Training and Education
- An accredited two-year associate’s degree is generally all the training that is required to obtain most entry-level positions.
- Four-year bachelor degree programs are also available providing additional work opportunities by through a more comprehensive grounding in both the medical and the technological aspects of this field.
What you study:
Coursework for a specialized biology degree program will typically include the following subjects:
- Biology and anatomy
- Basic computer science courses
- Specialized courses in medical technologies
Internships and summer jobs in the medical field can often provide added insight into the job process and can improve the student’s chance for employment in larger and more prestigious medical settings.
What courses you’ll take
Below are examples of courses that you’ll likely take as a cardiovascular technologist student.
|Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology||Structure and function of the heart and vascular system (blood vessels); embryology and development of the cardiovascular system; heart sounds/murmurs; congenital and acquired heart diseases; basics of diagnosis and treatment for heart conditions; relevant terminology and symbols.||Give an overview of the cardiovascular system’s layout and of its behavior in healthy and unhealthy states.|
|Cardiovascular Pharmacology||Principles of pharmacology (the science of drugs) in the heart and vascular system; routes for administering drugs to the heart; types of cardiovascular drugs; pharmacodynamics (what various drugs do to the body) and pharmacokinetics (what the body does to each drug).||Provide a basic understanding of the ways in which drugs can interact with the cardiovascular system.|
|Principles of Electrocardiography||Differences between invasive and non-invasive cardiology; the heart as an electrical conduction system; use of electrocardiography (EKG) to track heart waves and complexes (beat patterns); basic and advanced arrhythmias (heartbeat problems); ethical and legal considerations in the field.||Familiarize students with the aims workings and types of electrocardiographic technology.|
|Non-Invasive Cardiology||Medical instrumentation that doesn’t physically penetrate the body; performance and interpretation of auscultation (listening to heart sounds through the skin) and of Doppler echocardiography (which uses ultrasound to track heart sounds); recording tracking and reporting data gathered with these techniques.||Ready students to assist doctors in lab environments involving non-invasive cardiographic techniques.|
|Invasive Cardiology||Theory and application of instruments that penetrate the body; proper sterilization of tools; cardiac catheterization (inserting a flexible tube into a heart or blood vessel); angiography (imaging the heart and/or blood vessels by injecting a chemical agent and taking an X-ray); recording and assessing data gathered via these methods.||Get students ready to participate in invasive cardiographic procedures.|
An introductory look at the cardiovascular tech occupation. Produced for the US Dept. of Labor.
Certifications and Licensing
Certification is not required for all cardiovascular technologist positions but it offers a definite competitive edge in the employment marketplace. A number of different certifications and credentials are available including the following:
- Registered Vascular Specialist
- Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist
- Registered Cardiac Sonographer
- Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist
- Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer
- Certified Cardiographic Technician
These credentials typically require a combination of education and experience and successful completion of a specialty examination. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Cardiovascular Credentialing International are the two best-known certifying bodies for cardiovascular technologists in the U.S.
Full-time versus part-time:
Cardiovascular technologists typically work full time in a clinical or hospital environment. Shift work or overtime hours may be required especially in hospitals and urgent care clinic settings.
Cardiovascular technologies are constantly evolving as new advances are made in the field of medical science. Cardiovascular technologists specialize in managing these new diagnostic and treatment tools and putting them to work for patients in the health care setting. Here are some of the most useful online resources for aspiring cardiovascular technologists.
- U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook — A comprehensive source for current information on employment trends job responsibilities educational requirements and other aspects of the job market this website should be the first stop for anyone interested in a career as a cardiovascular technologist.
- Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals — Comprised of members representing the administrative medical and technical elements of cardiovascular treatments and technologies this prestigious organization provides information and access to continuing education opportunities in this field of medicine. ACP also supports credentialing for professionals in the field of cardiovascular technologies and hosts numerous conferences throughout the year for its membership.
- American College of Cardiology –With over 40000 members the ACC is one of the largest nonprofit medical societies in the U.S. and provides its members with access to information and job search functions. The ACC Political Action Committee serves as an advocate for those employed in the cardiology and cardiovascular medical specialties.
- Cardiovascular Credentialing International — One of the most accepted and best known credentialing agencies for the cardiovascular technology field CCI offers a number of different certification programs for aspiring cardiovascular technologists. CCI also offers an extensive job search function for those looking for jobs in this fast-paced and exciting medical field.
- Society for Vascular Ultrasound — Supporting the use of noninvasive cardiovascular imaging technologies in the health care industry SVU offers a range of programs designed to help cardiovascular technologists achieve their career goals. One of the most important services provided by SVU is its innovative mentoring program which allows rising starts in the cardiovascular technologies field to learn from the best and brightest in their profession.
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute — A division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health the NHLBI compiles and presents ongoing information on advances in cardiovascular treatments and technologies for public use. The website also provides access to clinical practice guidelines and a number of scholarly articles on the subject of cardiovascular treatments and health.
Salaries by City
See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.
|State||City / Region||Typical Salary||Salary Range||Job Count||% of All Jobs|
|AL||Birmingham – Hoover||$49070||280||0.06%|
|AR||Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway||$56960||130||0.04%|
|AZ||Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale||$51630||690||0.04%|
|CA||Bakersfield – Delano||$47840||60||0.02%|
|CA||Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area)||$54880||1120||0.03%|
|CA||Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area)||$60510||220||0.02%|
|CA||Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura||$72940||70||0.03%|
|CA||Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario||$48900||310||0.03%|
|CA||Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville||$56200||190||0.02%|
|CA||San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos||$57770||290||0.02%|
|CA||San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area)||$55780||170||0.02%|
|CA||San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara||$53090||N/A||N/A|
|CA||Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area)||$55840||300||0.02%|
|CA||Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta||$55530||40||0.02%|
|CA||Santa Rosa – Petaluma||$60310||80||0.05%|
|CA||Vallejo – Fairfield||$57800||50||0.04%|
|CO||Denver – Aurora – Broomfield||$64990||220||0.02%|
|CT||Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk||$61400||60||0.01%|
|CT||Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford||$63360||120||0.02%|
|CT||Norwich – New London||$64700||60||0.05%|
|DC||Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area)||$69560||610||0.03%|
|DE||Wilmington (Metro Area)||$49620||200||0.06%|
|FL||Cape Coral – Fort Myers||$51680||290||0.14%|
|FL||Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach||$28700||130||0.09%|
|FL||Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)||$43770||620||0.09%|
|FL||Lakeland – Winter Haven||$43340||120||0.06%|
|FL||Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area)||$41050||810||0.08%|
|FL||Naples – Marco Island||$30780||80||0.07%|
|FL||North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota||$37500||210||0.09%|
|FL||Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford||$53310||540||0.05%|
|FL||Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville||$30470||200||0.10%|
|FL||Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent||$41250||200||0.13%|
|FL||Port St. Lucie||$36380||80||0.07%|
|FL||Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater||$48390||830||0.07%|
|FL||West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area)||$50750||420||0.08%|
|GA||Athens – Clarke County||N/A||70||0.09%|
|GA||Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta||$55350||660||0.03%|
|GA||Augusta – Richmond County||$58280||160||0.08%|
|IA||Davenport – Moline – Rock Island||$50550||80||0.05%|
|IA||Des Moines – West Des Moines||$41800||90||0.03%|
|IA||Waterloo – Cedar Falls||$46890||30||0.04%|
|ID||Boise City – Nampa||$57380||N/A||N/A|
|IL||Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area)||$44440||1050||0.03%|
|IL||Lake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area)||$60430||80||0.02%|
|IN||Elkhart – Goshen||$31730||N/A||N/A|
|IN||Gary (Metro Area)||$47510||140||0.05%|
|IN||Indianapolis – Carmel||$54780||500||0.06%|
|KY||Lexington – Fayette||$44440||190||0.08%|
|KY||Louisville – Jefferson County||$45250||410||0.07%|
|LA||Houma – Bayou Cane – Thibodaux||$45900||40||0.04%|
|LA||New Orleans – Metairie – Kenner||$44460||210||0.04%|
|LA||Shreveport – Bossier City||$39460||90||0.05%|
|MA||Boston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area)||$68310||730||0.04%|
|MA||Brockton – Bridgewater – Easton (Metro Area)||$84680||40||0.04%|
|MA||Lawrence – Methuen – Salem (Metro Area)||$67780||50||0.09%|
|MD||Baltimore – Towson||MD||Bethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area)||$62360||80||0.01%|
|ME||Portland – South Portland – Biddeford||$57590||90||0.05%|
|MI||Detroit – Livonia – Dearborn (Metro Area)||$50610||510||0.07%|
|MI||Grand Rapids – Wyoming||$46200||290||0.08%|
|MI||Kalamazoo – Portage||$53880||100||0.07%|
|MI||Lansing – East Lansing||$58500||60||0.03%|
|MI||Muskegon – Norton Shores||$46370||50||0.09%|
|MI||Niles – Benton Harbor||$48290||40||0.07%|
|MI||Saginaw – Saginaw Township North||N/A||70||0.08%|
|MI||Warren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area)||$45660||470||0.04%|
|MN||Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington||$57240||510||0.03%|
|MS||Gulfport – Biloxi||$44580||50||0.05%|