The telemetry technician career path has become a popular employment option for an unlicensed allied health provider over the past several years as demand for cardiac care has increased and technology has become more important in the diagnostic and treatment process. Individuals who work in this capacity within the cardiovascular department are responsible for monitoring the electrical activity of the heart from a remote observation unit. Although some people employed in the specialty are hired for the sole purpose of working in the telemetry unit, the responsibility for monitoring patients is typically shared by many different members of the cardiac care team including technicians, nurses, and physicians. Because the prevalence of heart disease has been increasing in the United States, the use of telemetry has been adopted in most medical facilities and the number of technicians that are being hired is growing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cardiovascular technologist salary in May 2014, was around $55,000 with the lowest 10 percent earning approximately $28,000 per year and the upper 10 percent taking home about $85,000 per year. With such as wide range of compensation packages, it can be difficult to formulate an accurate idea of how much an individual can expect to earn without first considering several different variables. Three elements that could have a tremendous impact on ones ability to secure competitive compensation include education, credentials, and experience. Although a technician is usually not required to have a four year college degree in order to be considered for open positions, those who have finished a couple of years of college coursework may be able to benefit from hiring preference and could end up earning more in the long run.
While education can help strengthen the resume of a technician, those who have previous experience in patient care as an entry-level generalist such as a nurses aide or medical assistant are often preferred because they typically have a list of positive references who can attest to the applicants knowledge and reliability. Individuals who are just starting out in the healthcare sector may be able to find work in the cardiovascular specialty without prior patient care experience, but they should not expect to earn the same amount as a more experienced coworker. Over time, as a technician acquires more knowledge and skill, they will usually be offered some sort of raise. Also, most employers will require new technicians to complete a training and certification program before delivering direct care to the patient population.
A career as a telemetry technician can be a great way to earn a competitive living without dealing with a bunch of complex regulatory and employment requirements. As demand for cardiac care continues to rise, it is reasonable to assume that advancement opportunities available to unlicensed personnel will expand. While the profession remains relatively unregulated, many people believe that credentials will be essential in the future as insurance agencies become stricter about how they reimburse facilities for services rendered. For this reason, those who are thinking about pursuing the specialty and who want to be in the best position possible to benefit from broader employment options and higher compensation are encouraged to voluntarily pursue credentials while the profession is still unsaturated. This strategy will help ensure ones position in the department and will allow experienced individuals to keep pace with rapidly changing standards in the industry.
For those who want to maximize the size of the telemetry technician salary and who live in a rural or an sparsely populated region of the country may want to consider moving to an urban or metropolitan location where there are more employers competing against each other to attract top talent. Although the living expenses in these areas are usually higher, the ability to advance quicker can more than offset the costs. Also, those who have an interest in leadership might want to consider accepting a managerial promotion if it is offered. These types of opportunities are not for everyone, but can be a great way to make more if the individual has an affinity for leadership and is well-liked within the organization.