Cardiac Technician Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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Get the truth about a cardiac technician's salary, education requirements and career prospects. Read the job descriptions and see the pros and cons of becoming a cardiac technician.
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Pros and Cons of Being a Cardiac Technician

Cardiac technicians, also known as cardiovascular technicians, help physicians examine illnesses related to the heart and blood vessels with the use of imaging technology. Reading the pros and cons of being a cardiac technician may help you decide whether this career is right for you.

PROS of Being a Cardiac Technician
Good employment outlook*
Salary is above the national median (about $54,000)*
Variety of employment settings (hospitals, healthcare centers, physician offices, laboratories, etc)*
On-the-job training is provided by many employers*

CONS of Being a Cardiac Technician
Weekend, evening and night hours can be assigned*
Medical emergencies can be stressful*
Spend extended periods of time on your feet while at work*
Post-secondary education is necessary for employment*

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

Career Information

Job Description

Cardiac technicians work alongside cardiologists and other medical professionals to help patients living with problems related to blood vessels or the heart. If the patient doesn't need emergency care, you may start off an appointment by preparing the patient for a procedure. This involves taking down the medical history of the patient and having them answer a series of questions that'll help with the procedure process. From there, you'll obtain the necessary image or information and pass it on to a physician who will come up with a diagnosis.

Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that cardiovascular technicians had a median hourly wage of about $26 in 2014. This resulted in a median annual salary of about $54,000. Cardiovascular technicians in the top ten percentile of earnings made roughly $84,000. Alaska, Washington, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia and New Jersey were the states that paid the highest average incomes for cardiovascular technicians.

Job Outlook

A much faster than average employment growth is projected for cardiac technicians from 2012 to 2022. This employment growth is somewhere around 30%, according to the BLS. The growth is being attributed to factors like technological advancement in imaging technology and the ability to manufacture less expensive equipment, which allows for an increase in the amount of procedures done.

Vocational Requirements

Education and Training

While in high school, you'll want to take classes in mathematics and science. From there, the majority of cardiac technicians acquire an associate's degree from a community college. These programs tend to offer classes that cover noninvasive or invasive cardiovascular technology procedures. Sometimes you'll obtain work experience in a hospital through a clinical internship. After being hired, you may acquire the rest of your skills through on-the-job training.

What're Employers Looking For in Cardiac Technicians?

Physical stamina is important for many employers who are looking for cardiac technicians. An employer will want to hire cardiac technicians capable of moving equipment and patients. Interpersonal communication is very crucial as well. It is important for cardiac technicians to be able to get patients in a cooperative frame of mind. As you read below, you can learn what real employers wanted in cardiac technicians from November 2012 job posts.

  • In Texas, a cardiac technician position requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of work experience in a cardiac catheterization laboratory.
  • Initiative and dependability are two qualities an employer in Nevada wants to see in cardiac technicians.
  • Invasive cardiology experience is preferred by a New Jersey laboratory looking for a cardiac technician.
  • A Hawaii medical center desires a cardiac technician with electro-neurodiagnostics national certification.

How to Stand Out as a Cardiac Technician

Cardiac technicians who take the time to earn professional certification will demonstrate an additional level of competency and commitment in the field. Some employers even view certification as the standard for employment. Certification can be earned through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).

To earn certification, you have to possess the necessary education and training, and then pass an examination. Additionally, recertification is typically necessary through a continuing education process.

Other Occupational Options

A related occupation you might want to consider is as a respiratory therapist. Patients who have trouble breathing or living with asthma or emphysema receive care from respiratory therapists. The BLS projected a 28% growth in employment for respiratory therapists from 2010 to 2020. In May 2011, respiratory therapists made around $56,000 on average annually.

Radiation therapy is another alternative career you may want to consider. Diseases like cancer often require radiation treatments. Radiation therapists handle the machines and procedures necessary to provide this treatment to patients. It is important to check the computer programs used in this career in order to make sure that the patient receives the exact dose of radiation recommended. The BLS reported that radiation therapists earned a yearly income of about $79,000 in May 2011. From 2010 to 2020, an employment growth of 20% is expected for radiation therapists.

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Kaplan University

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Which subject are you interested in?

American National University

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College of Health Care Professions

  • Limited Medical Radiologic Technologist-Certificate
  • Medical Assistant-Certificate

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Regent University

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CDI College

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Penn Foster High School

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Colorado State University Global

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