Woman Sleeping(94808)

          Sometimes in life there is a need or desire to change careers.  This could be due to jobs being eliminated in a particular field, being burnout in your current job or just the desire to do something different.  While there are some people that can go back to school for two to four years to get another degree, some people don’t have that luxury.  They need a career field that the education requirement is a year or less.  In this series I will highlight several careers with a short education requirement (1 year or less), but a good salary.  The first quick career change is becoming a Polysomnographer.

            Have you ever known someone with a sleeping disorder?  Do you know how these types of disorders are discovered?  This is the job of a Polysomnographer.  Under the orders of a physician the technician performs overnight sleep studies to determine what if any sleeping disorder a person is suffering from.  They focus on finding out the type of disorder and how severely the disorder is impacting the patient. 

            Some of their duties include:  Assessing patients, measuring the electrical activity of a patient's brain waves to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.  They monitor vitals such as eye movements, breathing variables, muscle activity, and blood oxygen levels as well as recording their sleep scores.

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected increase in employment. This rate of employment is projected to be higher than the national average. Here are some interesting facts about Polysomnographers:

1.      Salary:  According to salary.com the average salary for a Polysomnographer is $48,018/year.

2.      Educational  Requirements:  Since the field is relatively new and rapidly growing, training is varied and may be "on-the-job training", and/or attending some level of formal training program. Training programs may last days, weeks or years. The amount, type of previous experience, and/or formal training required will vary. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has developed an 80-hour program entitled the American Academy of Sleep Technology Education Program (A-Step).   NOTE:  This is a requirement to become certified.  You may also gain knowledge with on-the-job training.

3.      Levels of Polysomnographic Technologist-


        A.     Polysomongraphic Technician Trainee-This person works directly under the     supervision of a physician while attaining their skills.

        B.     Polysomnographic Technician-Conducts the sleep studies and other associated test to diagnose sleep disorders.

        C.    Registered Polysomnographic Technologist,(RPSGT)-Has the skills and experience to pass the national exam and become certified.  This allows the person to also take on supervisory roles in addition to their normal duties.


4.      Work Hours-Usually limited to 3 nights per week for 10-12 hours.

           If you would like more information on this interesting career, go to http://www.aastweb.org/  which is the professional society of sleep technicians.  They can give you vital insight on this somewhat newly emerging field.