What To Know About Being a Cardiovascular Technician

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October 4, 2021

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Introduction

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one person dies every 36 seconds from heart disease in the United States. This makes heart disease the leading cause of death nationwide. Cardiovascular technicians fight back by performing essential services in hospitals, outpatient care centers, and physicians' offices. They use medical imaging to perform tests that detect heart disease.

The role of cardiovascular technician is a stable, in-demand, well-paying career that professionals can qualify for without paying the high costs of a four-year degree. Most positions only require a certificate, associate degree, and/or professional certification.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical sonographers and cardiovascular technicians and technologists earn a median annual salary of $59,100 (as of May 2020).

If you're interested in becoming a cardiovascular technician, read on to learn more about the job functions and career outlook in this field.

What Does a Cardiovascular Technician Do?

Cardiovascular technicians handle diagnostic medical imaging and testing to detect heart disease in patients. Accuracy and detail are paramount for these professionals, who often work full time in hospitals.

Common cardiovascular technician tasks include:

What Is a Cardiovascular Technician's Career Outlook?

According to the BLS, cardiovascular technicians should experience healthy job prospects in the near future. The BLS projects 8% job growth for these professionals between 2020 and 2030, which would translate to the creation of about 5,000 new positions. As of 2020, there were about 58,000 cardiovascular technician and technologist positions nationwide.

Cardiovascular technicians are skilled, essential workers who can help meet the increased need for health services among an aging U.S. population.

What Is a Cardiovascular Technician's Salary Potential?

According to the BLS, as of May 2020, cardiovascular technicians earned a median annual salary of almost $60,000. The top 10% of cardiovascular technician earners made more than $96,790 annually, while the lowest 10% earned less than $30,140.

Keep in mind that location, employer, and experience all affect a worker's salary potential. For example, cardiovascular technicians working in outpatient care centers earned the highest median annual salary at $75,430, while professionals working in hospitals made $57,850 per year.

Some of the best ways professionals can increase their salary potential are to gain more experience, work in outpatient care centers, and earn professional certifications through organizations like Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

Frequently Asked Questions About Being a Cardiovascular Technician

How long does it take to become a cardiovascular technician?

It depends on the employer. Some employers require candidates to hold a relevant certificate, while others may require an associate degree from a community college. Certificates can take 6-12 months to earn, while associate degrees take two years. Some employers also mandate professional certification, which can add several months to this timeline. To be safe, prospective cardiovascular technicians should plan on studying for approximately two years before they can practice in a healthcare facility.

Is becoming a cardiovascular technician a good career choice?

Cardiovascular technicians benefit from strong salaries and work in a rewarding field. According to the BLS, cardiovascular technicians earn a median annual salary that is about 40% higher than the median annual wage for all workers. Furthermore, the BLS projects 8% job growth for these professionals between 2020 and 2030, which is on par with the projected growth rate for all jobs over that period. Additionally, cardiovascular technicians work on the front lines against the United States' leading cause of death. They are essential workers performing crucial services. As such, the field can be both personally rewarding and lucrative.

Is it hard to be a cardiovascular technician?

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities can be stressful, high-stakes environments. In addition to caring for patients, cardiovascular technicians must spend most of their days on their feet and frequently lift heavy equipment. These professionals often work weekends and may need to be on call at odd hours in case of emergencies, especially if they work in hospitals. Some procedures are also invasive and involve blood, so becoming a cardiovascular technician may not be a good fit if you are uncomfortable with these elements of the job.


Feature Image: Tempura / E+ / Getty Images

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