EEG Tech Education Requirements and Job Duties

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an electroencephalogram (EEG) technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training programs, job duties and professional certification options to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

EEG technicians take readings of the brain or central nervous system, which neurologists analyze to discern neurological conditions or perform neuropsychological research. EEG technicians operate and maintain EEG machines. They may talk with patients to obtain a medical history, apply electrodes to the patients' bodies, use proper techniques to obtain accurate readings and report the results. Most EEG technicians work in hospitals, according to PayScale.com

EEG technicians may need just a high school education, CPR certification and on-the-job training, but many employers prefer someone who has completed a certificate or associate's degree program in this area. These programs call for courses in anatomy, physiology, communications and medical terminology. Associate's degree students may complete internships. Techs with associate's degrees can test for professional certification, which is not required for employment, but may boost their job and salary prospects.

Required Education High school diploma or GED certificate with on-the-job training, but most employers prefer a certificate or associate degree in EEG or END technology
Other Requirements Voluntary registration through American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists
Prospective Job Outlook (2012-2022)** 22% or higher for all other health technologists and technicians
Median Salary (September 2014)* $37,312

Sources: *PayScale.com, **O*Net Online.

Education Requirements for EEG Techs

The minimum requirements to become an entry-level EEG technician are cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and a high school diploma or GED. Training sometimes is received on the job or through in-house training programs. However, many employers seek prospective EEG techs with a certificate or associate degree in EEG or electroneurodiagnostic (END) technology from a technical or community college.

Program Details

EEG and END programs introduce students to human anatomy, physiology, neurophysiology, medical terminology and CPR. Students typically receive advanced training in EEG instruments, testing and reporting outcomes, as well as studying communications to strengthen their skills in patient interaction. Associate degree programs generally include an internship or clinical experience.

Licensing and Certification Requirements

There are no licensure requirements for EEG technicians; however, they can become voluntarily registered through the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). Applicants must complete an exam and hold an associate degree from an accredited program.

Job Duties

EEG technicians prepare, operate and maintain electroencephalograph machines. They obtain medical histories of patients' neurological disorders, such as epilepsy or sleep disorders, and they apply electrodes to patients' heads, chests, arms, legs or spinal columns, depending on the EEG procedure.

When conducting an EEG, techs must display an understanding of and adherence to lab policies and procedures. They must be able to correct for electrical and mechanical interference, in addition to reading and distinguishing particular kinds of brainwave patterns.

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