Steps to Becoming a Cardiovascular Tech

A career in cardiac technology generally takes two to four years of post-secondary study. The following steps are for high school students or graduates considering the field.

  1. Take a college prep curriculum, which includes computer studies and advanced math and science.

  2. Do as much health career exploration as you can. Begin with job shadowing or career fairs. You might also attend a health careers camp sponsored by the Area Health Education Center (AHEC). This may help you decide which area you want to focus on: invasive cardiology, vascular technology and sonography, or cardiac sonography.

  3. Score well on the ACT or SAT.

    Get your CPR certification. This may be required for program admission. It definitely will be required by the time you put in your clinical hours.

  4. Find an associate or bachelor’s level program that you like. Make sure your program is accredited by CAAHEP (the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals). This will allow you to become certified later.

  5. Fulfill pre-admission requirements. There may be prerequisite courses in subjects like algebra, anatomy and physiology, and English. You may also need to provide documentation of immunization.

    (Optional) You can become a certified technician (a lower designation) by verifying your student status in a cardiac technology program. This is a way to earn income while you’re in school.

  6. Wrap up your studies and pursue national certification. Pursue licensing if required.

    Consider joining a professional organization like the Society of Cardiovascular Professionals. This will keep you current and help you later in your job search.

  7. Now it’s time to find a position. The American Society of Echocardiography is one resource. You can post a resume, do a job search, and create an email alert. The Society of Cardiovascular Professionals also has an online job search for members. Sometimes, though, networking is your best bet.

Personality Traits: The Mayo Clinic recommends cardiac sonography for people who are organized, have good people skills, and can do a thorough job documenting patient information.