In Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Cardiovascular Technology programs, students pick from three major specializations in the field, such as invasive cardiology, non-invasive cardiology and echocardiography. Applicants to these 2-year cardiovascular technology programs must have a high school diploma and benefit from a strong background in science, especially biology and chemistry. It's also essential for cardiovascular technologists to possess technical aptitude and ease while operating highly specialized medical equipment.
Associate's Degree in Cardiovascular Technology
The curriculum of a cardiovascular technology program consist of both classroom time and applied instruction that stresses the basics, like biology or anatomy, and field specifics, such as exercise stress testing and electrocardiography.
Students in non-invasive and echocardiograph specializations learn to examine the heart and blood vessels through methods that are non-invasive, such as EKG's, stress tests and ultrasounds. Aspiring cardiovascular technicians focusing on invasive methods learn to examine a patient's heart and blood with probing methods that work directly in a patient's body. All programs combine lecture and hands-on lab training. Common courses include the following:
- Hospital policies and procedures
- Patient assessment for cardiovascular technicians
- Organic chemistry
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Vascular and cardiac pathophysiology
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Career opportunities for cardiovascular technicians, cardiovascular technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers and vascular technologists are expected to increase by 24% from 2014-2024, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). This is much faster than the average for all occupations. Candidates with the best job prospects will be skilled in multiple procedures and have multiple professional credentials. The mean annual income for cardiovascular technicians and technologists working in a physician's office was $59,750, while technicians and technologists working in general or surgical hospitals earned a mean salary of $55,350, reports the BLS (May 2015 figures).
Students wishing to work as cardiovascular technicians, cardiovascular technologists or vascular technologists can pursue an associate's degree in cardiovascular technology. These programs give students the necessary procedural and technology skills to care for patients.