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Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians
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Description: what do they do?
Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, lung capacity, and similar tests. Includes vascular technologists.
Also known as:
Electrocardiogram Technician (EKG Technician), Cardiovascular Technician, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Technologist, Cardiac Technician, Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS), Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT), Cardiopulmonary Technician, Cardiac Catheterization Technician, Cardiology Technician

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: It takes a team to accomplish the everyday miracles of modern care for heart patients. Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians are essential members of that team. Technologists are trained to prepare patients and assist physicians during procedures such as cardiac catheterization and open-heart surgery. They also monitor patients’ blood pressure and heart rate. The work requires a high degree of precision and concentration, but also the ability to keep patients comfortable and ease their anxiety. The work of technicians focuses on the measurement of the electrical signals generated by the heart— called an electrocardiogram, or EKG. Technicians place sensors on the patient, and operate different machines that record the patient’s heartbeat. They also administer stress tests. Some technicians take images, known as echocardiograms, of a patient’s heart using ultrasound equipment. An associate’s degree in cardiovascular technology and certification are the most common qualifications needed for employment. The work can be stressful, but very rewarding because every hour of every day someone’s life is on the line.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Kentucky
1,080
2016 Employment
1,160
2026 Employment
7%
Percent change
70
Annual projected job openings
United States
55,000
2016 Employment
60,500
2026 Employment
10%
Percent change
3,500
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians in Kentucky
LocationKentuckyUnited States
10%$25,860$28,680
25%$32,120$37,140
Median$47,430$55,270
75%$62,830$73,610
90%$75,970$90,760


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Associate's degree
  • No work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Test patient heart or lung functioning.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
  • Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
  • Maintain sterile operative fields.
  • Monitor video displays of medical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Calculate numerical data for medical activities.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
  • Prepare patients physically for medical procedures.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Administer medical substances for imaging or other procedures.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Adjust settings or positions of medical equipment.
  • Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Repair medical facility equipment.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Order medical supplies or equipment.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Perceptual Speed - Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Conduct electrocardiogram (EKG), phonocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress testing, or other cardiovascular tests to record patients' cardiac activity, using specialized electronic test equipment, recording devices, or laboratory instruments.
  • Compare measurements of heart wall thickness and chamber sizes to standard norms to identify abnormalities.
  • Explain testing procedures to patients to obtain cooperation and reduce anxiety.
  • Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
  • Observe ultrasound display screen and listen to signals to record vascular information, such as blood pressure, limb volume changes, oxygen saturation, or cerebral circulation.
  • Assist surgeons with vascular procedures, such as preparing balloons and stents.
  • Monitor patients' blood pressure and heart rate using electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures to notify the physician if something appears wrong.
  • Assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac or peripheral vascular treatments, such as implanting pacemakers or assisting with balloon angioplasties to treat blood vessel blockages.
  • Assess cardiac physiology and calculate valve areas from blood flow velocity measurements.
  • Obtain and record patient identification, medical history, or test results.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment to produce contrast enhanced radiographs of heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Monitor patients' comfort and safety during tests, alerting physicians to abnormalities or changes in patient responses.
  • Observe gauges, recorder, and video screens of data analysis system during imaging of cardiovascular system.
  • Attach electrodes to the patients' chests, arms, and legs, connect electrodes to leads from the electrocardiogram (EKG) machine, and operate the EKG machine to obtain a reading.
  • Prepare and position patients for testing.
  • Inject contrast medium into patients' blood vessels.
  • Transcribe, type, and distribute reports of diagnostic procedures for interpretation by physician.
  • Adjust equipment and controls according to physicians' orders or established protocol.
  • Enter factors, such as amount and quality of radiation beam, and filming sequence, into computer.
  • Conduct tests of pulmonary system, using spirometer or other respiratory testing equipment.
  • Activate fluoroscope and camera to produce images used to guide catheter through cardiovascular system.
  • Set up 24-hour Holter and event monitors, scan and interpret tapes, and report results to physicians.
  • Check, test, and maintain cardiology equipment, making minor repairs when necessary, to ensure proper operation.
  • Supervise or train other cardiology technologists or students.
  • Perform general administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments or ordering supplies or equipment.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.