Echocardiology Technician: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an echocardiology technician. Learn about educational requirements, certifications, salary and career outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Echocardiology Technician?

An echocardiology technician, also known as a cardiovascular technician, is a specialist in the operation of medical equipment used for non-invasive diagnostic tests on the heart. They may use ultrasound technology for sonographic procedures, or they may use electrocardiogram (EKG) machines to monitor a patient's heart at rest or during a stress test. The results they generate can be used to help doctors diagnose heart diseases and other conditions. Jobs for echocardiology technicians can be found at hospitals or at smaller clinics.

The table below includes important information about becoming an echocardiology technician.

Education Required Certificate; some employers may prefer associate's degree
Education Field of Study Cardiac technician
Training On-the-job training is common; extensive on-the-job training may substitute for formal education in some cases
Key Duties Use sonography technology to diagnose and monitor cardiology conditions
Job Growth (2014-2024) 22% for all cardiovascular technologists and technicians*
Average Salary (2015) $56,100 for all cardiovascular technologists and technicians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would I Do as an Echocardiology Technician?

Cardiology is the study of the heart, and echocardiology is the science of using sound waves to view the heart and its functionality. As an echocardiology technician, or cardiovascular technician, you would use sonography technology that emits high-frequency sound waves to create images of the heart. Doctors will use the information you gather with this noninvasive technology to diagnose and treat heart conditions and ailments. In addition to sonography, you could also use electrocardiograph or EKG equipment to monitor electrical impulses from the heart, which information is also used for diagnostic purposes. The equipment you would use puts you in close contact with patients, so you need to have a compassionate and friendly manner when dealing with people.

What Education Do I Need?

Cardiac technician certificate programs are available, but some employer's may prefer you have an associate's degree in cardiac technology. The Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs accredits associate's and bachelor's degree programs in cardiovascular technology, with specializations available in adult echocardiography, pediatric echocardiography, cardiac electrophysiology and noninvasive vascular study (www.caahep.org). Training programs combine classroom study with clinical experience to provide you with the tools to begin work as an echocardiology technician.

How Could I Advance My Career?

There are various certifications available for cardiovascular technicians, so after completing a training program, you may choose to seek a professional credential. Cardiovascular Credentialing International offers certifications in various specializations of cardiovascular technology, for which you can test after you have met education and experience requirements (www.cci-online.org).

What Salary Could I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2015 that cardiovascular technologists and technicians made an average wage of $56,100 per year (www.bls.gov). The BLS also noted that employment for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was anticipated to increase by 22% in the decade from 2014-2024, which is much faster than average for all other occupations. You may experience the best job prospects with one or more certifications.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in heart-related diagnosis and treatment, you could also think about a job as a cardiovascular invasive specialist or a cardiac catheterization technologist. These technologists install catheters and assist with open heart surgery and, like echocardiology technicians, they need to have an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate in order to work. If you prefer to pursue noninvasive diagnostic work, you might want to think about a sonography job in an area other than cardiology, such obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics, among other options. An associate's degree or postsecondary certificate is also required for these occupations.

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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