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 an echocardiorapher, 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 Sonograohy/Echocardiography, Bachelor of Science in Echocardiography,
Job Outlook 30%, much faster than average job growth expected through 2022
Salary $54,330 median for all cardiovascular technicians and technologists as of May 2014

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 person who is trained to create these images is an echocardiographer, also known as a cardiac sonographer. 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.

What is the Outlook For This Career

In 2012, there were approximately 51,600 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), www.bls.gov. The number of jobs for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including echocardiographers, is expected to grow by 30% within the 2012 to 2022 decade, creating 15,700 new positions.

Job growth is due to the development of sophisticated imaging equipment, an aging population that need more diagnostic tests and a growing preference for non-invasive care. For increased opportunities for job growth, you can consider earning a specialty certification. The BLS reported that as of May 2014, the lowest 10 percentile of cardiovascular technologists and technicians earned $28,110, while the highest 90 percentile earned $84,940.

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 accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In 2014, there were 55 programs in cardiovascular technology accredited by the (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. Or, an associate's or bachelor's degree program 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.

In a cardiovascular technology program, you may be able to choose a specialty in non-invasive cardiovascular technology or adult echocardiography. The curriculum includes classroom-based study, laboratory work and practical clinical training. Subjects you are likely to study include cardiovascular pathophysiology, heart disease, patient assessment, ultrasound physics, hemodynamics, stress echocardiography and adult echocardiography.

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.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Widener University

    Widener University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Widener University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Virginia College

    Virginia College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Virginia College:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

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    • Georgia: Columbus, Macon, Savannah
    • Oklahoma: Columbus, Macon, Savannah, Tulsa
    • South Carolina: Columbus, Macon, Savannah, Tulsa, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, Spartanburg
  • Brightwood College

    Brightwood College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brightwood College:

    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Baltimore, Beltsville, Towson
  • American InterContinental University

    American InterContinental University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American InterContinental University:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of the Southwest

    University of the Southwest responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of the Southwest:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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