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Cardio Technician Job Duties and Education Requirements

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

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Essential Information

Cardio technicians, also known as cardiovascular technicians, are health professionals who help doctors diagnose and assess ailments related to the human heart and blood vessels. The 2-year training programs for cardio techs are offered through vocational schools and community colleges accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals. Certification is not mandatory, but may afford certified technicians better job opportunities.

Required Education Associate's degree in cardiovascular technology; bachelor's degrees in the field are also available
Certification Voluntary through Cardiovascular Credentialing International
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

Cardio Technician Job Duties

Some of the tasks associated with a career as a cardio technician include taking patients' heart rates, organizing medical files and performing diagnostic tests. Cardio technicians might also be required to possess knowledge and experience in electrocardiography, or EKGs. On occasion, physicians have patients perform stress tests by running on a treadmill while being monitored by a cardio technician. For the most part, individuals in this profession work standard 40-hour work weeks.

Cardio technicians are often responsible for transporting patients between tests and consultations with physicians. While performing some diagnostic testing, cardio technicians must protect themselves and patients from overexposure to potentially harmful radiation. Cardio technicians can assist with cardiac catheterization for patients needing invasive heart-related treatment, such as an angioplasty. A cardio technician must also accurately document a patient's medical history.

Education Requirements

Most individuals employed as cardio technicians complete 2-year training programs available through community colleges and vocational schools. Cardio technicians with associate's degrees study courses related to medicine, health technology and physiology. Bachelor's degrees in cardiovascular technology are also available at a limited number of colleges and universities. Students enrolled in these programs concentrate on classes in small office management, patient care and cardiovascular technology. Training programs for cardio technicians are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals (CAAHEP).

Licensing and Certification

Professional practice as a cardio technician doesn't require licensure from a regulatory agency. Some cardiovascular technicians elect to earn a certificate from an independent organization, such as Cardiovascular Credentialing International. Even for voluntary certification, individuals must complete a training program accredited by CAAHEP.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics