How to Become an EKG Technician in California

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Becoming an EKG Technician in California requires a Certified EKG Technician (CET) certificate.

EKG techs play a crucial role in any clinical setting, as they help assist doctors with cardiovascular diagnostic testing.

To become an EKG technician, you will need to meet specific requirements.

Below, we’ll introduce you to everything you need to know to become EKG certified in the state of California.

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

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Licensing Requirements to Become

To attend any training program, you must first meet specific criteria before applying.

Like any higher education, EKG training requires applicants to hold a high school diploma or GED, be 18 years of age, and have a clean background check.

Other programs may require testing, such as a negative hepatitis test, negative TB test, and immunization records, since students will be working in a clinical setting.

In addition to that, applicants need to attend an accredited EKG training program.

The course can vary depending on whether it’s a certificate or an associate-level program.

The associate-level program isn’t required, but it goes more in-depth than the certificate program.

On average, students can expect to spend anywhere between 60 and 80 hours on the certificate program and around 12 months or more.

After completing the coursework with a successful grade, students will earn certification.

If the course does not include CET certification, students must apply to take the exam at an accredited institution.

5 EKG Technician Schools in California

College of Professional and Continuing EducationCollege of Professional and Continuing Education

The College of Professional and Continuing Education is in Long Beach, CA, on the CSULB Main Campus.

They provide a 50-hour hybrid program that prepares students to become a certified EKG technician.

The course will enable students to take the National Workforce Career Association (NWCA), National Healthcareer Association (NHA), or EKG Technician Certification (CET) exams.

To attend, students must register by the last day of the enrollment date posted on their program site.

Attendance costs $1,399, with all supplies being provided to the student. All classes will be held on Zoom.

The course covers a wide variety of subjects including:

  • Roles of the EKG technician
  • Functions of the EKG department
  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy
  • Electrical Condition System of the heart and cardiac cycle
  • 12-Lead EKG
  • EKG strip analysis
  • Review of sinus
  • Troubleshooting

Pasadena City CollegePasadena City College

Pasadena City College in Pasadena, CA, offers an in-person certificate program.

The program length is one semester or approximately 5–6 weeks.

Applicants will need to apply by the application deadlines, which change each semester. 

The cost of attendance is $847, which includes a handful of fees.

Many of the fees include lab fees, vaccines, and testing.

The cost also covers uniforms, shoes, name badges, and patches.

There is also a background check, CPR card, textbooks, and parking. 

The Downey Adult School Career and Education CenterThe Downey Adult School Career and Education Center

The Downey Adult School Career and Education Center is located in Downey, CA, and provides in-person training for EKG.

The program is designed to prepare students for the National Competency Testing Exam (NCCT) or the National Health Career Association (NHA) exam. 

Currently, the course costs $999, though costs may vary.

There may also be additional fees when you apply.

The program includes book and administrative fees already.

Students will need to complete a total of 50 course hours before they can sit for the NHA exam.

The course covers a wide variety of subjects including:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Rhythm Interpretation
  • Stress Testing
  • Holter Monitoring
  • Electrocardiography
  • Medical Terminology
  • Medical Ethics and Legal Aspects
  • Hands-on Skills Training
  • Theory and Skills Training

California State University – Sans MarcosCalifornia State University - Sans Marcos

The California State University in Sans Marcos provides online training for anyone looking to become an EKG tech.

The EKG program is a self-paced course designed to prepare students for the NHA and CET exams. 

The course is currently offered for $2,095 but is generally $2,490.

Students struggling to pay out of pocket can use Affirm.

Affirm will allow them to make monthly payments as low as $102.

Of course, this estimate varies depending on a few factors.

The course must be completed within 12 months and includes 170 course hours.

Students will learn cardiac anatomy and physiology concepts, proper machine protocols, and electrocardiography interpretation.

Lastly, students will also learn communication methods within a clinical setting.

Fresno City CollegeFresno City College

Fresno City College is in Fresno, CA, and provides EKG training.

The program is designed to prepare professionals for clinical settings.

In addition, students will learn everything they need to know to pass the NHA exam.

The course is 60 hours and costs $895.

Students will have to attend in person on the campus.

Class times vary depending on when students are attending classes. 

School Name Address
College of Professional and Continuing Education 6300 E State University Dr Long Beach, CA, US 90815, United States
Pasadena City College 1570 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106, United States
The Downey Adult School Career and Education Center 12340 Woodruff Ave, Downey, CA 90241, United States
California State University - Sans Marcos 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA 92096, United States
Fresno City College 1101 E University Ave, Fresno, CA 93741, United States


The average EKG Technician salary in the United States is $42,00, with the low-end making $33,530 and the high-end making $55,500.

The low-end makes $36,975, while the high makes $61,2377.

The median, which most tend to make, is $47,100.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles $48,100
San Diego $46,200
San Jose $53,700
San Francisco $53,500
Long Beach $47,800
Fresno $42,900
Sacramento $46,400
Oakland $52,200
Santa Ana $47,800
Anaheim $47,900

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get an EKG certification in California?

Earning EKG certification in California requires that you complete a 60-hour course.

The course should include a final exam to help prepare you for the CET test.

How hard is the EKG certification test in California?

Getting EKG certification in California is not difficult if you prepare for the test.

You can pass the EKG exam easily if you pass the coursework and practice during clinical training.

However, students struggle if they don’t take the class in person.

A good way to supplement this is to find a hybrid or in-person class rather than a fully online one.

How much do EKG technicians make per hour in California?

Currently, EKG techs make an average hourly pay of $21.30 in California.

Of course, this pay changes depending on where you live in the state.

Metropolitan areas will have higher pay compared to rural areas.

EKG Technician Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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