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Cardiovascular Technologist Salary and Career Opportunities

Cardiovascular Technologist Salary and Career Opportunities

If cardiology pulls at your heartstrings or the idea of being a cardiovascular technologist raises your pulse, let’s stop and use our head for a minute.

A passion for the job is a huge benefit, of course. But you want to be sure that a cardiovascular technologist education could lead to happiness in your career. And just how much do cardiovascular techs make and does the salary support your lifestyle?

Let’s take a look at what cardiovascular technologists and technicians do, what they earn, and why growing opportunities in this field makes it well worth training for.

An Average Day in Cardiovascular Technology

Cardiovascular technologist jobs center around the diagnosis of heart and vascular disease. This is primarily done by using sonography equipment to image the heart and vascular system. Cardiovascular techs help diagnose anything from ischemic heart disease, which results in a decreased blood supply to the heart, to hypertensive heart disease and high blood pressure.

The circulatory system is also affected by vascular diseases that can affect arteries and veins. A blockage in the coronary arteries can cause a heart attack, for example. It is the job of a cardiovascular technologist to detect and diagnose what the problem is.

A cardiovascular technologist education will introduce students to the various procedures and instruments used to do the job. Day to day, the cardiovascular tech supports a physician, so tasks are carried out at their request.

The Typical Cardiovascular Technologist Salary

Cardiovascular technologist salaries range from $28,420 to $87,170, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics sets the average at $54,880:

  • 50% of workers earned less than $54,880, but only the lowest 10% earned $28,420
  • 50% of worked earned more than $54,880, but only the highest 10% earned $87,170

In fact, a salary anywhere between $47,000 and $63,000 looks comfortable for this role.

Where Technologists Work

Where Technicians Work

Sidneiensis / Flickr / CC BY

Using the BLS figures again, there’s little variance in the salary range when you consider where cardiovascular technologist jobs are found.

The following figures, which include salaries for cardiovascular technicians and technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers and vascular technologists, show how pay differs based on the workplace:

  • Hospital workers earn the least, with a salary of $62,590 on average
  • Working in a physician’s office pushes the average figure up to $64,960
  • Those in diagnostic labs earn more, with an average salary of $66,830

If you prefer to work in a hospital, you’ll still be in the same salary bracket as peers who work elsewhere in a similar role.

However, the place where you work also affects when you work, since shifts are set around opening hours. Whatever your work hours are, cardiovascular technology programs generally train workers for full-time employment, since this is the most frequent option for technologists.

How to Join the Team

The one thing all cardiovascular technologists have in common is their training. Wherever this may lead someone on their individual career path, every technologist has to learn the basics.

Training programs teach students how to use imaging equipment and perform ultrasounds. Monitoring heart rates, explaining procedures to patients and reviewing their files are all important parts of the job, too. Students will also be expected to set up stress tests on the heart or perform non-invasive EKGs (electrocardiograms).

With more experience under their belt, students could choose to become a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist. These specialists use a catheter to enter the blood vessels of a patient, which can quite literally save a life when complex problems are uncovered. Needless to say, the role of an invasive cardiovascular technologist is both challenging and rewarding.

Cardiovascular Technologist Schools

If you like the sound of working your way up, you’ll be pleased to know you can train to be a cardiovascular technologist in less than two years. It won’t be long until you can look for a job and start to get a feel for where you want your career to go.

Training often starts at different points through the year. Depending which school you choose, you can find options that let you choose between morning or evening to suit your schedule. This means you can fit in a training program around a part-time job to assist with living expenses or if you’re changing careers.

It takes longer to train as a cardiovascular technologist when you study in the evening. Still, if you can land your dream job after juggling other commitments around flexible study, it’s worth the wait. There is plenty of opportunity for employment.

Job Prospects

The BLS reported that 52,000 employees were working as cardiovascular technologists in 2014 and predicts this figure will rise to 63,500 by 2024. That’s 11,500 more people employed in this profession, or a 22% increase in job opportunity.

How do you get on the ladder?

Formal education is a must to get your foot in the door. Be sure to look for accredited schools that offer cardiovascular technology programs.

Next Steps

The salary and prospects look good, and there’s room to specialize. You can even train to be a cardiovascular tech and still have a social life.

Now let’s find out more about the education requirements and Cardiovascular Technologist Program details.

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