Copyright

Become a Sleep Technologist: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Learn how to become a sleep technologist. Research the education and career requirements, licensure and experience required for starting a career as a sleep technologist.

View 8 Popular Schools »

Do I Want to Be a Sleep Technologist?

Sleep technologists, often referred to as 'polysomnography technologists', perform sleep studies on patients suffering from sleeping disorders. These technologists' duties may include preparing rooms and patients for studies, monitoring patients as they sleep and recording results. Employment opportunities are available in sleep study centers and hospitals. Technologists may need to stand for long periods of time and might be required to perform heavy lifting.

Job Requirements

Individuals interested in becoming a polysomnography technologist must either earn an associate's degree or complete a polysomnography training program. Certification through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists is also required. The table below includes information from the American Association of Sleep Technologists about the requirements to become a sleep technologist.

Common Requirements
Degree Level Associate's degree
Degree Field Polysomnography technology
Certification Certification from the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists required
Key Skills Detail oriented and able to communicate with patients
Additional Skills Ability to stand for long periods of time, crouch and lift 50 pounds

Step 1: Complete a Training Program

Completing a Sleep Technology Approved Resource (STAR) Program prepares individuals for sleep technologist certification through an organized, self-study program. In addition to computer-based work, individuals complete 80 hours of lecture and clinical training. The program covers topics involving polysomnographic instrumentation and procedures, patient interaction and monitoring, sleep disorders, data analysis and reporting and equipment preparation.

Step 2: Earn an Associate's Degree

Although completing a STAR program is all that's required to work as a sleep technologist, employers might look for candidates with a college degree. An associate's degree in polysomnography combines academic coursework with a clinical component that prepare graduates to work as sleep technologists. In addition to general education requirements, students take courses in polysomnography instrumentation theory, clinical fundamentals of polysomnography, sleep disorders, therapeutic interventions and clinical patient management. Students complete the clinical portion of the program at a sleep center, where they work under the supervision of experienced sleep technologists.

Success Tip!

  • Learn how to communicate with patients. While completing the clinical portion of the program, pay close attention to how technologists instruct patients. Learn how to explain pre-test, testing and post-test procedures to ensure that patients understand laboratory protocols.

Step 3: Obtain Certification

Certification as a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist is available through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT). Applicants must pass an examination to become certified. There are four pathways to become eligible for the exam, most of which require graduation from an accredited college degree program or approved STAR program and completion of a clinical work experience. This certification is necessary, and study guides and practice exams are available from the organization.

Success Tips:

  • Begin studying well in advance. The BRPT recommends that applicants begin studying for the exam at least six months prior to their testing date. Establishing a set time each week and studying with a partner may also be beneficial.
Show me popular schools

Related to Become a Sleep Technologist: Step-by-Step Career Guide

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Sleep Awareness Week: Sleep From A to Zzzzzs

It's National Sleep Awareness week. With the impending switch to Daylight Saving Time, when most of the country loses an hour...

Eat, Study, Sleep: 10 Tips for Staying Sane As a Full-Time Student

For many students, college life means piles of stress unlike any faced before. Classes, dorms, social obligations: to say it's...

Schools for Aspiring Sleep Technicians: How to Choose

Sleep technicians, better known as polysomnographic technologists, monitor sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, insomnia and...

How to Survive Medical School

Most people have a perception of med school that includes countless hours of lectures, lab work and studying without much sleep...

Polysomnographic Technologist Certification Information

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (1 campus)
    • Florida (6)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Ohio (7)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Tennessee (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate in Medical Assisting and Administration

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Undergraduate Certificate in General Studies (Medical Assistants)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Illinois (2 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Northwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
        • Medical or Clinical Assistant
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics