What is a Cardiovascular Technologist

Medical professionals who conduct diagnostic tests on patients’ cardiovascular and pulmonary systems are called cardiovascular technologists (also known as Cardiovascular Technician). They identify illnesses, diseases, and disorders of the heart, blood vesssels, and lungs.

Pulmonary-function and lung-capacity tests, electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, and balloon angioplasties are among the procedures that technologists perform. They also use sonogram and ultrasound equipment, and assist doctors in interpreting test results to make diagnoses. For more information on job duties, please visit our cardiovascular technologist job description page.

Work Environment

Technologists are employed in medical facilities that are generally clean, safe, and well lighted. Their contact with patients puts them at risk of contracting contagious diseases, though following established protocols mitigates the danger.

There also is a chance of radiation exposure while using diagnostic equipment, which is why technologists wear protective aprons, masks, goggles, and gloves. Operators of sonography equipment have an elevated risk of carpel tunnel syndrome, eye strain, and ailments of the neck and back.

Conducting tests sometimes entails standing for long periods. Technologists also must do a lot of walking. Some strength and agility are needed to lift and position patients, and move medical equipment. An ability to cope with high-pressure and stressful situations is helpful, as patients may be upset or anxious.

Work Schedule

Professionals in this field can expect full-time hours, though some of them work overtime and others are part-time employees. The majority of jobs involve day shifts, with some technologists working evenings and weekends. An invasive cardiovascular technologist may be on call, ready to assist doctors in surgery at any time.

Mean Annual Cardiovascular Technologist Salary

The average annual cardiovascular technologist salary is $53,050. The mean salary is calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and divid that value by the total number of employees. Lowest 10% of this occupation makes less than $27,830 and the top 10% makes over $80,790.

Cardiovascular Technologist Salary: Quick Summary

2012 Mean Salary$53,050 per year
$25.52 per hour
Top 10% Salary$80,790 per year
$38.84 per hour
Bottom 10% Salary$27,830 per year
$13.38 per hour
Number of Jobs, 201250,530

Cardiovascular Technologist Job Outlook and Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that the number of positions for cardiovascular technologists will rise 30 percent from 2012 to 2022. That would be a much greater job-growth rate than that of the average occupation.

An increase in the number of senior citizens is expected to be the main factor fueling the expansion of opportunities. They typically experience more ailments of the heart and lungs. People are increasingly seeking preventive care, such as cardiovascular assessments, at doctors’ offices and clinics. This is due to greater public awareness and expanded health-insurance coverage. Advancements in imaging technology also are likely to create additional demand for technologists.

What Affects Cardiovascular Technologist Salary

The level of training, location, and work experience all have an impact on cardiovascular technologist salary. Specialization and certification are strong factors as well, with the overall average salary ranging between $30,000 and $80,000. The mean cardiovascular technologist salary is $53,050, or approximately $25.51 per hour.

Education and Specialization

In addition to a high school diploma or GED, an entry-level position in this profession requires at least a two-year associate’s degree from an institution recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Many community colleges offer such programs.

A four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university could qualify a technologist for a better-paying job. Courses in these programs include anatomy, biology, pharmacology, physiology, cardiology, electrocardiography, math, computer science, and medical technologies. Students also receive clinical training.

In most states, technologists must obtain licenses. Application procedures and regulations differ, but the typical requirements are an appropriate degree and a passing score on an exam. Employers often mandate that technologists be trained in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support.

Technologists may specialize in invasive cardiology, echocardiography, or vascular technology. Cardiology technologists monitor heart rates and assist doctors in making diagnoses. They perform surgery and noninvasive medical procedures. Vascular technologists and sonographers conduct tests to identify problems with veins and arteries. Cardiac sonographers and echocardiographers employ ulrasound and other technology to diagnose disorders of the heart. Cardiovascular technicians are specially trained to conduct electrocardiogram tests.

Professional certification is not always required, but obtaining a certificate (from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography or Cardiovascular Credentialing International) may boost a job applicant’s odds. Among the certificates available are those for registered vascular specialist, registered cardiac electrophysiology specialist, registered cardiac sonographer, registered cardiovascular invasive specialist, registered congenital cardiac sonographer, and certified cardiographic technician.


More than three-fourths of cardiovascular technologists work in hospitals, with an average salary of about $35,800. The pay is much better ($46,000 per year) for those employed at diagnostic centers. Other workplaces include community clinics, where the average salary is $36,430; outpatient cardiology clinics, $36,000; and catheter laboratories, $56,000.

Cardiovascular technology laboratories specialize in cardiac catheterization, blood gas, electrophysiology, echocardiography, exercise stress testing, electrocardiography, Doppler ultrasound, thermography, and plethysmography.


Technologists are expected to be needed, in increasing numbers, nearly everywhere. Of course, the most jobs are available in metropolitan and suburban areas. Some positions may be found in smaller communities, though the salaries are generally lower.

At last report, Florida offered the most jobs in the field (5,940), with an average salary of $45,910. Next on the list were California, 3,540 positions with average pay of $59,910; Texas, 3,530 jobs at a rate of $51,420; New York, 2,880 jobs at $54,240; and Pennsylvania, 2,780 at $55,280.

Alaska had the highest average salary ($80,310), but only 60 positions were available statewide. Technologists in Washington made an average of $66,920; New Jersey, $66,640; Massachusetts, $66,050; and the District of Columbia, $66,000.

Cardiovascular Technologist Salary: Top 5

Top Paying Metropolitan AreasTop Paying StatesTop Paying IndustriesStates with Highest Employment Level
Anchorage, AK: $82,420Alaska: $80,310Offices of Other Health Care Practitioners: $69,030Florida: (5,940 jobs) $45,910
Brockton, MA: $81,630 Washington: $66,920Specialty Hospitals: $57,910California: (3,540 jobs) $59,910
Stockton, CA: $78,030New Jersey: $66,640Offices of Physicians: $57,320Texas: (3,530 jobs) $51,420
Oxnard, CA: $75,080Massachusetts: $66,050Management of Companies and Enterprises: $56,490New York: (2,880 jobs) $54,240
Las Cruces, NM: $72,760District of Columbia: $66,000Outpatient Care Centers: $56,300Pennsylvania: (2,780 jobs) $55,280

Cardiovascular Technologist Salary State by State