University of Wisconsin–Madison

Cardiovascular Technologist (CT/CVT)

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians help physicians in diagnosing and treating heart and blood vessel diseases and disorders. There are many specialized areas which are briefly outlined in this section.

Specializations

  • Electrocardiograph Technician – Electrocardiograph technicians, sometimes referred to as ECG or EKG technicians, are trained to conduct an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), which measures the heart’s electrical impulses and provides data to help determine the existence of a heart ailment.
  • Echocardiograph Technician – Echocardiograph technicians, sometimes known as diagnostic cardiac sonographers perform ultrasounds on the heart to assist the physician in the diagnosis of disease and to conduct studies of the heart.
  • Cardiopulmonary Technologist – Cardiopulmonary technologists are sometimes referred to as cardiovascular technologists. They are trained to perform diagnostic tests to determine diagnosis and treatment for heart, lung, or blood vessel ailments.

Work Activities/Work Locations

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians work in hospitals, physician’s offices, cardiac rehabilitation centers and health maintenance organizations (HMO’s). They are trained to conduct various tests to determine the extent of a patient’s cardiovascular problems. Technologists and technicians report findings to the patient’s physician for interpretation. In addition, they may schedule appointments, maintain patient files and maintain equipment. They deal directly with patients and spend a significant amount of time walking and standing. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians typically work a 40-hour week which may include weekends. Some may be on-call during the evening and on weekends. If working in catheterization labs, electrocardiograph technicians may work with patients with serious or critical heart ailments, increasing the likelihood of dealing with life or death situations.

Getting Started

  • High School Courses

    High school students should study health and the sciences. A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Most technicians receive training on the job, although some 1-year certificate programs and some 2-year junior or community college programs exist. Some employers prefer to train individuals with a background in the health care field. Those qualified in a related allied health profession need to complete one-year of specialized instruction.

  • Education and Training

    Educational Institutions

    Milwaukee Area Technical College

  • Professional Organizations

    Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals
    PO Box 2007
    Midlothian, VA, 23113
    804/632-0078
    www.acp-online.org/

    Cardiovascular Credentialing International and National Board of Cardiovascular Testing
    1500 Sunday Dr., Suite 102
    Raleigh, NC, 27607
    919/861-4539 or 800/326-0268
    www.cci-online.org

    Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
    1361 Park St.
    Clearwater, FL, 33756
    727/210-2350
    www.caahep.org/

    Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    2745 Dallas Pkwy., Suite 350
    Plano, TX, 75093-8730
    214/473-8057 or 800/229-9506
    www.sdms.org/

    The Society for Vascular Ultrasound
    4601 Presidents Dr., Suite 260
    Lanham, MD, 20706-4831
    301/459-7550 or 800/788-8346
    www.svunet.org

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 1,260
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 52,000
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 63,500
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 22%
Expected Annual Openings: 2,140
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $54,519

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.