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Career Definition for a Cardiac Rehabilitation Technician
A cardiac rehabilitation technician works with patients who suffer, or who have suffered, from heart problems and ailments. A cardiac rehabilitation technician monitors and designs exercise and nutritional programs for their patients.
|Required Education||A bachelor's degree in physical therapy, exercise science, exercise therapy or kinesiology|
|Job Skills||Develop exercise and nutrition programs, communicate well with patients, develop technical knowledge|
|Median Salary (2017)||$55,270 (cardiovascular technologists and technicians)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||10% (cardiovascular technologists and technicians)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A career as a cardiac rehabilitation technician requires a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy, exercise science, exercise therapy or kinesiology. Students in these degree programs can expect to study human anatomy, nutrition metabolism, electrocardiography, emergency care and personal safety.
To be a cardiac rehabilitation technician, you must be knowledgeable in the cardiovascular system. You have to understand how to develop exercise and nutrition programs and how to interact with patients and help them improve their cardiac health. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) treatment guidelines must also be understood and adhered to. Furthermore, patient communication skills and technical knowledge are important.
Career and Economic Outlook
The highest concentration of opening positions for cardiovascular technologists and technicians is expected in medical laboratories and physician's offices, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Also, faster-than-average job growth of 10% is projected in the 2016-2026 decade, adding approximately 5,500 jobs. Per the BLS, the median annual salary for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was $55,270 in 2017.
Alternate Career Options
If you're looking for a similar career as an alternative, here are a few options:
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician
Technologists usually have a bachelor's degree, and technicians normally need a post-secondary certificate or an associate's degree to secure employment collecting samples and performing tests on human tissue, bodily fluids and additional substances. The BLS predicted above average employment growth of 12% for technologists, from 2016-2026, while the outlook for technicians during that same time was faster than the average at 14%. In 2017, technicians who perform the routine tests earned an annual median wage of $51,770, per the BLS.
With a bachelor's degree in a field related to biology, these technicians assist biological and medical scientists with lab tests and experiments. Faster-than-average employment growth of 10% was forecast by the BLS for these positions from 2016-2026. Biological technicians earned a median wage of $43,800 per year, according to the BLS in 2017.