A doctor might order a basic electrocardiogram, or EKG, as part of a routine physical exam or to check the patient's heart function before surgery. EKGs can also involve a technique called Holter monitoring, in which the patient wears a portable EKG monitor, and stress testing, in which the patient walks on a treadmill while hooked up to a monitor. Salaries for EKG technicians in North Carolina vary with location.
Median salaries of EKG technicians in some representative North Carolina cities range from just less than $29,000 per year to just more than $31,000 per year as of March 2011, according to Salary.com. The median annual salary in Fayetteville is $28,765, in Asheville $29,021, in Goldsboro $29,046, in Wilmington $29,818, in Greensboro $30,702, in Durham $31,738 and in Charlotte $31,768. The Charlotte median salary is most similar to the nationwide median salary for EKG techs of $32,011 per year.
The middle 50 percent of EKG technicians in this grouping of cities earns $25,223 to $36,541 per year. The bottom 10 percent have salaries of less than $22,000, and the top 10 percent earn at least $40,888 per year. Nationwide, the bottom 10 percent of EKG technicians make $24,480 per year and less, the middle 50 percent $28,069 to $36,821, and the top 10 percent more than $41,200. The North Carolina range is significantly lower at the lower end, but very similar at the higher end because of EKG technician salaries in some of the bigger cities.
Job listings at Indeed.com in 2011 show a need for EKG technicians in North Carolina to work in a variety of shifts, including days, nights and 12-hour schedules. Posted pay rates range from $11.95 to $16.25 per hour, translating to $24,856 to $33,800 per year for those who work full-time.
Jobs for technicians who conduct only basic EKGs are declining, as health care facilities add basic EKG monitoring to the duties of nursing assistants and other health care support staff, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau anticipates that techs skilled in Holter monitoring and stress testing will have better employment opportunities. This is reflected in the Indeed.com listings. Many North Carolina employers look for techs who can do Holter monitoring and stress testing, for nursing assistants who can do basic EKG monitoring, and for applicants who can double as an EKG tech and phlebotomist, receptionist or unit secretary.