EEG Technician Education, Certification & Pay

Sometimes, this complex and vital organ doesn’t work as it should. If a patient exhibits neurological symptoms such as seizures, convulsions, fainting, or loss of consciousness, a physician might order an electroencephalogram (EEG).

This non-invasive test records the brain’s electrical activity using small, flat metal electrodes attached to the scalp that detect the electrical signals generated by the brain’s neurons and transmit them to a machine that amplifies and records the signals as patterns of waves. These wave patterns can help diagnose neurological conditions such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, migraines, brain injuries, and brain tumors. EEG tests are painless, typically last between 30 minutes, and must be administered by trained EEG technicians. 

To become an EEG technician, aspiring professionals can complete on-the-job training or an education program. Certification as an EEG technician is voluntary and can be earned after gaining work experience or completing an education program. Currently, there are no state licensing requirements for EEG technicians. 

Job prospects for EEG technicians are good. According to O*Net (2023), neurodiagnostic technician jobs are expected to be, on average, compared to other jobs, with an estimated four to seven percent growth from 2021 to 2031.

To gain further insight into a career as an EEG technician, continue reading this comprehensive guide with education admission requirements, typical job duties, and certification options.

Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Specializations & Degree Types

EEG technicians can start their careers with on-the-job training or one of several degree options. One of the most common education options is to complete an associate’s degree in neurodiagnostic technology, which typically takes around two years to complete and includes coursework in neuroanatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and electrophysiology. Accredited programs will also include hands-on training in EEG testing and other neurodiagnostic procedures.

In addition to an associate’s degree, some professionals may earn bachelor’s degree programs in neurodiagnostic technology. These programs usually require four years of study and provide more advanced instruction in neurodiagnostic techniques, medical ethics, and research methods. A bachelor’s degree can open up opportunities for leadership roles in EEG departments or advanced positions in related fields such as neuroscience or clinical research.

Specialization options for EEG technicians include Long-Term Monitoring (LTM), Intraoperative Monitoring (IOM), Evoked Potentials (EP), Polysomnography (PSG), and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS). These specializations require additional training and certification beyond the primary EEG Technician education and can provide higher salaries and career advancement opportunities.

Admissions Requirements for Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Programs

The admission requirements for EEG technician programs will vary based on the level of certificate or degree pursued. Typical requirements for a certificate program will include a high school diploma or equivalent and a minimum GPA. 

Associate-level programs may require prior healthcare experience or prerequisite anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology courses. Some associate’s degrees for EEG technicians will require applicants to complete their general education coursework before enrolling. Bachelor’s degree programs will often require that applicants already be certified. Most programs require students to undergo a criminal background check and provide immunization records. 

Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Program Accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are the primary organizations that accredit EEG education programs in the United States. These organizations ensure that EEG programs meet or exceed established standards for quality and rigor. It is advantageous for students to ensure that the program they enroll in is accredited, as this can streamline certification and may be required by employers.

On-Campus Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Degree Programs

Concorde Career Colleges

Concorde Career College offers an accredited associate degree program in Neurodiagnostic Technology that equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to perform hands-on testing using monitoring technologies. The program teaches students to conduct brain and nervous system studies, place electrodes, and measure brain responses. This specialized program is available at three locations: San Bernardino, CA, Memphis, TN, and Grand Prairie, TX. 

This program emphasizes the importance of patient care and communication. Students are trained to work closely with patients during testing, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience. They will learn to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations and develop expertise in various areas, including video recording equipment and monitoring technologies, testing brain/nervous system functions, electrode placement, patient monitoring, and measurement of brain response. 

With small class sizes and expert faculty, students receive personalized attention and guidance throughout the program. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for national certification exams. 

  • Location:  San Bernardino, CA, Memphis, TN and Grand Prairie, TX
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $ 37,884 total 

Gateway Community College 

The electroneurodiagnostic technology program at Gateway Community College is ideal for those who aspire to become registered electroneurodiagnostic (END) technologists. This associate’s degree program prepares students to evaluate and record electrical patterns in the central, autonomic, and peripheral nervous systems to diagnose and treat various medical conditions. Students will learn how to perform electroencephalograms (EEGs), evoked potentials (EPs), and nerve conduction velocity studies (NCVs) in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. 

The program’s experienced faculty focuses on the theory and use of END instruments and factors that affect testing outcomes and reporting. Upon completing the program, students can sit for the American Board of Registered Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists (ABRET) examination to become registered END techs. In total, this program takes two years to complete and requires students to earn between 62 and 83 credits. 

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $6,839 to $10,750 total

Orange Coast College

At Orange Coast College, students can earn a neurodiagnostic technology associate’s in science degree. This program provides students with theoretical and clinical experience in EEG and Evoked Potential testing. Graduates are prepared for the ABRET exam in EEG (R. EEG T.). Through the program, students will gain entry-level skills and knowledge of the nervous system, brain rhythms, and hands-on lab practice with specialized instrumentation. All students are required to complete two clinical experience courses.

Required courses include neurological testing procedures such as Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS), Long-term Monitoring (LTM) for epilepsy, Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IONM), and Transcranial Doppler (TCD) studies. In total, students must earn between 74.5 and 79.5 credits over 22 months to earn this degree. Applicants must have already completed all their general education requirements to be considered for admission. 

  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA
  • Duration: 22 months 
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $361 per credit 

Kirkwood Community College

Kirkwood Community College’s associate of applied science in electroneurodiagnostic technology degree is a two-year program during which students explore the intricacies of the brain’s internal functions. Through this program, students will learn how to record complex electrical brain activity using EEG and assist medical professionals in diagnosing various conditions, including sleep disorders, headaches, and strokes.

This program cooperates with the renowned Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. It is one of the first programs in the United States and all technical coursework is done through the hospital. Graduates will leave the program equipped with highly sought-after skills to pursue career opportunities in hospitals, outpatient clinics, or sleep centers.

  • Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $281 per credit 

Lincoln Land Community College

Lincoln Land Community College students can earn an associate’s of applied science or a certificate of achievement in neurodiagnostic technology. The associate’s degree takes 21 months, while the certificate can be completed in only 12 months.  This program boasts nearly 100 percent job placement for graduates and a 100 percent pass rate on the ABRET R. EEG T. exam for students who choose to take it. 

The certificate and the associate’s degree require students to complete $640 hours of clinical experience.  During these clinicals, students will learn to conduct tests and studies such as electroencephalography, polysomnography, nerve conduction studies, and intraoperative monitoring. These programs have a set course sequence that must be taken in order and in their entirety to be eligible for the degree or certificate. 

  • Location: Springfield, IL
  • Duration: 12 to 21 months
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $274 per credit

Online or Hybrid Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Degree Programs

University of Holy Cross

Certified EEG technologists who want to advance their education can complete a bachelor of science in Health Sciences at the University of Holy Cross.  This degree is designed for working professionals and can be completed entirely online. Applicants to this program must have already completed their clinical training and earned a professional credential. Students will receive 28 college credits for their R. EEG T. certification and any other transfer credits from a certificate or associate’s. 

This program requires 120 credits, of which 53 are general education core classes. Required coursework includes human anatomy and physiology, neuroscience, pathophysiology, theology, and health care ethics. A bachelor’s degree can help technologists move into management positions, conduct research, or even attend graduate school.

  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Duration: Two to four years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $585 per credit 

Kellogg Community College 

Kellogg Community College offers a comprehensive associate’s in applied science degree program designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills for a neurodiagnostic technology career. 

This program is offered through a partnership with other Michigan community colleges in the Educational Programs in Collaboration (EPiC) Consortium. It allows students to access EEG courses online, delivered by one of several partner colleges while providing clinical education courses arranged through the EPiC Consortium. This arrangement also ensures that students gain theoretical and practical learning experiences in neurodiagnostic technology, preparing them to become competent and effective neurodiagnostic technologists.

The required curriculum covers various topics, including anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, EEG instrumentation, EEG recording techniques, and abnormal EEG patterns. The program utilizes modern EEG equipment, giving students hands-on experience in data acquisition, analysis, and interpretation. Graduates of the program work in hospitals, clinics, research facilities, and private practices, performing EEG tests on patients of all ages. 

  • Location: Battle Creek, MI
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $321.25 per credit 

Labouré College of Healthcare

Students can complete a neurodiagnostic technology certificate at Labouré College of Healthcare. This 12-month program provides students with the knowledge and skills to monitor the electrical activity of patients’ brains, spinal cords, and peripheral nervous systems. Students can complete their theory courses online and receive hands-on clinical training at a hospital near their homes. Upon completing the program, graduates can take the ABRET national EEG credentialing examination to earn an R.EEG.T credential.

The program covers various specialized procedures such as EEG, LTM, EP, PSG, and NCS, used to diagnose and treat neurological problems like seizures, sleep disorders, and tumors. Through this program, students will gain experience from clinical partner facilities, complete courses in a specific order, and learn to perform specialized procedures in addition to more routine ones.

  • Location: Milton, MA
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $475 per credit 

Carnegie Institute

Carnegie Institute in Michigan offers a 12-month electroneurodiagnostic technologist (EEG) program that follows a hybrid learning approach, combining online lectures and practical application classes. With small class sizes and experienced faculty members, students receive personalized instruction to develop their competence and skills in EEG concepts, measurements, marking, electrode selection, and application. Candidates for this program must have prior allied health training, college credits in medical terminology, math, and science, and recent clinical work experience.

Courses will cover a comprehensive understanding of non-invasive technical procedures that assess brain electrical patterns to determine abnormalities indicative of central nervous system disorders. Students learn to recognize basic EEG waveforms and progress to explore disorders of the central nervous system that cause abnormal EEG patterns, such as seizures, neurologic disorders, brain tumors, and congenital abnormalities. 

  • Location: Troy, MI
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $16,356 total

Institute of Health Sciences

The Institute of Health Sciences offers a distance learning certificate program in electroneurodiagnostic technology (EEG) through their Neurodiagnostic Department (NDT). This program trains professionals to study and record the electrical activity of the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems using sophisticated electronic testing equipment. Students can complete their studies through innovative online/distance education, providing exceptional educational opportunities for adult students interested in this career. 

Graduates will be able to work collaboratively with physicians, researchers, and other healthcare professionals to provide vital information for evaluating and diagnosing brain disorders such as epilepsy, stroke, coma, degenerative disorders, and neurological trauma. 

Students will gain theoretical knowledge and clinical experience in EEG, EP, and PSG testing procedures. The program aims to produce competent END technologists with the necessary skills to perform various diagnostic procedures. The program is one year long, with courses offered over four quarters. It combines online and practical learning, where students receive instruction through web-based software and one-on-one clinical training. Clinical experience is performed at pre-approved sites, with students required to work at least 15 hours per week.

  • Location: Hunt Valley, MD
  • Duration: Four quarters
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Tuition: $14,400 per academic year

How Long Does it Take to Become an Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician?

Depending on the level of education pursued, it can take anywhere from one to four years post-high school to complete the education required to become an EEG technician.

How To Become an Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician – Step-by-Step Guide

Step One: Graduate from High School or Earn a GED (Four Years)

Since a  high school diploma or equivalent is typically required to enroll in a neurodiagnostic technician program, this is the first step for aspiring EEG technicians. Most higher education institutions have this as a certificate or degree program prerequisite. High school graduates have a solid foundation in math, science, and communication skills necessary for success in this field.

Step Two: Complete an Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Bachelor’s Program (One to Four Years)

Completing a neurodiagnostic technician training program provides the knowledge, skills, and competency required to perform EEG tests effectively. These programs teach students various diagnostic procedures and offer theoretical knowledge and practical experience in different testing methods. 

Step Three: Earn an Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Certification (Timeline Varies, Optional)

Earning an EEG technician certification is voluntary but beneficial because it demonstrates to employers and patients that the technician has met specific standards in the field of neurodiagnostics. Certification can offer career advancement opportunities as well as higher wages. Many employers require applicants to be certified. More details can be found in the certification and licensure section below.

What Do Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technicians Do?

EEG technicians work in various settings, including hospitals, private clinics, sleep study centers, research institutions, outpatient diagnostic centers, pediatric facilities, mobile EEG services, educational institutions, rehabilitation centers, and government agencies. Job duties will vary based on place of employment but typically will include: 

  • Preparing patients for EEG procedures by explaining the process and addressing any concerns
  • Applying electrodes to patients’ scalps according to standardized protocols
  • Operating and maintaining EEG equipment to ensure accurate data collection
  • Monitoring patients during EEG procedures, observing for any abnormalities or changes in brain activity
  • Recording and annotating EEG data, including any unusual findings, for further analysis by medical professionals
  • Collaborating with neurologists and other healthcare professionals to discuss test results and develop treatment plans
  • Maintaining patient records, ensuring confidentiality and compliance with relevant regulations
  • Performing routine maintenance and calibration of EEG equipment to ensure optimal performance
  • Staying current with advancements in neurodiagnostic technology and techniques through continuing education and professional development
  • Assisting in training and mentoring new EEG technicians, sharing knowledge and best practices

Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Certifications & Licensure

Currently, there are no state licensing requirements to become an EEG technician. However, rules can change anytime, so aspiring EEG technicians should consult with their local health licensing board to ensure they have the qualifications to carry out their job duties. 

The primary organizations responsible for EEG technician certification are the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Technologists (AAET) and the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). The AAET provides a single certification, Registered Nerve Conduction Study Technologist (R.NCS.T.), whereas ABRET offers a range of six distinct certifications covering diverse skill sets.

To be eligible for the AAET R.NCS.T. examination, candidates must fulfill the requirements of one of two pathways:

  • Possess one year of experience with evidence of 100 patient interactions or have one year of experience and complete 30 AAET continuing education units (CEUs).
  • Finish a neurodiagnostic technology (NDT) program accredited by CAAHEP, with proof of 100 patient encounters or complete an NDT CAAHEP-accredited program and finish 30 AAET CEUs.

Along with meeting the educational or experiential prerequisites, applicants must submit an AAET Attestation Statement confirming that they do not conduct invasive (i.e., needle) examinations and that a physician completes the interpretations. If local or state regulations permit neurodiagnostic technicians to perform invasive procedures, candidates must provide a copy of an overriding certificate allowing invasive exams and interpretation.

To apply for the examination, candidates must fill out an application, pay a $625 application fee, and submit a copy of their Basic Life Support (BLS) certification card for Healthcare Providers issued by the American Heart Association.

Each of the six certifications available from ABRET at varying levels of responsibilities and job responsibilities. Each has different eligibility requirements. To be eligible for a Registered Electroencephalogram Technologist (R. EEG T.) certification, candidates must meet one of four pathways:

  • Obtain a degree from an NDT CAAHEP-accredited program, complete 50 EEGs, and possess a valid CPR or BLS certification
  • Finish an ABRET-approved certificate program, complete 100 EEGs, and hold a current CPR or BLS certification
  • Earn an associate’s degree or hold a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) certification, have one year of clinical EEG experience, provide documentation of 150 EEGs, obtain 30 EEG Neurodiagnostic Society (ASET) credits, and maintain a current CPR or BLS certification
  • Accumulate four years of clinical EEG experience, present documentation of 150 EEGs, acquire 60 EEG Neurodiagnostic Society (ASET) credits, and have an up-to-date CPR or BLS certification

For ABRET’s Registered Evoked Potential Technologist (R. EP T.), there are two routes to qualify for this examination:

  • Finish a CAAHEP-accredited NDT program and possess a valid CPR or BLS certification
  • Hold an associate’s degree or an ABRET EEG certification (R. EEG T.), have two years of clinical neurodiagnostic experience, provide documentation of 25 clinical EP studies, complete 30 hours of EP/neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring (NIOM) continuing education, and maintain a current CPR or BLS certification

Four pathways exist to qualify for ABRET’s Certification In Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring (CNIM) certification. They are:

  • Finish a CAAHEP-accredited program, provide documentation of 100 NIOM cases, and possess a valid CPR or BLS certification
  • Hold an R. EEG T. or R. EP T. certification, present documentation of 150 NIOM cases, and maintain a current CPR or BLS certification
  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree, have documentation of 150 NIOM cases, complete 30 hours of intraoperative monitoring (IOM) education, and hold a valid CPR or BLS certification
  • Complete an ABRET-approved certificate program, provide documentation of 150 NIOM cases, and possess a current CPR or BLS certification.

To qualify for ABRET’s Certified Long Term Monitoring Technologists (CLTM) certification, candidates must fulfill all the criteria below:

  • Accumulate one year of experience as an R. EEG T.
  • Gain one year of long-term monitoring (LTM) experience after obtaining the EEG certification
  • Provide documentation of 50 LTM cases
  • Hold a valid CPR or BLS certification

To be eligible for this ABRET Certification Examination For Autonomic Professionals (CAP), candidates must fulfill the requirements of one of the two pathways listed below:

  • Possess an associate’s degree, have one year of clinical autonomic testing experience, provide documentation of 20 autonomic cases, present a record of autonomics-related education completed within the last three years, and maintain a current CPR or BLS certification
  • Accumulate two years of clinical autonomic testing experience, submit documentation of 40 autonomic cases, provide a list of autonomics-related education completed in the past three years, and hold a valid CPR or BLS certification

ABRETS’s Certificate For Magnetoencephalography (CMEG) candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold an R. EEG T. or R. EP T. certification
  • Complete six months of supervised work experience in the field
  • Provide documentation of either 25 evoked cases or 50 spontaneous cases, covering three or more modalities
  • Finish the MEG certificate program
  • Possess a valid CPR or BLS certification

How Much Do Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technicians Make?

EEG technicians work in a very specialized field. They are classified as “health technologists and technicians” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2022). The average wage for this career is $50,790 per year. The percentiles for wages are:

  • 10th percentile: $32,140
  • 25th percentile: $36,850
  • 50th  percentile (median): $44,990
  • 75th percentile: $59,210
  • 90th percentile: $76,760

Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technician Career Alternatives

Here are some alternatives to a career as an EEG technician: 

Become a Dosimetrist

Dosimetrists plan and calculate the radiation dose for cancer treatment, using computer software to create treatment plans and collaborating with other medical professionals to optimize them. They primarily work in oncology departments and ensure treatments are tailored to each patient and delivered safely and effectively. 

  • Typical Education: Bachelor’s 
  • Licensing or Certifying Organization: Medical Dosimetry Certification Board (MDCB)

Become a Vascular Technologist

Vascular technologists perform diagnostic tests to assess blood flow and circulation in the body’s blood vessels. They typically work in hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic imaging centers and use specialized ultrasound equipment to obtain images of blood vessels and identify any abnormalities or blockages. They work alongside physicians to help diagnose and treat conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, peripheral artery disease, and aneurysms. 

  • Typical Education: Certification, associate’s, or bachelor’s
  • Licensing or Certifying Organization:  American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), and the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)

Become an EKG or Cardiographic Technician

EKG or cardiographic technicians specialize in performing electrocardiogram (EKG) tests to diagnose and monitor a wide range of cardiovascular conditions. They work in hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic imaging centers to help people with heart concerns. These technicians prepare patients for EKG testing by carefully attaching electrodes to the patient’s chest, arms, and legs. 

They also operate the EKG machine to record the heart’s electrical activity and can quickly recognize abnormal EKG patterns. Besides providing EKG testing, they may also conduct other related cardiac diagnostic tests, such as stress testing and Holter monitoring. 

  • Typical Education: Certificate or associate’s 
  • Licensing or Certifying Organization: American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography(ARDMS), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), National Healthcareer Association (NHA), and National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP)
Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson

Writer

At HealthcareDegree.com, Kimmy Gustafson has delivered in-depth and insightful articles since 2019, aiding prospective students to navigate the complexities of choosing the right healthcare degree. Her recent work includes topics such as the ethics of gene editing and physician assistant’s fight for autonomy.

Kimmy has been a freelance writer for more than a decade, writing hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics such as startups, nonprofits, healthcare, kiteboarding, the outdoors, and higher education. She is passionate about seeing the world and has traveled to over 27 countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. When not working, she can be found outdoors, parenting, kiteboarding, or cooking.