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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


Cardiovascular Technology, A.S.

Santa Fe College
Gainesville (0.0 Miles)

Echocardiography, A.A.S.

Del Mar College
Corpus Christi (0.0 Miles)

Cardiac Care Technician Certificate

Midlands Technical College
West Columbia (0.0 Miles)

EKG Technician Cardio Non-Credit Certificate

Paris Junior College
Paris (0.0 Miles)

Certificate of Technical Studies in Patient Care Technician

Louisiana Delta Community College
West Monroe (0.0 Miles)

Echocardiography Certificate

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
Hudson (0.0 Miles)
Kirkwood Community College logo

EKG Technician Training Course

Kirkwood Community College
Cedar Rapids (0.0 Miles)

Cardiovascular Technology, A.S.

Valencia College
Orlando (0.0 Miles)

Electrocardiography (EKG) Technician Program

Del Mar College
Corpus Christi (0.0 Miles)

EKG Specialist Certificate

Midlands Technical College
West Columbia (0.0 Miles)

Basic Electrocardiography (EKG) Certificate

Columbus State Community College
Columbus (0.0 Miles)

Medical Imaging Invasive Cardiovascular Technology Advanced Technical Certificate

San Jacinto College District
Pasadena (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Shaun Foust
Cardiovascular technologist Shaun Foust holds a thank-you basket sent to the team for working during COVID-19
Meet Ambassador
Shaun Foust

Shaun Foust became interested in heart health at the tender age of 12. That's when she read the materials explaining her grandfather's open heart surgery.  

"I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field — I just wasn’t sure which part," says Shaun.

Later in life, when she looked at programs of study, she was drawn to the cardiovascular technology program. Just like her 12-year-old self, she was "fascinated by the heart."

It's clear what pulled Shaun into the fold, but what has kept her there is the rewarding work. 

Cardiovascular technologists "are constantly reminded that we make a difference during a very difficult time," says Shaun. 

Find out what else Shaun has to say about being a cardiovascular technologist. 

Find Cardiovascular Technician Jobs in Your Area


FGP Ultrasound Technologist - **Dual Registry (Cardiac & Vascular)/Bayside and Astoria** (1079224_RR00047243)

NYU Langone Medical Center
New York City ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week ago

Cardiovascular Technician I FT - 1st shift

Huntsville Hospital
Huntsville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week ago

Oto Tech

Sacramento Ear Nose and Throat
Sacramento ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week ago

Special Procedures Technician Evenings FT Sinai-Grace Hospital

Tenet Healthcare Corporation
Detroit ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 1 day ago

Clinical Care Technician, Cardiac Post CTICU

RWJ Barnabas
New Brunswick ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 6 days 21 hours ago

CP Tech - EEG

LifePoint Hospitals
Beckley ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 6 days 21 hours ago

Monitor Technician

Saint Petersburg ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week ago

EP Technician Cardiovascular Invasive - Full Time Days

Community Health System
Birmingham ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week ago