Invasive Cardiovascular Technician: Salary, Requirements & Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an invasive cardiovascular technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and credentialing to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

An invasive cardiovascular technician, also called a cardiology technologist, is a medical assistance professional who helps physicians in hospitals with invasive catheterization procedures into a patient's heart. They also help prepare and monitor patients for different types of heart surgery. Invasive cardiovascular techs are required to complete a formal training program in cardiovascular technology; most of these programs can be completed in two years.

Required Education Associate's degree program in cardiovascular technology; a few bachelor's degrees in the field are available
Other Requirements Credentialing required by most employers; examinations available through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI); professional experience may be required
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) 30% for cardiovascular technologists and technicians*
Median Salary (2013) $53,210 for cardiovascular technologists and technicians*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Info for Cardiovascular Technicians

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for a cardiovascular technician or technologist in May 2013 was $53,210 (www.bls.gov). This varied significantly by the state and type of medical facility in which they worked.

Training and Credential Requirements

It is common for a would-be cardiology technologist to complete a two-year associate's degree program in cardiovascular technology. There are now a few four-year programs available, with a focus on both core education and specialized instruction, but they are less common. Applicants should look for programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals (www.caahep.org).

Most employers also require the technician to have professional credentials to prove competency. Both the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) offer credentialing exams.

Through the CCI, becoming a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) requires some combination of an associate's or higher degree and six months to two years professional experience (www.cci-online.org). The ARDMS has similar requirements for becoming a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS), a more general credential (www.ardms.org).

Career Information

The majority of all cardiovascular technicians work in hospitals, according to the BLS, but they can also find work in medical labs, physicians' offices or outpatient care centers. The work environment is stressful, as some cardiovascular patients face life-threatening conditions.

Job outlook is excellent; according to the BLS the employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians is expected to grow 30% between 2012 and 2022, much faster than average for all professions combined. This demand comes from the aging population and the prevalence of heart disease. Technicians trained to perform many procedures and with multiple credentials will have the best job prospects.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    • New Jersey (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Texas (3)

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  • School locations:
    • Alabama (3 campuses)
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (1)
    • Florida (6)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Kansas (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Missouri (1)
    • Ohio (7)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Tennessee (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
        • Master in Medical Assisting and Administration

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Undergraduate Certificate in General Studies (Medical Assistants)

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Cardiovascular Technologies
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
        • Cardiovascular Technologies
        • EMT and Paramedic
        • Medical Radiologic Therapist
        • Respiratory Care Therapy
        • Surgical Technologies
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics