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Cardiovascular Technology Certificate: Program Overview

Learn about certificate programs in cardiovascular technology. Get information on program goals, coursework, and salary information to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

Cardiovascular technology certificate programs can prepare students for entry-level positions performing non-invasive or invasive cardiovascular testing. Many programs include certification exam preparation. Cardiovascular technology certificate programs generally take about a year to complete. Applicants usually need a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Program Coursework

Physiology, lab assisting, and EKG test analysis are areas that could be covered in a cardiovascular technology certificate program. They also learn to assist physicians in diagnostic cardiographic procedures. Students in these programs can also learn how to diagnose, evaluate, and treat patients with cardiac diseases. They usually study the anatomy of the heart as well as medical terminology and the use of medical equipment.

Students might also prepare to take certification exams, such as the Electrocardiograph Technician exam administered by the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT). Some specific courses in these programs might include:

  • Legal aspects of patient care
  • Echocardiology
  • Cardiac cycle
  • Sinus rhythm/bradycardis/tachycardia
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Clinical practices
  • Fundamentals of healthcare
  • Life support

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Graduates can go on to become EKG technicians, pacemaker technicians, or stress testing technicians in a variety of healthcare centers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job opportunities for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was expected to grow 30% between 2012 and 2022. This projection was mainly based on the increased number of older individuals with heart disease and technological advances in vascular equipment. The median salary for cardiovascular technicians and technologists in 2012 was reported as $52,070 by the BLS.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

The BLS stated that the most common academic path for cardiovascular technologists is an associate's degree, though employers often look for credentialed applicants. Though earning certification is optional, it was noted that professionals who earn credentials in multiple specialties and have training in several types of procedures should have the best opportunities. Certifying organizations, such as ASPT or Cardiovascular Credentialing International, usually require some academic or experiential background to qualify for exams.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics