Echo Vascular Technician: Job Duties and Requirements

The body's blood circulation system is the focus of the echo vascular technician. Most echo vascular technicians, commonly known by the titles of 'vascular technologist' or 'vascular sonographer,' go to community colleges for a two-year associate's degree, while the rest earn baccalaureates in four years. Keep reading to further explore the requirements and benefits of this occupation.

Career Definition for Echo Vascular Technicians

The echo vascular tech's main responsibility is to execute tests (oftentimes, during surgery and post-surgery) to monitor the components of artery function, states the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These components include the patient's pulse, blood flow, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and circulation in the brain, abdomen, and periphery. Once the tests are completed and their data compiled, the vascular tech summarizes conclusions derived from the data, then presents them to the physician.

Education Certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree
Job Skills Communication skills, mechanical aptitude, knowledge of the human body, teamwork
Median Salary (2015)* $68,970 (for all diagnostic medical sonographers)
Career Outlook (2014-2024)* 26% (for all diagnostic medical sonographers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Echo vascular techs can earn from a one-year certificate to a four-year bachelor's degree, according to CAAHEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. As of 2016, the CAAHEP lists over 70 accredited diagnostic medical sonography programs with vascular concentrations in the U.S.


The echo vascular tech operates ultrasound equipment that bounces high-frequency waves off the body's blood vessels (except for the heart's vessels, says the Society of Vascular Ultrasound's website, www.svunet.org). The vessels' resulting echoes are represented as video images showing how the vessels are functioning. The echo vascular tech needs essentially the same skills as those of an echocardiology technician, such as thorough knowledge of Doppler ultrasound.

Future Economics and Career

Because medical technology improvements have eschewed invasive procedures in favor of less expensive noninvasive ones, vascular techs are able to pinpoint vascular disease earlier, which means more job availability and a projection of much faster than average job growth of 26% in 2014 through 2024. The BLS reported in May 2015 that the median annual salary for diagnostic medical sonographers, including echo vascular techs, was $68,970.

Alternate Career Options

Similar careers are:

Radiation Therapist

With either an associate's or bachelor's degree in radiation therapy, in addition to licensing in most states, these professionals then seeks jobs treating diseases, such as cancer, through the administration of radiation treatments. As of May 2015, they earned a median salary of $80,220 per year, the BLS said, and could expect much faster than average employment growth of 14% from 2014-2024.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

These techs earned median wages of $73,360 in 2015, according to the BLS, in jobs where they administer radioactive drugs to patients and then use a scanner to create bodily images. Their training usually involves either an associate's or bachelor's degree in this field; some states require licensing. Per the BLS, slower than average increases in these positions, at 2% growth, were projected from 2014 through 2024.

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