Vascular technologists use noninvasive techniques to monitor and record patients' vascular information, such as blood pressure and oxygenation levels. Those pursing a degree in vascular technology should have strong communication and critical thinking skills, in addition to being mechanically inclined and able to follow directions. Most employers seek job applicants with at least an associate's degree in vascular technology.
Associate of Applied Science in Vascular Technology
An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Vascular Technology program introduces students to the various equipment used to diagnose and monitor patients who have vascular diseases. Students typically complete numerous laboratory and clinical experiences. Specific topics of study might include:
- Acoustical and conceptual physics
- Vascular and cerebrovascular anatomy
- Basic extremity testing
Bachelor of Science in Vascular Technology
Some Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Vascular Technology programs are designed for working professionals who already have experience in the field. Others are much like associate's degree offerings in the field, but with the addition of general education requirements in subjects like humanities and composition. Students might be required to complete an internship. Advanced topics in a 4-year vascular technology program might include:
- Pediatric echocardiography
- Abdominal vascular disease
- Vascular lab management
- Clinical application of vascular technology
Certificate programs in vascular technology typically last 1-2 semesters and are open to professionals who already hold a bachelor's degree in biology, radiology, registered nursing or a related field. Some programs are even more restrictive, requiring applicants to hold credentialing as a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) or Registered General Sonographer (RDMS). Classes might include:
- Ultrasound physics
- Peripheral and cerebral vascular evaluation
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the BLS, cardiovascular technicians make a mean annual wage of $56,100 as of May 2015. The BLS projected job growth of 24% from 2014-2024 for the group including cardiovascular technicians, vascular technicians and diagnostic sonographers, which is faster than average compared to all other occupations.
Licenses and Certifications
Licensure is not required for vascular technicians. However, voluntary certification as a Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS) is available through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) also offers voluntary credentialing as a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT).
Workshops and Seminars
Workshops and seminars for vascular technicians are widely available through colleges and universities and professional organizations. Many are designed to keep technicians current on new technologies and techniques in the field.
CCI and ARDMS require most professionals to continue their education to maintain certification. A variety of continuing education courses in vascular technology are available online and through community colleges and 4-year institutions.
Vascular technician training programs can be sought out at the associate's and bachelor's levels, with post-graduate certificate programs also available. These programs may cover topics such as basic extremity testing, abdominal vascular disease, ultrasound physics, and more. The career outlook for vascular technicians is predicted to be very healthy over the next decade.