How Can I Become a Pediatric Cardiologist?

Explore the career requirements for pediatric cardiologists. Get the facts about education, training and licensing requirements to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Cardiovascular Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Pediatric Cardiologist?

A pediatric cardiologist is a medical professional who specializes in treating heart conditions in infants, children and adolescents. They provide diagnosis and treatment of both congenital and acquired heart conditions. Their services can include fetal and pediatric echocardiography, cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology, cardiothoracic surgery and cardiac transplantation. They may also prescribe medications and work with parents and patients to develop lifestyle strategies for recovery from procedures and/or management of chronic conditions.

The following chart provides an overview about becoming a pediatric cardiologist.

Degree Required Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
Additional Training Residency and fellowship in pediatric cardiology
Key Responsibilities Examine and diagnose heart disorders in children and teenagers; order diagnostic tests and analyze results; make referrals to surgeons; prescribe treatments and medications
Certification and Licensing All states require doctors to be licensed; board certification is available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 14% for all physicians and surgeons*
Median Salary (2017) $256,480**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); **

What Does a Pediatric Cardiologist Do?

As a pediatric cardiologist, you would specialize in treating children who have heart issues. You would detect abnormalities and look for heart and blood vessel diseases by using state-of-the-art medical equipment, such as echocardiogram machines and x-ray machines. You would also conduct stress tests and order various other medical tests.

What Education Do I Need To Become a Pediatric Cardiologist?

The first step to becoming a pediatric cardiologist is to obtain a bachelor's degree. Although not a requirement of all medical schools, a major in pre-med or a science related major, such as biology or chemistry, is highly recommended. After undergraduate school, you'll need to apply to and attend medical school, which typically lasts four years.

Medical school is designed to give you a thorough education through traditional coursework and research studies. You'll also learn patient care by practicing with doctors on actual cases. You'll obtain knowledge and experience in a number of areas of medicine, such as family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, neurology and pediatrics.

What Happens After Medical School?

After medical school, you'll enter a residency program in pediatrics. This is generally a 3-year program in which you'll work with doctors and patients, respond to medical emergencies and conduct clinical research. During your residency, you'll have the opportunity to gain experience and do rotations in a variety of areas of pediatrics, such as nephrology, infectious diseases, endocrinology, pulmonology, rheumatology and cardiology.

After your residency, you'll need to apply for a fellowship program in pediatric cardiology. Typically, fellowships last three years and are designed to prepare you for board certification in the subspecialty of pediatric cardiology. The main focus of the first year of the fellowship is on patient care in a clinical setting. The second year allows time for some clinical research and specialization in an area of interest, such as electrophysiology, pediatric cardiac transplantation, pulmonary hypertension and preventative cardiology.

How Do I Get Licensed and Certified?

All 50 states require practicing physicians to complete the stipulated educational requirements and the pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Although not a requirement, board certification is a highly sought professional distinction. After receiving initial certification through the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), you can apply to become board certified in pediatric cardiology through the ABP (

How Much Can I Expect To Earn?

According to, the middle range of pediatric cardiologists earned between $213,604 and $326,495 in 2017. The median salary was reported to be $256,480, and the top ten percent of pediatric cardiologists earned $390,241 or more per year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Pediatricians have many specialization areas to choose from. For instance, rather than completing a fellowship in pediatric cardiology, they may choose a fellowship in pediatric pulmonology, nephrology, endocrinology or pathology, among other options. Alternatively, pediatricians may choose to practice as generalists. Trained doctors may also choose to complete a residency in a subject other than pediatrics in order to become surgeons, psychiatrists, dermatologists or neurologists, among other possible 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:

  • 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

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »