Train to be a Cardiovascular Technician
In a challenging job market, many people are looking to change their career paths. If health care is of interest, it would be smart to look at becoming a cardiovascular technician. Employment is expected to grow much faster than the country's average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What They Do

Cardiovascular technicians assist physicians with diagnostic cardiology tests and also monitor cardiovascular data during procedures. While they are not physicians, cardiovascular technologists are critical part of the health-care team in treating cardiovascular ailments. They schedule appointments, review physicians' interpretations and patient files, and monitor patients' heart rates. They also operate and care for testing equipment, explain test procedures, and compare findings to a standard to identify problems.

Cardiovascular technologists can choose to specialize in vascular technology, invasive cardiology or echocardiography (non-invasive cardiology) depending on their interests. Cardiovascular technicians who specialize in electrocardiograms (EKGs) are known as EKG technicians.

Three out of four cardiovascular technicians work in hospital cardiology departments. The rest work in physician offices and laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers. The work is considered physically demanding, as technologists must often maneuver patients during treatment, as well as setup and transfer heavy equipment.

Education and Qualifications

Most cardiovascular technicians enter the field with an associate degree from a two-year community or technical college, accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRCECT). Some also enter the profession with a bachelor degree from an accredited four-year college or university in order to increase their employment opportunities and earnings potential.

Demand and Compensation

It's a good gig. The BLS projects an increase of nearly 25 percent of employment opportunities for cardiovascular technicians over the next eight years. Median annual wages of cardiovascular technologists is more than $47,000. Certification or registration with Cardiovascular Credentialing International or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers can increase a cardiovascular technician's salary.