California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians in California

May also be called: EKG Technicians; Electrocardiograph Technicians

Specialties within this occupation include: Cardiac Technicians; Cardiographers; Cardiology Technologists; Cardiopulmonary Technologists; Echocardiographers; Perfusionists; Cardiac Sonographers; Vascular Technologists

What Would I Do?

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and vascular (blood vessel) ailments. They perform ultrasound or cardiovascular procedures, schedule appointments, review doctors’ interpretations and patient files, and monitor patients’ heart rates. They also operate and care for testing equipment, explain test procedures, and compare findings to normal standards in order to identify problems.

Technicians perform electrocardiograms, treadmill stress tests, and Holter monitoring. Technologists may take vascular sonograms or assist with cardiac catheterization. Technologists may monitor patients during open-heart surgery and during the insertion of pacemakers and stents that open up blockages in arteries to the heart and major blood vessels.

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians work in well-lit, comfortable medical facilities. They spend a lot of time walking and standing. Heavy lifting may be involved to move equipment or transfer patients. Technologists and Technicians generally work a 5-day, 40-hour week that may include evenings and weekends.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians may appeal to those who enjoy activities that involve working with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking and searching for facts and solving problems. Results-oriented individuals who are independent workers and like to make their own decisions should enjoy this type of job.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2016 for Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians in California is $68,438 annually, or $32.90 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$50,157$68,438$92,562
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits generally include medical, dental, life, and vision insurance, as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

This occupation is expected to grow due to the increasing older population. Demand will also be spurred by improvements in technology requiring trained individuals to operate complicated equipment. Specialty areas, such as echocardiography, are particularly expected to grow. Those who have multiple skills will have better job prospects.

How Do I Qualify?

Most training providers prefer a high school diploma or equivalent to become an EKG Technician. One-year certificate training programs, hospitals, and clinics offer training for basic EKG testing, stress testing, and Holter monitoring. Most employers prefer to train people already in the health care field, such as nursing aides, for these technician positions.

The most common level of education completed by Cardiovascular Technicians and Technologists is an associate degree. However, four-year programs are becoming increasingly available for Technologists. Perfusionists must obtain a bachelor's degree, complete a training program, and receive certification through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Applicants can also find employment opportunities through placement offices at colleges and universities. Newspaper classified ads, professional associations, and the Internet provide additional sources for job listings.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

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