Electroneurodiagnostic Technology Careers: Salary & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a career in electroneurodiagnostic technology? Get real job descriptions and career and education requirements to see if a career in electroneurodiagnostic technology is right for you.
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Pros and Cons

According to the American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists (ASET), the electroencephalogram (EEG) was discovered in 1929 and soon after confirmed to be an effective, noninvasive neurodiagnostic procedure. Since the EEG is now the most commonly performed diagnostic procedure in their repertoire, electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologists are often known as EEG technologists. This career generally requires only a 2-year associate's degree, and END technologists can expect strong job prospects in the coming years; however accredited electroneurodiagnostic technology programs are rare, and some positions require state licensure. Additionally, the job can be physically demanding, and hours can be long and may include evenings and weekends.

Below is a table that illustrates some of the characteristics of a career as an electroneurodiagnostic technologist:

Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist
Career Overview END technologists analyze, monitor and record brain and nervous system activity.
Education Requirements Associate's degree
Program Length Two years full-time
Certification and Licensing State license required for some specialties; voluntary certification is available
Experience Required None; entry level
Job Outlook for 2010-2020 Faster-than-average growth of 23.2% (projection for all miscellaneous health technologists and technicians)*
Mean Annual Salary (2011) $41,830 (salary for all miscellaneous health technologists and technicians)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist

Electroneurodiagnostic technologists may use a number of different methods and techniques to monitor, record and analyze activity emanating from the brain, spinal column and nerves in the surrounding areas. END technologists deal with patients who suffer from a variety of traumas or disabilities including encephalitis, strokes, epilepsy, traumatic head injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. They are trained to tell the difference between normal and abnormal electrical activity. The results of their efforts are used to help doctors diagnose a patient's condition in order to prescribe appropriate treatments.

Requirements

You generally must hold an associate's degree in neurodiagnostic technology to practice as an END technologist. The ASET recommends that you choose a program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP); however, there are only 22 such programs available in the nation as of 2012. In a neurodiagnostic technology program, you'll learn about various procedures, like auditory, visual and somatosensory evoked potentials, EEGs, nerve conduction studies, polysomnography, long-term EEG monitoring and intraopertive monitoring.

Electroneurodiagnostic technologists who conduct specialized procedures may be required to be licensed; for instance, some states require you to be licensed to perform procedures in polysomnography and nerve conduction studies. Additionally, the ASET anticipates that, in the near future, licensure requirements will be enacted in most states for all or most other END specializations.

Below are examples of what employers were looking for in electroneurodiagnostic technologists in December 2012:

  • A New Jersey healthcare system wanted to hire a full-time neurodiagnostic/EEG technologist. Candidates were to hold a CAAHEP-accredited bachelor's degree in neurodiagnostics. Candidates were to have accumulated at least two years of qualifying work experience and were to be certified in EEG or evoked potentials.
  • A hospital in California sought a full-time neurodiagnostic technician with an associate's degree in neurodiagnostics, biomedical technology or general science. They were also to have accumulated three years of experience as an EEG technologist or a combination of education and experience in neurodiagnostics technology.
  • A career college specializing in healthcare training wanted to hire a neurodiagnostic technologist to act as program director for its corresponding education program. Candidates were to hold an associate's degree and be registered EEG technologists. Candidates were also expected to have four years of qualifying work experience in an EEG-related field. Prior teaching experience was preferred.

Standing Out

Though registration wasn't required in all specialties as of 2012, ASET recommends that you become registered in anticipation of future licensure requirements. Registration can also serve as testimony to your commitment to the profession, and you may distinguish yourself from the competition by becoming registered or certified. Organizations such as the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET) and the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Technologists (AAET) offer credentials for these professionals. Additionally, academic certificate courses are available for individuals who already hold an associate's degree or higher in neurodiagnostic technology.

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