Assisting physician in diagnostic cardiac procedures is the main responsibility of the cardiac catheterization technologist. Sometimes referred to as a cardiac invasive specialist, this medical professional may also prepare and monitor patients, prep operating rooms and work with other diagnostic and interventional instruments beyond the catheter. Employers typically seek candidates with an associate degree in the field, but a bachelor’s degree could improve chances of employment.
In 2012, cardiovascular technologists averaged $53,050 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $80,790, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $27,830. While these figures provide an idea of what catheterization technicians earn, the BLS groups a number of specialists within this occupation, skewing the average.
A survey by Springboard, a medical staffing agency, found that registered cardiovascular invasive specialists, or RCIS, who work in cardiac catheterization, earned an average of $29.75 an hour, or $61,880 a year, as of 2012. Wages can be as low as $13 an hour, or $27,040 a year, however, and as high as $65 an hour, or $135,200 a year, depending on experience and location. Those in managerial positions averaged $32.87 an hour, or $68,370 a year.
As with any job, location affects earnings, and a cardiac catheterization tech is no exception. The highest wages paid for RCISs were in the West, with an average of $35.66 an hour, or $74,173 a year. The wages paid in the Northeast were a close second, at an average of $31.98 an hour, or $66,518 a year, while the wages in the South ranked third, at an average of $28.27 an hour, or $58,802 a year. RCISs in the Midwest earned the least in the nation, averaging $28.17 an hour, or $58,594 a year.
The BLS expects employment for cardiovascular technologists to grow by as much as 29 percent through 2020. This is twice as fast as the average growth rate for all U.S. occupations, a projected 14 percent. In this relatively small field, 29 percent equates to the creation of roughly 14,500 new jobs. Those with professional certifications, such as RCIS, should see the greatest job prospects.
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