Start Your Career as an Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist
If you’re thinking about a career in allied health – and have always found the human brain fascinating – why not consider becoming a neurodiagnostic technologist (NDT)? Whether you know it as an NDT or END technologist, this career is at the forefront of exciting new medical discoveries.
NDTs administer a variety of advanced neurological tests (like electroencephalograms) to gain a better understanding of the brain and nervous system. Their work helps physicians search for clues related to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, migraines, head trauma, sleep disturbances, and more.
With a quick path to the workplace, excellent pay, high demand for trained workers, and a flexible working environment, there are so many reasons to look at a career as a neurodiagnostic technologist!
1. You Can Start Working Sooner Than You Think
There are a few pathways to become an electroneurodiagnostic technologist. One of your options is to obtain an associate degree. This is a less popular (and costlier) option since it takes upwards of two years.
Another common option is to join an END tech certificate program. Most students choose to pursue a technical certificate as it’s more affordable and takes less time than an associate degree. In fact, you can complete a neurodiagnostic tech program in less than 2 years!
For prospective students who have full-time jobs or families, many allied health training programs offer day and evening course opportunities. While evening programs might take a little longer to complete, schedule flexibility lets many students focus far better on their studies.
Internship & Hands-on Experience
In addition to classroom-based training, accredited electroneurodiagnostic technologist programs require students to complete clinical internships. With the help of professional mentors, these real world settings provide practical, hands-on experience.
Not only does this prepare students for their future careers, but it also dramatically increases their chances of being hired immediately after they receive their certification.
While many students in other healthcare fields are completing their general education requirements, NDTs can start their careers.
2. Earn a Great Entry-Level Salary
While neurodiagnostic technology salaries can range from $15-30 per hour, the average tech can expect to earn an average salary of $41,000. In 2016, it was reported that the highest average wages for neurodiagnostic techs were found in Alaska, New Mexico, and South Dakota. It’s great to remember that neurodiagnostic pay varies by location, as well as experience, extra certification, and working environment.
Many allied health careers require long years of schooling (plus exorbitant student loans) and have the same starting salary. It’s not a secret as to why a career in the neurodiagnostic sector is a strong choice.
3. The Job Market for EEG Techs is Strong
Like most allied health careers, the job outlook for ENDs is extremely strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that, as Baby Boomers age, the demand for professionals in this field will increase even more dramatically.
Many END technologist programs offer the ability to specialize in high-demand fields like sleep testing, intraoperative neuromonitoring, and EEG testing. Techs can also learn how to administer EPs (Evoked Potentials), EMGs (Electromyography), NCSs (Nerve Conduction Studies), and IONMs (Intra Operative Neurophysiologic Monitoring). Neurodiagnostic techs who have these specializations can expect better hiring rates and salaries.
4. Work with Patients and Technology Each Day
As a neurodiagnostic technologist, you’re responsible for the handling and proper use of sophisticated equipment. Physicians will rely on you to understand which techniques are most appropriate for specific procedures.
You may work with epileptic patients, children, the elderly, and those who may be nervous about procedures. The best techs are excellent at calming patients and explaining what needs to be done. Some technologists in this field may also be involved during surgical procedures.
5. Find a Flexible Work Environment
You can find END technologists in a variety of locations like hospitals, universities, and independent lab services. Sleep study technicians may find work alongside researchers in laboratories.
However, just because you find a career in one location doesn’t mean you’ll be in one place all day. NDTs might work next to the patient’s bedside (especially during brainwave monitoring for epilepsy), in a neurology clinic, or in the operating room alongside surgical teams. Whatever your personal work preferences, you’ll be able to find a job which suits your needs.
Take the First Step Towards Your NDT Career Today
If you’re in the New Jersey area – and are interested in this career path – be sure to check out our neurodiagnostic tech program!