How Can I Become a Cardiology Technologist

Research what it takes to become a cardiology technologist. Learn about job duties, educational requirements, certification and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Cardiovascular Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Cardiovascular technologists assist physicians during cardiac catheterization procedures. See the chart below for more information about becoming a cardiology technologist.

Degree Required Associate's degree
Education Field of Study Invasive cardiovascular technology
Key Responsibilities Assisting during various cardiac catheterization procedures, working as part of a team
Certification and Licensure An increasing number of employers require certification; a few states have licensure requirements
Job Growth (2012-2022) 30%*
Average Salary (2013) $53,990*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Degree Do I Need to Become a Cardiology Technologist?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most cardiology or invasive cardiovascular technologists have an associate's degree in invasive cardiovascular technology (www.bls.gov). In an associate's degree program, the first year of the program covers core courses and general education requirements. This is followed by a second year of specialized courses in invasive cardiovascular technology (CVT) and practicum.

Entrance into the first year of an associate's program may require completing a background check, while some programs have additional requirements, such as a basic life support (BLS) certification. Some employers may prefer to hire applicants who have a bachelor's degree.

Will I Need Any Certifications or a License?

Certifications are not mandatory but may be preferred by employers, and you may need certifications to be accepted into a CVT program. Certifications that may be preferred are cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), registered cardiovascular invasive specialist (RCIS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS) and BLS certifications. The American Heart Association offers CPR, ACLS, BLS and PALS training and certifications. The RCIS is administered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International. Some states, such as Delaware, require that you obtain a license to practice as an invasive cardiovascular technician.

What Job Duties Might I Have?

By working as part of a cardiac catheterization team, you will assist a physician in performing angiograms and restoring blood flow during catheterization procedures. Cardiac catheterization is also used to measure blood flow and during pacemaker operations. It will be your job to collect and chart medical information. You will help position, comfort and monitor the patient. You'll monitor vital signs using high-tech medical equipment and keep the physician apprised of any changes in the patient's condition.

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