Many young men and women who are looking to start a career decide to enter the medical field. Job opportunities are more plentiful in health care and related medical fields than in most other industries. Not everyone can become a doctor, but most people can become a medical technician. A cardiovascular technician and technologist career is one particular specialty that is both emotionally rewarding and also pays very well.
What Can You Earn?
According to the May 2010 United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics the median salary for a cardiovascular technician was $49,410. For a 40-hour work week, that works out to $23.75 per hour. With some experience and perhaps working some overtime, it is quite possible to earn close to $70,000 per year. Check out our detailed article about Cardiovascular Technician Salary.
Where Will You Work?
Cardiovascular technician and technologist work usually takes place in a hospital setting, but a cardiovascular technician might also work in a cardiovascular clinic or a cardiologist’s office.
What are Your Duties?
Cardiologists and other physicians that deal with medical issues related to the heart and vascular system seek the assistance of cardiovascular technicians and technologists during testing and certain invasive and non-invasive medical procedures. You may be required to prep a patient for a cardiac catheterization, do an EKG of the patient’s chest, and assist with an ultrasound test or any other number of different procedures. Technicians are not doctors but they do the tests that doctors review later to determine the treatment plan for a patient.
What is the Cardiovascular Technician and Technologist Work Environment?
You need to be in good physical condition as the demands of the position include staying on your feet for a long time, some heavy lifting and movement of machinery from room to room. You will also likely deal with very ill patients with life-threatening heart disease and other serious medical issues. You will have to develop a professional attitude and a good bedside manner. There is some chance of exposure to radiation, but the risk is minimal as long as you follow proper protective procedures.
Generally, a cardiovascular technician and technologist will attend classes at a community college for 2 years and earn an Associate Degree. There are also 4 year programs that provide a wider range of subject matter as well as also focusing in detail on different cardiovascular specialties. Programs must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals (CAAHEP) in order for the student to receive a professional certification. While getting a license and certification is not mandatory, most employers require such documentation before you can be hired.