Electroencephalograph Technician

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Electroencephalograph (EEG) Technicians operate specialized equipment which measures and records the electrical activity of the brain as a series of irregular lines on a continuous sheet of graph paper. (EEG - Electroencephalogram - "electro" means electricity - "encepho" means of the brain - "gram" means to record - an EEG detects electrical impulses in the brain and records them on a long piece of graph paper).

The electroencephalograph tracings (brain wave records called electro-encephalograms or EEG's) are used by physicians to diagnose brain disorders, such as epilepsy; tumors; infectious diseases; and metabolic, psychiatric, and sleep disorders. EEG's are also used to assess damage and recovery after head injuries, cerebral vascular strokes, and to detect certain conditions such as learning difficulties. An EEG is used to record the end of all brain activity (death) so that a donor's vital organs (kidneys, etc.) may then be used in transplant operations.


Electroencephalograph Technicians may:

Schedule appointments

Attach electrode terminals to the switchbox of the EEG machine

Question the patient to obtain medical history to be used by the physician and/or to determine the presence of factors likely to affect the recording

Measure the patient's head with a tape measure to determine the exact location the electrodes must be placed (using specific 10-20 measuring system)

Prepare the patient's scalp and attach the electrodes (metal wires) in a specified pattern (protocol) using adhesive tape, paste, or pins

Adjust electrical control switches to measure brain waves between sets of electrodes over specific areas of the brain

Observe the patient's behavior and make notes on the tracings

Identify "artifacts" (conditions such as patient's movements, poor electrode contacts, or defective apparatus which affect the tracings)

Prepare a written report of the tracings for the physician

Make minor adjustments and repairs to equipment

EEG Technicians may record other activities, such as heart function (electrocardiograms), respiration, and eye movements.

The machines, equipment, and materials used may include:

* Ink

* Graph paper for EEG

* Tape measure

* Ohmmeter & voltmeter

* Paste or glue

* Calipers for measuring

* Marking pencil

* Oscilloscope screen & camera

* Scissors & alcohol

* Adhesive tape, gauze or cotton

* Protocol (pattern of electrode placement & recording equipment)

* Electroencephalograph machine and other medical diagnostic equipment


078.362-022  ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPH TECHNOLOGISTS operate specialized equipment which measures and records the electrical activity of the brain as a series of irregular lines on a continuous graph.

In addition to learning about these specialties, you may also find it helpful to explore the following Career Exploration scripts:


Technicians work under the supervision of a neurologist (physician who specializes in the nervous system) or a Chief EEG Technician. They usually work in hospitals, laboratories, or neurologists' offices. Work areas are quiet, clean, well lighted, and usually air-conditioned. Most of the EEG Technicians work is performed in rooms separated from heavy hospital traffic. Some Technicians may work in surgical or medical units at the patient's bedside.

EEG Technicians generally work a 40-hour week, with little overtime or Saturday work. They may be on call for emergencies during evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Technicians usually wear white uniforms and shoes. They may have to furnish and/or launder their own uniforms.

EEG Technicians may belong to one or more associations such as the American Society of Electro-Neurodiagnostic Technologists and the EEG & Clinical Neuroscience Society (ECNS) . Association members must pay membership fees.

You Should Prefer:

·          Helping people by direct contact

·          Performing scientific and technical activities

You Should Be Able To:

·          Assume responsibility and work with little supervision

·          Gain the cooperation of patients and ease their fears

·          Coordinate eyes and hands to adjust machine controls

·          Make notations on moving graph paper

·          Work within precise limits or standards of accuracy

·          Follow and give instructions

·          Use logical step-by-step procedures to complete tasks

·          Work under pressure during emergencies

Math Problem You Should Be Able to Solve:

If a patient's heart beats 16 times every 15 seconds, what is their heart rate for a minute?

Reading Example You Should Be Able to Read and Comprehend:

A stroke is a form of cerebrovascular disease that affects the blood supply to the brain.

Writing Example You Should Be Able to Produce:

You should be able to write a report explaining the results of your tests to the physician.

Thinking Skill You Should Be Able to Demonstrate:

You should be able to decide the best way to hook up an EEG machine to a given patient that has special needs.

EEG Technicians who have a year of training and a year of laboratory experience, and who successfully complete oral and written examinations are designated "Registered EEG Technologist" by the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic Technologists . The EEG & Clinical Neuroscience Society (ECNS) also registers EEG Technicians (Technologists). Although registration is not required, it may help in professional advancement.


NOTE: On-The-Job Training provided by the employer or a High School Diploma or Equivalent or a High School Diploma with specific Vocational Education Classes or a Certificate (program of up to one years of study beyond high school) or an Associate Degree (two years of study beyond high school) may qualify a person for this occupation.

The following education and preparation opportunities are helpful in preparing for occupations in the Career Exploration script:




There are no Vocational Education Programs related to this Career Exploration script.

Students should obtain the local Education & Training Opportunities  for information on what happens to students who successfully complete a program. This information is available at each high school or career/technical center.  



Programs in Electrodiagnostic Technology provide opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills needed to use diagnostic equipment such as electro-cardiograph and ultrasound scanning machines.

Courses vary with the type of equipment but may include:

The Circulatory System

Medical Terminology

Cardiac Anatomy & Physiology

Clinical Experience

Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology

Registry Seminar

Pathological Imaging

Machine Operations

Diagnostic Sonography

Medical Law & Ethics

Search for a College and/or Instructional Program


There are no Apprenticeships related to this Career Exploration script. 


Please check the Military web site at  http://www.todaysmilitary.com


Military health care includes medical treatment for heart, lung, and brain disorders. Doctors need sophisticated tests to help diagnose and treat these problems. Cardiopulmonary and EEG (electro-encephalograph) technicians administer a variety of diagnostic tests of the heart, lungs, blood, and brain. They operate complex electronic testing equipment.

What They Do

Cardiopulmonary and EEG technicians in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

·          Take patients' blood pressure readings

·          Attach electrodes or microphones to patients' bodies

·          Help doctors revive heart attack victims

·          Adjust settings and operate test equipment

·          Watch dials, graphs, and screens during tests

·          Talk to physicians to learn what tests or treatments are needed

·          Keep records of test results and discuss them with medical staff

·          Operate electrocardiographs, electroencephalographs, and other test equipment

Helpful Attributes

Helpful school subjects include algebra, chemistry, biology, or related courses. Helpful attributes include:

·          Interest in electronic equipment

·          Ability to follow strict standards and procedures

·          Interest in learning how the heart, lungs, and blood work together

·          Ability to keep accurate records

Work Environment

Cardiopulmonary and EEG technicians usually work in hospitals and clinics. In combat situations, they may work in mobile field hospitals.

Physical Demands

Normal color vision is required for some specialties in order to set up and monitor equipment

Training Provided

Job training consists of 26 to 30 weeks of classroom instruction. Course content typically includes:

·          Diagnostic procedures

·          Operation and maintenance of diagnostic equipment

·          Preparation of patients for testing

·          Methods of resuscitation

Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses.

Civilian Counterparts

Civilian cardiopulmonary and EEG technicians work in hospitals, clinics, and doctors' offices. Their duties are similar to those performed in the military. They may specialize in either, cardiovascular (heart), pulmonary (lungs), or electroencephalographic (brain) testing.


New technicians are needed each year due to personnel changes and field demands. After job training, new technicians are assigned to hospitals and clinics, where they work under the supervision of physicians and senior technicians. With experience, they may supervise others and assist in managing clinics.

E-Learning Courses and Programs


Individuals may explore this field by working as a volunteer nurse's aide or orderly in a local hospital or nursing home. Individuals may receive training in military service also. Completion of first aid courses with local organizations may prove helpful. Practical experience may also be gained through a postsecondary program in electro-diagnostic technology.

School-to-Work opportunities include:

informal apprenticeships


job shadowing experiences

touring a local Electroencephalograph Technician employer


volunteer work with a Electroencephalograph Technician employer

community service work with an agency

Most Electroencephalograph Technicians find positions by applying directly to employers, such as hospitals. Assistance in locating a job may be obtained from high school and college placement offices or Michigan Works! local offices. In addition, you should access and search the Internet's on-line employment services sites such as:



Michigan Jobs & Career Portal

Michigan Talent Bank


Indeed | one search. all jobs.




Medzilla.com - Doctors & Nurses


You should also enter an electronic resume on these on-line services.


Salaries of EEG Technicians vary with the Technician's training and experience, and the size, type, and location of the place of employment.

Nationally, the annual salaries of EEG Technicians who were employed by hospitals and related institutions in early 2009 were between $34,800 and $45,500, with the average of $40,700. The median yearly earnings of  "all" workers in the U.S. were $37,544 in 2008.

EEG Technicians, Grades 4-9, employed by the Federal government had salaries ranging from $24,156 to $53,234 per year in 2009. The salaries of these Federal government workers may be higher in some urban areas.

In Michigan, EEG Technicians employed in hospitals and related institutions averaged $43,160 yearly in late 2008, with most earning between $37,315 and $52,000.

Most EEG Technicians receive paid vacations and holidays; life, accident, disability, and hospitalization insurance; retirement plans; and sick pay. Some employers may also provide tuition assistance or free training, uniforms, and parking. These benefits are usually paid for, at least in part, by the employer.

With additional training and experience, EEG Technicians may become laboratory supervisors, medical research assistants, or work with highly specialized surgical teams. They may also develop skills in monitoring a variety of medical diagnostic tests which could lead to positions with more responsibility or higher salaries.  


Nationally, the number of registered EEG Technicians is over 4,300. Employment of EEG Technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2016 because of the increased use of electroencephalograms in diagnosis and surgery and for monitoring patients with brain disorders. However, recent health care cost containment regulations might have a negative impact on employment.

The number of registered EEG Technicians in Michigan is approximately 140. Because of advances in medical technology, EEG equipment has become increasingly complex and requires more highly trained EEG Technicians. Employment opportunities are more favorable for registered EEG Technicians.  



American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic

American Hospital Association


One North Franklin

6501 E. Commerce Ave. Suite 120

Chicago, IL 60606-3421

Kansas City, MO 64120

(312) 422-3000

(816) 931-1120




American Board of Registration


of Electroencephalographic and

Michigan Jobs & Career Portal

Evoked Potential Technologists


2509 West Iles Ave,    Suite 102


Springfield, IL 62704


(217) 726-7980




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