Cardiovascular Technology Schools

“There is a negative reputation around CVT that it begins and ends in the same position—and that is far from the truth. With the development of structural heart devices, 3D ultrasound rendering, and strain imaging, there are many new things to continue learning.”

Hannah Dowdy, Instructor and Clinical Coordinator, Medical University of South Carolina Columbia’s School of Cardiovascular Technology

Having a strong heart to pump blood through one’s veins is crucial to maintaining good health. While heart surgeons may earn deserved glory and prestige for their life-saving, corrective procedures, the work of the often-unheralded cardiovascular technologists can uncover important diagnostic details and help inform treatment decisions for patients.

There are a few different paths that interested students can take to enter the field of cardiovascular technology. The quickest route is completing a certification program at a hospital and possibly earning a coveted spot on a medical team. However, some students choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree before seeking work, although that level of education is not required. Typically, students can complete a two-year associate of science (AS) program to join this rapidly growing field.

With this predicted increase in demand, investing in an accredited cardiovascular technologist school is a potentially lucrative career path leading to fulfilling work in hospitals and medical centers nationwide.

Students should note that cardiac sonography is also known as echocardiography, and schools and organizations use these terms interchangeably. By completing a few semesters of intensive coursework and hands-on clinical practicums, a candidate can be prepared to earn a two-year degree while working alongside physicians and nurses.

Meet the Expert, Hannah Dowdy, BS, RDCS, RVT

Hannah Dowdy

Hannah Dowdy is a highly skilled and dedicated professional with a comprehensive background in healthcare, specializing in diagnostic sonography.

With a bachelor of science degree and dual credentials as a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer (RDCS) and a registered vascular technologist (RVT), Dowdy is an instructor and clinical coordinator at the Medical University of South Carolina Columbia’s School of Cardiovascular Technology What is something many people don’t know about the cardiovascular technologist profession?

Dowdy: Cardiovascular technology is quite hidden in comparison to most healthcare fields, but it has gained tremendous traction over recent years and has been ever-evolving for decades.

Many assets of the science are commonly understood, such as its involvement with diagnostic imaging, intimate patient contact, and excessive need for critical analysis skills. However, the less appreciated aspect of this field is its potential for career growth. There is a negative reputation around CVT that it begins and ends in the same position—and that is far from the truth. With the development of structural heart devices, 3D ultrasound rendering, and strain imaging, there are many new things to continue learning.

Technologists may also explore different areas like teaching, outreach program participation, device sales, hospital management, private practice ownership, etc. The options are vast. What is one piece of advice you would give to a cardiovascular technologist who is starting out?

Dowdy: I always recommend that new technologists begin their careers with a learning mentality. Prepare yourself to absorb every bit of advice and instruction you can receive because at the end of the day, you are largely responsible for the diagnosis of your patient. It is up to you to give the best quality care possible for them. They are trusting you blindly to figure out what is wrong. This field is always growing, so you should never stop learning, if not for yourself, then for your patient.

Cardiovascular Technologist fast facts
Projected Jobs Created14,200
Projected Job Growth10 percent
Average Salary$70,270
Low Salary$36,620
High Salary$105,140
Entry-Level EDU Associate's Degree
Sourced from BLS 2024

Cardiovascular Technology Degree & Certification Programs

To start work as a cardiovascular technologist, some background education is necessary. The most prevalent degree program for this field culminates in an associate of science (AS) or an associate of applied science (AAS) degree and takes two years to complete. However, there is an increasing number of cardiovascular technology schools that offer bachelor of science degrees (BS) in cardiovascular technology.

Schools may also offer specialized training, either at an associate or bachelor’s level, in any of the following subspecialties:

  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Cardiac Electrophysiology
  • Invasive Cardiovascular Technology
  • Noninvasive Vascular Study
  • Pediatric Echocardiography

Admission to any cardiovascular technologist program requires a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, with some programs having course prerequisites or minimum standards of prior academic performance.

Here is a sampling of accredited cardiovascular technologist schools in the United States.

Medical University of South Carolina: The Claude W. Smith School of Cardiovascular Technology at MUSC Health provides a 17-month, CAAHEP-accredited cardio tech program. It has two tracks: invasive CVT and echo and vascular.

Candidates to this program must have 30 credits of prerequisite coursework, a minimum GPA of 2.5, and letters of recommendation.

  • Location: Charlston, SC
  • Duration: 17 months
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP

Prisma Health and Clemson University: For those students with strong academic backgrounds who are ready for the challenge of a four-year university, the program at Clemson in Clemson, South Carolina, is an excellent choice.

The school offers a bachelor of science (BS) degree in health science with a cardiovascular imaging leadership concentration. Courses in the concentration include echocardiography principles, vascular sonography principles, and minor coursework in business administration. Applicants should have a minimum 3.0 GPA and 30 semester hours of transferable credits.

  • Location: Clemson, SC
  • Duration: Four years
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Florida State College at Jacksonville: Located in Jacksonville, Florida State College at Jacksonville offers a 77-credit associate of science (AS) degree in cardiovascular technology. Students in this program learn how to become registered cardiac sonographers and assist physicians during diagnostic and interventional procedures. Examples of these services include surgery and stress echocardiograms.

Courses include non-invasive cardiology and cardiovascular practicum. In addition, this CAAHEP-accredited program can prepare students for invasive and noninvasive cardiovascular technology registry exams.

  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

Louisiana State University (LSU) Health New Orleans: At their New Orleans healthcare campus, the LSU New Orleans School of Allied Health Professions offers several training programs, including a cardiac and vascular sonography bachelor’s degree as part of the school’s department of cardiopulmonary science.

Applicants to this program must complete at least 60 hours of prerequisite courses with an average GPA of 2.5 or higher. In addition, graduates from this program are eligible to take certification exams offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). From 2019 to 2021, graduates boast a 100 percent first-time pass rate and a 95 percent job placement rate.

  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

Mayo Clinic: One of the leading non-profit academic medical systems in the U.S., the Mayo Clinic offers a cardiovascular technology internship program with FSC-Jacksonville. Students who have completed the FSC-Jacksonville prerequisites can apply for the six-week internship at the Florida branch of the Mayo Clinic.

No official degree or certification is awarded apart from what the student has already earned as part of their community college experience, but students gain supervised clinical experience. Upon completion of this experience, students are eligible to sit for the Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) exam offered by CCI.

  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Duration: Six weeks
  • Accreditation: N/A

Trinity Health of New England: Located in Hartford, Connecticut, Trinity Health of New England’s School of Invasive Cardiovascular Technology offers a one-year certificate program. Students in this program learn the fundamentals of heart and vascular function followed by didactic, lab, and clinical courses at hospitals around Connecticut. Diagnostic and interventional procedures are emphasized, including percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Applicants must have a two-year degree in an allied health degree, a bachelor’s degree in health science or non-health science with science course work, be a graduate of a paramedic program, enrolled in an accredited cardiovascular technology program with 100 course credits, or hold a foreign or domestic MD or DO degree.

  • Location: Hartford, CT
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

Spokane Community College: Located in Spokane in eastern Washington, SPCC offers two accredited tracks for prospective cardiovascular technologists: invasive cardiovascular technology and noninvasive cardiovascular technology/echocardiography. Both programs culminate in an associate of applied science (AAS) degree.

In addition, candidates must have completed mathematics and science prerequisite courses within five years of applying to SPCC. Both tracks take an expected seven quarters to complete, with the final two quarters consisting of clinical practicums.

  • Location: Spokane and Tacoma, WA
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

SELECT * FROM `mts_online_offline_data` WHERE `page_url` = '/cardiovascular-technologist' AND ( `table_type` = 'Offline' OR `table_type` = 'BOTH (Online + Offline)' ) ORDER BY `grads` DESC

List of Cardiovascular Technologist Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website grads
Triad Education Los Angeles California 191
Associated Technical College-Los Angeles Los Angeles California 134
Eastwick College-Ramsey Ramsey New Jersey 85
Columbia Central University-Caguas Caguas Puerto Rico 72
Eastwick College-Nutley Nutley New Jersey 62
Grossmont College El Cajon California 50
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico-Ponce Ponce Puerto Rico 42
Carnegie Institute Troy Michigan 28
Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Cupey Campus San Juan Puerto Rico 21
Southeast Technical College Sioux Falls South Dakota 21
Harrisburg Area Community College Harrisburg Pennsylvania 18
South Suburban College South Holland Illinois 18
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee Wisconsin 17
University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia South Carolina 17
Kirtland Community College Grayling Michigan 17
Northeast State Community College Blountville Tennessee 16
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville Florida 16
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte North Carolina 16
Dallas College Dallas Texas 15
Spokane Community College Spokane Washington 15
Fortis Institute-Nashville Nashville Tennessee 15
Valencia College Orlando Florida 15
Howard Community College Columbia Maryland 14
Piedmont Technical College Greenwood South Carolina 14
Barry University Miami Florida 14
American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education Piscataway New Jersey 14
Orange Coast College Costa Mesa California 13
Molloy College Rockville Centre New York 13
St Cloud Technical and Community College Saint Cloud Minnesota 13
William Rainey Harper College Palatine Illinois 13
Arkansas Tech University Russellville Arkansas 13
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans New Orleans Louisiana 12
Central Ohio Technical College Newark Ohio 12
City College-Hollywood Hollywood Florida 12
Eastern Florida State College Cocoa Florida 12
Sentara College of Health Sciences Chesapeake Virginia 12
Sacramento Ultrasound Institute Sacramento California 11
Augusta Technical College Augusta Georgia 11
Polk State College Winter Haven Florida 11
Piedmont University Demorest Georgia 11
Florida SouthWestern State College Fort Myers Florida 10
Eastern International College-Jersey City Jersey City New Jersey 10
Southern Maine Community College South Portland Maine 10
Bryan College of Health Sciences Lincoln Nebraska 9
Tulsa Community College Tulsa Oklahoma 9
Pima Community College Tucson Arizona 9
The College of Health Care Professions-Northwest Houston Texas 9
Midwestern Career College Chicago Illinois 9
Bunker Hill Community College Boston Massachusetts 8
Eastern International College-Belleville Belleville New Jersey 8
Rush University Chicago Illinois 8
The College of Health Care Professions-Fort Worth Fort Worth Texas 8
Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia Mississippi 7
Hillsborough Community College Tampa Florida 7
Middlesex College Edison New Jersey 7
Gwinnett Technical College Lawrenceville Georgia 7
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Ponce Mercedita Puerto Rico 7
Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome Georgia 7
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport Shreveport Louisiana 6
The University of Findlay Findlay Ohio 6
Southern Crescent Technical College Griffin Georgia 5
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins Georgia 5
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster Pennsylvania 5
Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls Minnesota 5
Southern Connecticut State University New Haven Connecticut 4
Weber State University Ogden Utah 4
ATA College Tulsa Oklahoma 4
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science Rochester Minnesota 4
Rochester Community and Technical College Rochester Minnesota 3
Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick New Jersey 3
Forsyth Technical Community College Winston-Salem North Carolina 3
University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas 2
University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha Nebraska 2
St Philip's College San Antonio Texas 2
School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Hybrid & Online Programs

As of 2024, there are no 100 percent online program options in cardiovascular technology that have received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This is due to the essentially clinical nature of the discipline and the importance of hands-on training in preparing people for this career.

However, students seeking flexibility in training may still be able to complete some program prerequisites or coursework in an online format. To check the availability of online and hybrid course options, prospective students should contact program representatives.

School City State Website grads
Medical University of South Carolina Charleston South Carolina 28
Santa Fe College Gainesville Florida 21
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Oklahoma 18
Forsyth Technical Community College Winston-Salem North Carolina 3
School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Cardiovascular Technology Core & Elective Courses

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology (JRC-CVT) has provided the curriculum guidelines for cardiovascular technologist training. These standards suggest that programs must cover basic units of instruction—including cardiac and vascular knowledge—and clinical practicums to become accredited. The JRC-CVT also provides examples of how these units of education should be organized in an accredited program:

  • Basic Instruction: introduction to patient care techniques and the hospital environment, basic statistics and general mathematics, human anatomy, basic pharmacology of cardiovascular drugs, and basic medical electronics and instrumentation
  • Cardiac and Vascular Units: invasive and noninvasive cardiology, and cardiac electrophysiology
  • Clinical Units cardiac and vascular pathophysiology, patient psychology, CPR, clinical cardiac and vascular medicine and surgery, medical-legal ethics

Though there is flexibility in which primary and clinical skills are covered in any given program, the cardiac and vascular units are required for program accreditation.

The JRC-CVT prescribed curriculum does not leave room for elective courses. Still, in the case of a bachelor's degree program, students may be able to choose elective courses to fulfill general education requirements. In addition, students may also select specialized courses focusing on a particular patient population (e.g., pediatrics, echocardiography, other procedure-specific training).

Cardiovascular Technology Program Accreditation

Institutions of higher learning can receive accreditation based on a program or based on their overall offerings. Any school offering cardiovascular technologist training may have one or both types of accreditation.

The primary accrediting body for cardiovascular technologist programs is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This commission accredits qualifying programs which offer diplomas, certificates, associate's degrees, or bachelor's degrees to cardiovascular technologists.

To obtain accreditation from the CAAHEP, programs must meet the standards adopted by several professional organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Radiology, and the American Society of Echocardiography. The accreditation process involves a self-study submitted to the commission and a follow-up site visit by an expert in the desired field of accreditation (e.g., cardiovascular technology). For cardiovascular technology programs, the CAAHEP specifically takes recommendations from the JRC-CVT. These evaluations consider the faculty and facilities available to the program, as well as the course curriculum. For more on the CAAHEP accreditation process, visit their website.

Community colleges and universities may also seek accreditation from other bodies based on school type or region, such as the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). In addition, interested students may be able to find the local accreditation agency for their school by visiting the website for the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Career Outlook

As stated above, the career outlook for cardiovascular technologists is tremendously positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including cardiovascular technologists, is expected to grow by 10 percent between 2022 and 2032 (BLS 2023).

In 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that healthcare openings are projected to grow faster than the national average between 2022 and 2032. Specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 4 percent increase in openings for cardiovascular technologists and technicians in the same decade, faster than the average growth expected for all occupations (3 percent). This equates to 2,200 new positions with median annual salaries of $66,170 (BLS May 2023).

Career Facts Cardiovascular Technologist
Related CareersMedical and Clinical Laboratory Technician, Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Radiologic Technologist, MRI Technologist
Common Job TitlesCardiac Catheterization Laboratory Technologist, Cardiac Catheterization Technician, Cardiac Technician, Cardiology Technician, Cardiopulmonary Technician, Cardiovascular Technician, Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT), Electrocardiogram Technician (EKG Technician), Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS)
Technology & EquipmentHemodynamic Monitors, Thermodilution Cardiac Output Computers, Pacemaker Analyzers, Pacemakers, Physiological Monitoring and Analysis Systems, Image Capturing And Transmission Systems, Image Storage Systems, Scan Converters, Inventory Management Software, Digital Imaging Communications In Medicine, EMR Software, Database Software, Information Systems Integration Software, Cardiac
Sourced from BLS 2024

Cardiovascular Technology Licensing & Certification

Two organizations offer certification for cardiovascular technologists: the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).

The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) offers three certifications related to cardiovascular technology:

  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
  • Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS)
  • Registered Diagnostic Vascular Technologist (RVT)

Most cardiovascular technologist positions require the RDCS credential, an international credential that verifies a professional has reached the highest academic and professional standards for patient and professional safety. The ARDMS offers three specialty exams with the RDCS credential:

  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Fetal Echocardiography
  • Pediatric Echocardiography

Once approved, applicants can take the exam at a Pearson VUE test center.

Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) provides four certification options for cardiovascular technologists, aptly named CCT1, CCT2, and CCT3. The level of certification appropriate for any individual will depend on how much experience they have in the field.

  • CCT1: available to current students and recent graduates of cardiovascular technology programs.
  • CCT2: available to currently employed technologists.
  • CCT3: available to bachelor's degree holders in cardiovascular technology

The exam application fee is $175 and is administered at Pearson Professional Centers year-round.

Rachel Drummond, MEd
Rachel Drummond, MEd Writer

Rachel Drummond has contributed insightful articles to since 2019, where she offers valuable advice and guidance for those pursuing careers in the healthcare field, combining her passion for education with her understanding of the critical role that healthcare professionals play in promoting physical and mental well-being.

Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.