Cardiovascular Technologist

As more and more baby boomers enter their senior years, the demand for specialists trained in cardiovascular technology continues to rise. Together with physicians, cardiovascular technologists help to diagnose and treat conditions associated with heart disease and vascular disorders. Learn more about the role of cardiovascular technologist and the future job outlook for specialists in this field.

Job Description

Also known as cardiac sonographers and echocardiologists, cardiovascular technologists work with the technological equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions. Some of the equipment these specialists work with includes

  • Computerized imaging technology
  • Sound waves
  • Electrocardiograph or EKG
  • Pacemakers

This equipment is used to monitor patient heart rates, track blood flow rates and take images of the heart. Cardiovascular technologists may also assist physicians during open-heart surgery with pacemaker, stent and catheter procedures. These procedures involve opening artery blockages and/or clearing other major blood vessels.

When treating patients, cardiovascular technologies may perform invasive procedures, such as catheter insertions; or noninvasive procedures, such as taking images of the heart using ultrasound equipment.


Compared to other occupations within the medical technology field, cardiovascular technologies earn some of the highest salaries of all. The journal, U.S. News and World Report ranks this occupation as one of the “100 Best Jobs in 2013.” Average annual salaries for cardiovascular technologists range from $27,342 to $65,419 depending on years of experience. This computes to an hourly wage range of $13.22 to $30 and an overtime hourly rate of $17.15 to $46.12.

While someone just entering the field can expect to earn at the bottom end of the scale, someone with five to nine years experience can earn as much as $45,781. In terms of salary range from state to state, Alaska pays the highest wage of all at $82,000 per year with Montana, Washington, New Jersey and Oregon (among others) paying up to $62,000 per year.

Job Outlook

Data collected by the American Heart Association show heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Not surprisingly, the demand for cardiovascular technologists is expected to grow by as much as 29 percent between the years 2010 and 2020.

As of 2010, cardiovascular technologists held an estimated 49,400 jobs within various work settings, some of which include

  • Physician’s offices
  • State/local/private hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories

With ongoing advancements in imaging technology, an increasing number of medical facilities will replace the more invasive procedures with the less invasive imaging procedures, which are also less costly. As a result, the demand for cardiovascular technologists will increase accordingly.

How to Become a Cardiovascular Technologist

There are many paths to becoming a cardiovascular technologist. Interested candidates can choose fromAssociate degree programs

  • Bachelor degree programs
  • One-year certification programs

Two-year associate degree programs are offered at community colleges, while four-year bachelor degree programs can be taken at colleges and universities. Some employers also offer on-the-job training, though this path can be limiting in terms of future career prospects.

At the very least, interested candidates should obtain a certification in cardiovascular technology. Certifications are considered the standard within the profession, which accounts for why most employers prefer to hire certified technologists.

Certifications are available in different areas, some of which include

  • Echocardiography
  • Vascular technology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Cardiology

Overall, a cardiovascular technologist position offers a promising career path for the trained professional.

Featured Programs


Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Globally Renowned Purdue to Acquire Kaplan University

Purdue University, one of the nation's most respected universities, will acquire Kaplan University and create a new, nonprofit, public institution within the Purdue system. Pending regulatory approvals, this exciting transition is expected to take place later this year. This change will be seamless—during the transition, you will still be able to enroll at Kaplan University, earn a high-quality education, and meet your educational and career goals.


  • Health Information Management

The Metropolitan Institute of Health and Technology (MIHT) is dedicated to educating men and women to serve with confidence in the health and technology industry. MIHT provides career training for students to move forward in their chosen field of study, changing their lives for the better. MIHT strives to provide quality education with affordable tuition. Our staff works to determine the best financial options for students on an individualized level.


  • Electronic Health Records
Locations: Lorton

CTU can help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. And now several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News Best Online Programs for 2015.  Are you in?


  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management - Health Informatics

Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!


What Are You Waiting For?


  • Surgical Technology - Associate's
Locations: Richmond

Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.


  • Master of Science - Health Informatics
Adelphi University’s roots reach back to 1863 and the founding of the Adelphi Academy, a private preparatory school in Brooklyn, New York. The Academy was incorporated in 1869 and its Board of Trustees was charged with establishing a first class institution for the broadest and most thorough training, and to make its advantages as accessible as possible to the largest numbers of our population. The school quickly gained a reputation for its innovative curriculum, particularly in physical culture and early childhood education.


  • Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.


  • MS Health Informatics

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


  • Sterile Processing Technician
  • Surgical Technology
Locations: Richmond
Disclaimer: School programs and details may change over time. Contact schools for current information.