The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It keeps our blood flowing, delivering oxygen to our cells, allowing us to move and grow. A human heart can be expected to beat over 2.5 billion times in an average lifetime. It follows that sometimes problems occur, and the heart and/or blood vessels may stop functioning properly. Cardiovascular technologists are part of a team that diagnoses and treats such problems, including irregular heart beats or blood clots.
Minimum Degree Required: Associate’s
Top 3 Skills: Patient Interaction, Communication, Operating Computers/Machinery
Average Starting Salary: $27,000/year
Cardiovascular technologists work alongside physicians to diagnose and treat heart patients. Depending on the size of the practice, a technologist may perform many jobs or a very few. Some of the tasks assigned to cardiovascular technologists include:
- Imaging of heart or blood vessels
- Caring for imaging equipment
- Assisting physician during procedures
- Administering stress tests
- Recording patient information and medical history
- Managing patient files
In hospitals, particularly ones specializing in cardiovascular emergencies, technologists may be needed during all shifts. Daytime only practices typically adhere to the 40-hour work week.
While it is not necessary to have an associate’s degree, technologists who do have an easier time getting hired and typically earn more per year than their peers without degrees. Many employers require a two year formal education course before joining their staff.
Community colleges are the best places to seek your degree from, as they offer more specialized courses. It is more difficult to find a university that offers a two year program in cardiovascular technology.
Sample courses might include anatomy, biology, medical technology, sonographic imaging, and medical ethics.
Employers usually seek certified technologists, as Medicare and Medicaid will not pay for procedures performed by uncertified workers. Certification is obtained after completing an accredited program and passing an exam.
Job Outlook: Excellent
The BLS predicts a 29% increase in Cardiovascular Technology positions between 2010 and 2020. In 2010, the median income for a technologist was just under $/year.
- Cardiovascular Technologists
- Ave Starting Salary:
- approx. $27,000yr
- Ave Median Salary:
- approx. $49,410yr
- Job Outlook:
- Education Required:
- Electrocardiograph Technology/Technician (2 Yr Associate)