Are you exploring career options? Are you comparing jobs in the medical field? Are you a fast learner, have a good eye for detail and enjoy helping others? Do you want to make an adequate salary? A career as a cardiovascular tech might be for you.
Also known as a cardiovascular technologist, cardiovascular technicians play an important role in the medical field. They assist physicians in diagnosing and treating heart and blood diseases. They are experts on heart diseases and defects. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that employment is expected to grow much faster than average.
Payscale.com reports that cardiovascular techs earn between $31,937 to slightly over $50,000 a year. Of course, this salary is expected to increase with inflation. And, as with most jobs, cardiovascular techs receive raises the longer they work at a hospital or other place of employment. Below are a few tips on how to become a cardiovascular technician.
Carefully decide if this job is for you.
As with all career choices, it is very important to carefully decide if this career path is for you. Are you okay with doing repetitive and similar tasks frequently? Can you stand on your feet for long periods of time? Do you have a compassionate personality, and can tolerate working with agitated patients? Do you enjoy science and helping others? Do you like learning about the human body and how it works? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then you might be a great person to become a cardiovascular tech.
You also must consider if you would be willing to relocate. While the job is in demand, it doesn’t mean it is necessarily in demand in all areas and all cities. You might have to be flexible with where you work. If there is only one hospital in a 100 mile radius of your home, you should be prepared to move. In addition, you will probably have to relocate for the training and education, if there is not a school in your area.
Find a job shadow experience, if possible.
One of the best things you can do to help you decide if the career is right for you, is to find a job shadow experience. You can meet a cardiovascular tech, ask him/her questions, and even possibly observe him/her on the job. To learn how to find a job shadow experience, please read, “How to Find a Job Shadow Experience.” You also might take a look at “Questions to Ask During a Job Shadow Experience.”
Get an education.
Cardiovascular technologists must receive training to learn how to run diagnostic tests and more. Most cardiovascular techs have associate’s degrees. However, some have bachelor’s degrees as well. While you can definitely succeed with an associate’s degree or a certificate, a bachelor’s degree might make you more marketable to future employers.
As of 2010, there are only five colleges in the US that have accredited bachelor’s programs for cardiovascular techs. Read “Cardiovascular Technologist Schools that Offer a Bachelor’s Degree” to learn more about them. If you live nowhere near any of these colleges, it might make more sense to pursue an associate’s degree instead.
There are other programs that are not accredited. It is wiser to choose an accredited program, even if it means it costs a little extra. Since some employers will only hire graduates from an accredited program, you are limiting your job opportunities if you do not attend an accredited program.
Apply for open jobs.
After you’ve graduated, it’s time to start your job search. Your school’s career center might provide you with career guidance. And, of course, you can search job openings on sites such as indeed.com.
If you make excellent grades and succeed in your training, you should not have any problem landing a job. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that in 2008 there were 49,500 cardiovascular tech jobs in the US. However, they project that by 2018, there will be 61,400 positions. That is a growth of 24% in just ten years.
These are just a few tips on how to become a cardiovascular technologist. If you are still exploring careers, please read “Jobs in the Medical Field Without a Bachelor’s Degree.” You might also read “Jobs that Pay Over $100,000 a Year” and “High Demand Science Jobs that Pay Over $60,000 a Year.” For tips on selecting a college major, read “How to Decide on a College Major: Tips for Choosing a Career Path.”
Good luck as you make decisions for your future!