Catheterization laboratory technicians, or cath lab techs, are allied health professionals who specialize in cardiovascular technology at medical facilities that run tests to determine heart health. Cath lab techs are a vital part of the medical team and often assist doctors with non-invasive and invasive cardiovascular procedures. They’re also among the highest paid allied health professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of cardiovascular technicians to increase 5% between 2019 and 2029.
Cath Lab tech salary
Cath lab techs are also considered cardiovascular technicians, for whom the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an average staff salary of $57,720 annually in May 2019. This figure works out to $1,110 per week and $27.75 per hour in a 40-hour work week. PayScale reported an average annual salary of $69,943 specifically for staff cardiac catheterization technologists, which breaks down to about $1,345 per week and $33.63 per hour.
Travel cath lab techs can expect to earn more than those on staff. According to 2019 NurseFly salary data, travel cath lab techs earned an average gross salary of $2,060 per week. This salary may be fully taxed, or part of it may be taxed pay and the other part untaxed stipends for meals and housing if a travel allied health professional can claim a permanent tax-home.
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Cath Lab Tech FAQs
What are the best agencies for Cath Lab Tech jobs?
The agencies on NurseFly that currently have the most Cath Lab Tech jobs are Med Travelers (125), Club Staffing (123), and MedPro Healthcare Allied Staffing (99).
How Much Do Cath Lab Tech Jobs Pay?
For jobs available on NurseFly as of Wednesday, April 21st 2021, the average weekly salary for a Cardiac Catheterization Technologist is $2,126, but can pay up to $3,500 per week.
- min - $1,280
- avg - $2,126
- max - $3,500
What does a Cath Lab tech do?
Cath lab techs primarily perform cardiac catheterizations, which involves threading a catheter through a patient’s blood vessel to reach the heart and determine whether blockages exist. With a cardiac catheter in place, techs can perform several tests to see how well the heart is working. Other responsibilities of a cath lab tech include:
Preparing patients for procedures by cleaning and shaving insertion sites
Operating and maintaining machines used in catheterization procedures
Monitoring patients’ heart rates and other vital signs
Providing emergency care for life-threatening reactions
Evaluating test results for abnormalities
Reporting abnormalities to the cardiologist
In some medical facilities, cath lab techs may assist doctors with open heart surgeries and other procedures, such as angioplasty and stent or pacemaker insertions.
Where do Cath Lab techs work?
Cath lab techs primarily work in hospitals within cardiac catheter laboratories. They may also work in outpatient cardiology centers and private practice clinics, physician’s offices, and laboratories.
What skills make a good Cath Lab tech?
Proficient cath lab techs have comprehensive knowledge of heart catheterization procedures, pacemaker implantation, and human anatomy, especially the cardiovascular system. They have extensive technical skills that allow them to operate specialized medical equipment and computer programs. Their patient care and interpersonal skills give them the ability to keep patients calm and comfortable throughout their procedures. Good cath lab techs also are detail-oriented and have the communication skills to effectively explain complicated procedures in simple terms.
How to become a Travel Cath Lab Tech?
To pursue a career as a travel cath lab tech, individuals earn an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degree through a cardiovascular technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. It’s recommended to earn Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist credentialing through Cardiovascular Credentialing International, since employers often require certification. Other certifications commonly required include Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, and Cardiovascular Technician Certification. Travel positions typically require recent cath lab tech experience.