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Cardiovascular Technologist Salary

What is the average salary for cardiovascular technologists?

Since cardiovascular technology is considered a critical care area, the salary is high compared to other medical technical professions. Cardiovascular technologists (CVTs) can often receive a pay jump when they work in a critical care area like an emergency department or an intensive care unit (ICU). The hourly pay range for the occupation varies based on geographic location, hospital size and numerous other factors, but it can generally fall anywhere between $13 to $40 an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, the BLS reports that the mean annual wages nationwide for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, as of May 2014, were $55,210. However, those with earnings in the lowest 10 percent made as little as $28,110 or less while those earning in the upper 10 percent made as much as $84,940 or more, shows May 2014 BLS data.

What personality traits or skills does a cardiovascular technologist need?

This field requires someone who is confident and not afraid to work in life and death situations to take care of critically sick patients. Other important skills, according to the BLS, include good hand-eye coordination, physical stamina, technical know-how and interpersonal skills to effectively communicate with patients and healthcare professionals.

Are cardiovascular technologists in high demand?

The BLS reports that job opportunities for cardiovascular technologists and technicians are expected to grow by 30 percent from 2012 to 2022. This job growth is considered much faster than average and could lead to 15,700 new jobs becoming available during this time. One factor leading to demand is that health care facilities should be turning more and more to imaging technology as the sector evolves, particularly to replace more expensive and pricier invasive procedures. Also, the BLS reports that many third-party payers, such as health insurance providers, are encouraging the use of noninvasive procedures in cardiovascular technology.

A shift toward outpatient care could also lead to greater use of cardiovascular technology equipment and machinery in diagnostic and medical labs as well as doctors' offices. An aging baby boomer population, as well as increased access to health care coverage for many individuals -- as a result of federal law -- could mean more people taking advantage of cardiovascular technology type services, including those that help diagnose conditions like tumors and blood clots.

Is there room for advancement?

Certification of skills may be one way you can distinguish yourself to seek higher pay or better job opportunities. In some states, certification may be required to obtain a license. Organizations that offer certification include Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

That said, cardiovascular technologists can work their way up to become a manager or director of a department. They also could further their schooling to become a physician or other medical professional although this would take much more education. They may be able to transition to a different position in the industry and sell medical equipment, which can lead to a lucrative salary. There are also temp agencies that hire contractual CVTs for a certain length of time when there are shortages at hospitals. Some agencies hire CVTs for three-month stints, and these opportunities can pay very well.

What are the advantages of a job as a cardiovascular technologist?

Working on hearts is a very exciting, prestigious field. Obviously, heart function is essential to sustain life. There is great satisfaction in this field when people who are sick are given interventions that lead to immediate relief and reversal of symptoms. Cardiovascular technologists also utilize amazing technology and equipment.

Learn more about cardiovascular technologist job specifics.

What employment settings exist for cardiovascular technologists?

Cardiovascular technologists mainly work in hospital settings, performing procedures with cardiologists in invasive cardiovascular laboratories (commonly called cath labs). Typically cardiovascular procedures are not portable and remain in the cath lab because of the x-ray equipment used. There are varying sizes of hospitals, including community hospitals and teaching institutions with medical programs. Some smaller community hospitals only perform coronary interventions but not cardiovascular surgery. Other smaller hospitals do not have the support structure in place for a cardiovascular program and therefore do not have a cath lab.

What are the hours like for a cardiovascular technologist?

This profession typically involves 10-hour daytime shifts since this is when the cath lab is open for individuals having elective procedures and surgeries. A common shift begins at 7 a.m. and lasts until 5:30 p.m. Some hospitals offer 8 or 12-hour shift options as well. Like many jobs in health care that deal with emergency situations, the job of a cardiovascular technologist may include on-call rotations for nights and weekends. Part-time work opportunities may also be available.

Sources:

  1. Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292031.htm
  2. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm

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