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Cardiovascular Technologist/Technician

Overview

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments. Cardiovascular technologists may specialize in three areas of practice:

  • Invasive cardiology
  • Cardiac sonography
  • Vascular technology/sonography

Cardiovascular technicians who specialize in electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress testing and Holter monitors are known as cardiographic or EKG technicians. Typically, cardiovascular technologists earn an average salary of $48,984 per year according to a study conducted by the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals. Technicians averaged $29,270 per year.

Working Conditions

Technologists and technicians generally work a five-day, 40-hour week that may include weekends. Those in catheterization labs tend to work longer hours and may work evenings. They also may be on call during the night and on weekends.

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About a Career as a Cardiovascular Technologist/Technician

About Health Care Careers

Note: The Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals reviewed this career profile.

 (Photo: Getty Images)
Salary
$27,000 - $140,000
Years to complete
post-high school education
2 - 4
Job outlook
Excellent

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Academic Requirements

Although a few cardiovascular technologists, vascular technologists and cardiac sonographers are currently trained on the job, most receive training in programs that last between two and four years and normally complete a two-year junior or community college program. One year is dedicated to core courses followed by a year of specialized instruction in one of these specialties:  

  • Invasive cardiology: for students who plan to work in a cardiac catheterization lab or with the cardiac catheterization suite, which sometimes includes electrophysiology
  • Noninvasive cardiology: for students who plan to work in Holter monitor, stress and pacemaker testing  
  • Noninvasive echo cardiology: for students who plan to work with cardiovascular ultrasound
  • Noninvasive vascular cardiology: for students who plan to work in peripheral vascular cardiology

Look for a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

On completion of the instruction, they can become credentialed in that specialty. Those who are qualified in a related allied health profession (for example, nursing) only need to complete the year of specialized instruction.