Cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technicians essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $52,070
- 2011, number of jobs: 50,530
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 29 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technicians; what they do:
Cardiovascular technologists, cardiovascular technicians, and vascular technologists work with doctors, aiding in procedures dealing with the most vital human organ – the heart.
Career options in the field include:
- Vascular interventional technologist
- Invasive cardiovascular technologist
- Vascular sonographer
- Cardiac sonographer
Cardiovascular technologists focus on patients’ hearts, measuring heart rates and helping with the diagnosis of heart ailments. Cardiovascular technologists do everything from taking ultrasounds of the heart to aiding doctors in inserting a catheter and balloon angioplasty.
Cardiovascular technologists help in the invasive procedures by shaving and preparing the area on a patient’s body for surgery, applying topical anesthesia, and monitoring the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate during the procedure. A cardiovascular technologist career may also include using a Holter monitor and administering a stress test.
Cardiovascular technicians, also called cardiographic technicians or electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians, work closely with cardiovascular technologists and may specialize in electrocardiogram (EKG) testing.
Vascular technologist careers include helping physicians diagnose blood flow disorders via listening to the blood flow in patients’ arteries and checking for abnormalities. Vascular technologist careers also include using ultrasound instruments to record information about blood flow in veins, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. These tests are often performed during or soon after surgery.
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technicians job titles:
- Cardiology Technician
- Cardiology Technologist
- Cardiac Technician
- Cardiac technologist
- Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS)
- EKG/ECG Technician (Electrocardiogram Technician)
- Cardiopulmonary Technician
- Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist
- Cardiac Catheterization Technician
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians and Vascular Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
People interested in a cardiovascular technologist, cardiovascular technician or vascular technician career generally need an Associate of Radiologic Technology degree or an Associate of Nursing degree. However, some cardiovascular technologists have a Bachelor of Radiologic Technology degree.
In most programs, associates or bachelors, students work with an experienced technologists or technician in a lab setting for course credit. Some schools provide an Associate in Cardiovascular Sonography degree.
Some community colleges offer one-year certifications for individuals who have already received training in a medical field.
A cardiovascular technician working as an EKG technician usually receives 4-6 weeks of on-the-job training from their employer.
Cardiovascular technologist and technician and vascular technician programs cover subjects such as:
- Invasive cardiovascular
- Noninvasive cardiovascular
Cardiovascular technologists, cardiovascular technicians and vascular technicians do not require certification, but it’s highly recommended, as most employers prefer certification. Many insurance providers only pay for work conducted by a certified cardiovascular technologist, a certified cardiovascular technician, or a certified vascular technician.
A variety of certifications for cardiovascular technologists, cardiovascular technicians, or vascular technicians exist, depending on their clinical focus, and they may become certified in multiple areas. In most cases, cardiovascular technologists, cardiovascular technicians, or vascular technicians must take continuing education courses to maintain their certification.
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians and Vascular Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: 29 percent employment growth for cardiovascular technologists, cardiovascular technicians, and vascular technicians from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The imaging technology used by cardiovascular technologists, cardiovascular technicians, and vascular technicians is becoming less expensive and, therefore, being requested and used more. As the equipment becomes more available to people outside of hospitals, cardiovascular technologists, cardiovascular technicians, and vascular technicians might work more in physicians’ offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories.
The need for individuals who diagnose medical conditions such as blood clots and tumors continues to increase as the population ages.
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians and Vascular Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $52,070
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $67,520
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $36,940
- Healthcare facilities
- Hospitals; state, local, and private
- Physician’s offices
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories
- Outpatient care centers