Cardiovascular Radiologist: Job Duties, Career Outlook, and Education Prerequisites
Research what it takes to become a cardiovascular radiologist. Learn about education requirements, training, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you.
What is a Cardiovascular Radiologist?
As a cardiovascular radiologist, you'll work as a highly specialized physician who uses medical imaging technology to diagnose and treat diseases of the heart, veins, and lymph nodes. Successful radiologists are adept at analytical thinking, attentive to their patients and work, and tolerant to high levels of stress in the workplace. While fairly independent during procedures, you will likely collaborate with other doctors in order to analyze test results and share information on treatment and research.
The chart below provides important information about becoming a cardiovascular radiologist.
|Degree Required||Doctoral degree|
|Education Field of Study||Medical doctor with specialty in cardiology imaging|
|Training Needed||4-5-year residency in radiology, 1-year fellowship in cardiology imaging|
|Licensure Required||All states require licensure, requirements vary by state|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||7%, (for physicians and surgeons, all others)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$203,880*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*
What Will I Do As a Cardiovascular Radiologist?
As a cardiovascular radiologist, you'll work as a physician who uses images produced by X-ray, computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, and other imaging technologies to diagnose abnormalities and maladies in patients. Your job will also be to treat patients using radiation technology. You'll specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases of the heart, veins, and arteries.
While these images can be analyzed from an office, you will spend most of your time at hospitals or research laboratories consulting with and treating patients as well as discussing imaging results with other doctors.
What Education Do I Need?
If you want to become a cardiovascular radiologist, you must be prepared to undertake at least eight or nine years of medical education following graduation from college. The first step is to complete a bachelor's degree program in a pre-med major. These programs are offered at many colleges and universities.
Next, you must pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a national exam that gauges your basic knowledge on the physical sciences, biology, verbal reasoning, and writing skills. Your MCAT test results are essential to admission into a medical school. Medical school training typically lasts about four years.
Upon completion of medical school, you'll begin your graduate medical education, also known as residency, in your field of specialty. This residency may last four or five years. You'll study topics such as radiologic safety, nuclear radiology and diagnostic radiology. You'll also gain important clinical experience by working with doctors, nurses, and staff in hospitals, laboratories, and other medical facilities.
To become a cardiovascular radiologist, you'll need to complete a year-long fellowship following your residency. This program will allow you to focus on a sub-specialty such as cardiology imaging. You'll develop advanced skills in working with patients who are in need of diagnosis and treatment of heart, vein, artery, and lymphatic abnormalities.
What Will I Earn?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth outlook for all physicians and surgeons is expected to be better than average (www.bls.gov). Careers in this field could see a 7% increase from 2018-2028, and those who specialize in areas such as cardiology and radiology, may have the best job prospects.
The BLS also reported that all physicians and surgeons earned an average salary of $203,880 per year in 2018. Medical doctors that worked in their own practices had a higher average earning, of about $239,060 annually.
What Are Some Related Careers?
Cardiologists are physicians that diagnose and treat illnesses related to the heart, through medicine or surgery. They may work with cardiovascular radiologists when diagnosing patients' ailments. Other specialized physicians include dermatologists and ophthalmologists. Dermatologists specialize in skin diseases, while ophthalmologists specialize in treating eye problems.