Cardiovascular Technologist Education Requirements and Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a cardiovascular technologist. Get a quick view of the requirements, including degree programs and job duties, to find out if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Cardiovascular technologists are assistants to physicians, and they aid in the diagnosis and treatment of heart and blood vessel issues. These technicians generally have an associate's degree or higher, along with professional credentials and clinical experience. Cardiovascular technologists may specialize in such areas as invasive, noninvasive and vascular cardiology.

Required EducationAssociate's degree
Certification Preferred by employers, sometimes required
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*30%
Average Salary (2013)*$53,990

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Cardiovascular Technologist Education Requirements

Associate's degree programs in cardiovascular technology are the most common type of educational program in the field. These programs engage students in didactic and lab components in addition to clinical experiences and hospital internships. Students learn theoretical concepts related to cardiac health conditions as well as procedures for operating echocardiography equipment, performing diagnostic scans and assisting with treatment. After completing introductory coursework in general sciences and cardiovascular technology, most programs require students to take advanced coursework, focused in either invasive or non-invasive cardiovascular technology.

Though less common, four-year bachelor's degree programs in the field are becoming more readily available. In these programs, the first two years are dedicated to basic science and general education courses, followed by two years of study in advanced health science, an invasive or non-invasive specialty and an extended internship.

Certification

After completing their formal training, new cardiovascular technologists often pursue certification. Although certification isn't mandatory in this field, employers may require it - or at least prefer it - since some procedures must be done by a certified tech to qualify for insurance coverage. Gaining certification typically requires that candidates graduate from an accredited training program and complete an examination.

Career Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most cardiovascular technologists were employed in general public and private hospitals in 2013 (www.bls.gov). Other popular places of employment included private cardiology offices, medical laboratories and outpatient care centers.

The BLS predicted that from 2012-2022, as the aging population grew and technology allowed for earlier detection of heart disease, employment opportunities for cardiovascular technologists would increase at the high rate of 30 percent. In May of 2013, the BLS also reported that cardiovascular technologists and technicians earned a mean annual salary of $53,990.

Job Duties

The administrative duties of cardiovascular technologists include reviewing doctor and patient documentation, scheduling appointments and monitoring patients' heart rates. They must also be able to look after and operate equipment, explain test procedures to patients and identify medical issues in their test findings.

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians specialize in a variety of areas, which include invasive cardiology, echocardiography, vascular technology, stress testing and electrocardiograms. Those who specialize in invasive procedures assist in the cardiac catheterization during balloon angioplasties and electrophysiology tests. Other duties may include physician assistance with delicate, invasive procedures. Noninvasive specialists typically perform tests, administer drugs, prepare patients for procedures, position patients and monitor patients.

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Schools for Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialists

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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)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • 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)
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    • Tennessee (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
        • Master in Medical Assisting and Administration

    What year did you graduate from high school?

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

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • 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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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MBA --Healthcare Management

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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

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics