Echocardiographer: Career Profile, Job Outlook and Educational Requirements

An echocardiographer uses ultrasound equipment to examine a patient by recording images of the electrical activity of the heart for review by a doctor. The majority of electrocardiographers complete certificate or associate's degree programs. Get a career overview of echocardiography by reading on. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You can expect to find plenty of job prospects as a cardiovascular technicians and technologist, which includes echocardiographers, as employment in this field is expected to be in high demand to cater to the needs of the aging populations and persons seeking non-invasive diagnosis of health conditions. You can find both certificate and degree programs that deal with echocardiography to help you prepare for initial employment or advanced career opportunities.

Degree Options Associate of Applied Science in Cardiovascular Technology: Invasive or Non-Invasive Track, Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Echocardiography, Bachelor of Science in Echocardiography,
Job Outlook 10%, (cardiovascular technicians and technologists) faster than average job growth expected through 2026
Salary $55,270 median, for all cardiovascular technicians and technologists as of May 2017

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does an Echocardiographer Do?

An echocardiograph is an ultrasound image, called an echocardiogram or EKG, of the anatomy of the heart. The echocardiographer works with the doctor to thoroughly assess the patient's heart and its function. In the course of his or her duties, an echocardiographer may be instructed to administer drugs or assist doctors in performing specialized medical tests involving anesthesia or X-rays.

How Do I Choose a Program?

To ensure you receive proper training that can prepare for you for national certification, you should choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). As a graduate of an accredited program, you are eligible for voluntary certification, which can make you a more appealing job candidate.

What Educational Requirements Do I Need to Meet?

As an aspiring echocardiographer, you can complete an advanced certificate program if you already have allied health care experience. You can also attain an associate's or bachelor's degree if you have no prior education or experience. Programs are available through community colleges, technical colleges, universities and hospitals. Degree programs may require you to complete prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, physics and chemistry. Typical program courses include:

  • Cardiovascular Physiology
  • Echocardiography
  • Pathophysiology
  • Introduction to Medical Imaging
  • Sonographic Principles

Where Can I Get Professional Certification?

The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) offer credentialing for echocardiographers. Also, a few states require you to hold a license if you'll be working as an echocardiographer, so check with your state's board of health.

What is the Outlook For This Career?

In 2017, there were approximately 56,130 cardiovascular technologists and technicians employed in the U.S., with the majority working in hospitals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of jobs for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including echocardiographers, is expected to grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026, creating 5,500 new positions.

Job growth is due to the development of sophisticated imaging equipment, an aging population that needs more diagnostic tests and a growing preference for non-radiation procedures. For increased opportunities for job growth, you can consider earning a specialty certification. The BLS reported that as of May 2017, the lowest 10 percentile of cardiovascular technologists and technicians earned $28,680, while the highest 90 percentile earned $90,760.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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