Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians - Career Opportunities
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians are assistants to physicians who diagnose
and treat cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments. There are three
areas that they may specialize in: invasive cardiology, echocardiography, and vascular
technology. Besides this technical work, he or she may do office work, including keeping
the doctor's appointment calendars, typing the doctors' interpretations, and maintaining
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians filled approximately 45,000 jobs in 2004.
About 75 percent of these jobs were in hospitals (private and government), primarily in
cardiology departments. They also worked in medical and diagnostic laboratories, including
diagnostic imaging centers and in doctors' offices, including cardiologists.
Most are trained in 2- to 4-year programs, usually in 2 year courses at junior or
community colleges. Four year programs are becoming more available. Some are trained on
the job. If one is qualified in an allied health profession, then only the year of
specialized instruction is needed. In certain areas, such as for EKG technicians the
training is on the job, usually for 8 to 16 weeks.
There are currently 33 programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education
in Cardiovascular Technology. If you graduate from one of these programs, you are eligible
to obtain professional certification.
Besides the technical qualifications, an employer is likely to give strong
consideration to a person's reliability, their mechanical aptitude, and ability to follow
detailed instructions. It is also useful to have a pleasant, relaxed manner for the
patient's peace of mind.
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians must be able to:
• prepare patients for cardiac catheterization
• monitor patients' blood pressure and heart rate
• have good communication and record-keeping skills
• be physically fit and capable to work in stressful conditions.
Job growth for cardiovascular technologists and technicians will increase much faster
than the average for all occupations through the year 2014. This will be partly because of
an aging population and because of technical advances mean less need for costlier
How Much Do Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Earn?
Median annual earnings were $38,690 in May 2004, with half of those in the field
earning between $27,890 and $50,130. The lowest salaries were under $21,790, and the
highest were more than $59,000.