Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Technology Certificate: Program Overview

Learn about academic programs in non-invasive cardiovascular technology. Research the availability and types of programs, their coursework and skills training, as well as the potential careers available to graduates of such programs.

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Essential Information

Certificate programs in non-invasive cardiovascular technology aren't common. Students may earn an Associate of Applied Science in Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Technology, the degree level most commonly required by employers. Students in these associate's programs learn to locate abnormalities in patients using specific tests, as well as how to use all non-invasive cardio technology equipment. Most programs include a combination of didactic coursework and hands-on clinical experiences. Graduates are prepared for professional certification.

Admission Prerequisites

Schools may require students to submit proof that they have liability and medical insurance. Individuals may also have to provide proof of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Proof of immunizations may be required, and students may have to undergo a tuberculosis (TB) test. Some schools may require a drug test and physical exam. These requirements may have to be met before entering the clinical portion of a program and not at the start of a program.

Course Topics

Programs are generally divided into classroom and clinical portions. Classroom work typically takes place in the first year with the second year of a program being devoted to the clinical studies. Classroom work covers the scientific and medical background needed for this field. In the clinical portion, students learn how to perform the job duties of a technician. Topics covered in a program may include these:

  • Anatomy
  • Cardiovascular physiology
  • Abnormal cardiac conditions
  • Non-invasive equipment and procedures
  • Medical terminology

Popular Career Options

Programs prepare students to work in non-invasive cardiovascular testing positions. These positions may be found in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, medical centers, and doctor offices. Job titles may include:

  • Non-invasive cardiovascular technician
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) technician
  • Cardiac sonographer

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, most EKG technicians earn between $20,700 and $40,068 a year, while the majority of cardiac sonographers earn between $41,051 and $79,059 annually, as of January. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) indicated that the employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists is projected to increase by about 30% between 2012 and 2022, a rate faster than the average predicted for all occupations.

Continuing Education Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers typically require professional certification (www.bls.gov). Certification may be obtained from the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (ARDMS).

Individuals may advance from technicians to technologists through experience and additional education, according to the BLS. Individuals may also need to seek additional certification for advancement. Education may come in the form of earning a bachelor's degree in the field or through employer-based training programs.

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