Vascular Technology Degrees

Learn about degree programs, licensure and certification requirements for vascular technologists. Find out the job duties and employment outlook for potential careers in this field. Schools offering Cardiovascular Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Vascular Technology Programs Are Available?

Vascular technology or cardiovascular technology training is available through certificate and degree programs. Common programs include the Associate of Applied Science in Vascular Technology and Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Technology. These programs can provide the education for understanding physician orders, keeping track of patient records, monitoring equipment readings, interpreting equipment readings, preparing equipment and making sure the equipment is in working order. You may learn to use invasive and noninvasive cardiology, echocardiography and electrocardiogram machines.

As recently as 2016, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) did not offer any accredited online programs in cardiovascular technology. This may be due to most courses requiring on-campus training and clinical work.

Degree Levels Certificate, associate and bachelor's
Common Courses Ultrasound use, pharmacology, electrophysiology, healthcare management
Certification Voluntary through American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or Cardiovascular Credentialing International
Career Options Cardiology technician, cardiopulmonary technician, echocardiographer, cardiac sonographer

What Courses Can I Expect?

In a certificate program, you can expect courses in vascular technology, principles, ultrasound use, arterial procedures, pharmacology, equipment and supplies. It is not common, but you may be required to complete clinical work.

Associate's degree programs may require you to enroll in general education courses, such as algebra, biology, English composition, chemistry and anatomy. Compared to certificate programs, your courses may introduce more advanced techniques and theory. You can expect courses in scanning techniques, ethics, law, physics, instrumentation, vascular pathophysiology, understanding physical and history records, hemodynamics and electrophysiology. Many programs also require you to complete clinical work.

If you want to pursue a bachelor's degree, you might have to enroll in a vascular sonography, cardiovascular technology program, or a program that offers specialization in vascular technology. In addition to what you may learn in an associate's degree program, you can also expect courses in leadership training, healthcare management, health policy, conflict resolution, cerebrovascular testing and basic life support. Some programs may require you to complete an externship before graduating.

Do I Need Certification?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that professional certification is voluntary for cardiovascular technicians and technologists. Organizations like the Cardiovascular Credentialing International or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers offer credentialing; however, you will generally be required to have completed a CAAHEP accredited program and successfully pass the credentialing examination. If you want to maintain your certification, additional education may be required.

What About My Career Outlook?

Completing a certificate program can provide you with training for an entry-level technician position; however, if you want to be an advanced technician or technologist, an associate's or bachelor's degree education may be required. Your training may lead you to a career as a cardiovascular technician, cardiopulmonary technician, cardiac sonographer, echocardiographer or cardiology technician.

The BLS predicted a 24% increase in cardiovascular technologist and technician positions between 2014 and 2024 ( Growth in the older population and a greater awareness in heart disease may lead to this increase. As of 2015, the BLS estimated that the median salary for these technicians was $54,880.

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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