors informed of any problems with the equipment and provide surgical monitoring. The completion of an educational or training program, along with with 1-3 years of experience, is preferred. Basic life support training from the American Heart Association is also preferred.
  • A Florida hospital wants an EEG technician willing to work nights. The applicant should have excellent communication and customer service skills, as well as the necessary knowledge needed to operate the equipment. The ability to work independently is also preferred, along with at least one year of experience and training from an EEG school program.

What Can I Do to Stand Out In My Field?

Voluntary registration through the ABRET can help you demonstrate your competency in the field to potential employers, and could be preferred in some cases. Additionally, membership with the American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists (ASET) could offer you access to educational tools, which could advance your knowledge in the field.

Alternate Career Paths

If you're unsure about the career path of an EEG technician, but you still want to earn above-average wages in a medical setting after completing only a minimal amount of education, you have other options. In addition to remaining similar to the EEG technician career path in both salary and education, each of the following professions is expected to see an above-average growth in employment in the near future.

Radiologic Technologists and Technicians

These professionals use medical imaging equipment, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and x-ray machines to diagnose medical problems in patients. As reported by the BLS, radiologic technologists and technicians earned a median salary of about $55,000, as of May, 2011. Job growth was predicted to be 28% from 2010-2020. An associate degree program is the most common form of training to enter this field.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

These professionals use techniques like echocardiograms and ultrasounds to diagnose problems in the abdomens, brains, breasts and muscles of patients. The BLS predicted a 44% job growth for this profession from 2010-2020, and the median salary for this career was about $65,000 as of May 2011. An associate degree or bachelor's degree can qualify you for such a position.

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

Cardiovascular technologists can use invasive and noninvasive methods to monitor and diagnose a patient's heart. Technicians work with technologists, and may have the opportunity to specialize in use of electrocardiogram (EKG) technology. In 2011, these professionals earned a median annual salary of about $51,000, and they were expected to see a 29% growth in employment from 2010-2020, according to the BLS. Associate degrees are common among these professionals, though bachelor's degrees are also available.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS in Nursing
      • Master of Healthcare Admin
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Health Science
      • Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN (RN License Required)
      • Bachelor: Healthcare Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    Master's
      • MBA: Health Systems Management
      • MS in Health Care Administration
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
      • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science
      • BS in Health Care Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    4. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
      • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
      • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
      • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
  • Campus and Online Programs
    5. College of Health Care Professions

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Limited Medical Radiologic Technologist-Certificate
      • Medical Assistant-Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Public Safety Leadership
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Project Management
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Medical Assisting Services
    Certificate
      • Diploma: Medical Assisting
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Health Care Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Abilene Christian University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Healthcare Administration
      • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    9. University of the Southwest

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA Healthcare Administration
  • Campus and Online Programs
    10. South College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
      • BS Health Science w/Con Diagnostic Medical Sonography
      • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Pre-Physical Therapy
      • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Pre-Physician Assistant
      • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
      • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Radiography
    Associate's
      • AS Diagnostic Medical Sonography
      • Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
      • Associate of Science in Medical Assisting
      • Associate of Science in Health Science
      • Associate of Science in Health Science - Pre-Nursing
      • Associate of Science in Health Science - Pre-Pharmacy
    Certificate
      • Certificate in Medical Assisting
      • CERT Medical Assisting
      • CERT Computed Tomography
      • CERT Nuclear Medicine
      • Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Featured Schools

Purdue University Global

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Healthcare Admin
  • Bachelor: Health Science
  • Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN (RN License Required)

Which subject are you interested in?

Regent University

  • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Healthcare Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
  • MBA: Health Systems Management
  • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care

What is your highest level of education?

The George Washington University

  • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
  • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences

What is your highest level of education?

College of Health Care Professions

  • Limited Medical Radiologic Technologist-Certificate
  • Medical Assistant-Certificate

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Public Safety Leadership
  • Associate of Science - Medical Assisting Services
  • Diploma: Medical Assisting

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • MS - Organizational Leadership: Health Care Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Abilene Christian University

  • MBA - Healthcare Administration
  • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Administration

What is your highest level of education completed?