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What Does a Cardiovascular Technician Do?

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians ensure that a patient’s most important organ — the heart — is functioning correctly. They operate special imaging equipment to create images or conduct tests to diagnose heart and blood vessel problems.

Technicians manage electrocardiograms (EKGs or ECGs), which show heart rhythms, and assist physicians in diagnosing heart problems. They work closely with doctors and surgeons before, during and after a procedure. Technicians first apply the electrodes that register electronic signals and then they run the EKG monitoring equipment. They also take cardiovascular ultrasounds that provide 2D or 3D images of the heart and its chambers.

Cardiovascular techs may also administer stress tests to check heart functioning during exercise, or apply Holter monitors, which monitor heart rate for several hours or for several days.

There are many other specialities. Cardiovascular invasive specialists, also known as cardiac catheterization technologists, monitor heart rates. They prepare and monitor patients during open-heart surgery or the insertion of a pacemaker or stent. Pulmonary function technologists, also known as cardiopulmonary technologists, monitor and test patients’ lungs and breathing. Invasive cardiovascular technologists operate X-ray and ICVT imaging equipment as the cardiologist performs a procedure.

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Female cardiovascular technician applies cardiogram electrodes on a male patient’s chest for an EKG
Cardiovascular technicians specialize in electrocardiograms, which help diagnose heart and lung ailments. (Credit: ALPA PROD/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Prepare patients for electrocardiogram (EKG) tests, stress tests and other heart tests
  • Explain test procedure
  • Monitor patients' blood pressure and heart rate during EKG 
  • Operate diagnostic machine and run other tests
  • Review images and identify any abnormalities
  • Analyze findings and discuss with physician
  • Review and record all patient information
  • Prepare and maintain diagnostic medical equipment 
Education + Training

A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Cardiovascular technicians typically earn an associate degree or postsecondary certificate.

Students earn certification by graduating from an accredited program offered through a community college, technical school or four-year college. Candidates also may qualify through alternative combinations of education and experience.

Certification courses last anywhere from four to six weeks for basic EKG training to 18 to 24 months for more advanced skills. In most programs, students do coursework and earn credit while working in a clinical setting under the direction of a more experienced technologist. All candidates must pass an exam.

Most technicians have at least one professional certification in their speciality, but many earn multiple certifications. Professional certification is often required to get a license, but not all states require a license.

Many employers require technicians to be trained in CPR.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Are detail-oriented and can follow precise directions
  • Have good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Have excellent hand-eye coordination
  • Have strong technical skills to operate complex machinery
  • Have the physical stamina to work on your feet for long stretches and the physical strength to lift or position patients

Cardiovascular Technician training in your area


Health Professions- Electrocardiography Technician (EKG) Track, A.A.S.

Collin College
McKinney (0.0 Miles)

Cardiovascular Technology, A.S.

Valencia College
Orlando (0.0 Miles)

Cardiac Care Technician Certificate

Midlands Technical College
West Columbia (0.0 Miles)

EKG Technician Non-Credit Certificate

North Lake College
Irving (0.0 Miles)

Basic Electrocardiography (EKG) Certificate

Columbus State Community College
Columbus (0.0 Miles)

Certificate of Technical Studies in Patient Care Technician

Louisiana Delta Community College
Lake Providence (0.0 Miles)

Echocardiography Certificate

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
Hudson (0.0 Miles)

ECG/EKG Technician Certificate

Middlesex County College
Edison (0.0 Miles)

Echocardiography and Vascular Ultrasound, A.S.

Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa (0.0 Miles)

Health Professions- Electrocardiography Technician (EKG) Track Occupational Skills Award

Collin College
McKinney (0.0 Miles)

EKG Specialist Certificate

Midlands Technical College
West Columbia (0.0 Miles)

Electrocardiography Certificate

Lakeland Community College
Kirtland (0.0 Miles)

Find Cardiovascular Technician Jobs in Your Area


Technologist-Echocardiographer PRN

Baptist Memorial Health Care
Jonesboro ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

EMG Tech

Bend Memorial Clinic
Florham Park ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 months 3 weeks ago

Echocardiograph Technologist-Full Time Outpatient

MedStar Health
Baltimore ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 months 4 weeks ago

Cardiac Technician III

Lifespan Corporation
Providence ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months ago

Technician - Cardiovascular FT Variable

Ahmc Healthcare Inc.
Monterey Park ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months 1 week ago


MedStar Health
Baltimore ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 6 months ago

Certified Echocardiogram Technician, Non-Invasive Cardiology (Days - Per Diem)

RWJ Barnabas
Belleville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Cardiac Interventional Technologist II

MedStar Health
Baltimore ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 7 months 1 week ago