Certified Cardiac Technician Certification and Career

Cardiac technicians perform cardiac stress tests and electrocardiograms. Cardiac techs need excellent communication skills and attention to detail. Find out what else you need for this career. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Although technicians often receive on-the-job training, formal training is commonly acquired. Education requirements can vary, but typically, you'll need at least a 2-year degree, which can be from a community college, technical school or other academic institution. Online training isn't available for this career. You should complete this training through a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which will ensure that the coursework meets all the requirements for your certification.

Training Formal/on-the-job training; accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
Certification Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) administers the Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) credential
Salary $54,330 per year (Median salary for cardiovascular technologists and technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2014)

How Can I Get Certified?

You have a variety of certification options related to this field. For example, the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) provides the Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT) credential. You have several options to meet the prerequisites for pursuing this credential, such as volunteering in the cardiovascular technology field for at least two years or graduating from a recognized allied health or cardiovascular program. You'll also be required to sit for an exam, which can be taken by computer at a testing facility and consists of 100 or more multiple choice questions covering a broad range of subjects. Study guides and workshops are available to help you brush up before the test, and CCI offers a self-assessment exam to help you prepare.

What Classes Will I Be Taking?

You can expect your first year to include general core classes and your second year to focus on the specific skills and knowledge you need to be a cardiac technician. There are also 4-year degree programs available to help you prepare to certify in more than one area, or to better prepare you for an administrative or leadership role in the field. A bachelor's degree may not be necessary for an entry-level position, but may make you a better candidate in a competitive environment and may make it easier for you to advance once you've entered the field.

What Are My Job Prospects?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected job opportunities for cardiovascular technicians and technologists to increase 39% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. This rise was estimated based on the need for professionals to care for America's aging population. Skilled technicians have the opportunity to advance to the level of cardiovascular technologists, or they can choose to certify in more than one area of cardiac technology, making them even more valuable as employees.

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