2019-2020 Course Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Oct 22, 2019  
2019-2020 Course Catalog and Student Handbook

Echocardiography Technology AAS Program Fact Sheet

What is a Echocardiographer/ Cardiac Sonographer?

An Echocardiographer/Cardiac Sonographer performs diagnostic examinations and therapeutic interventions of the heart and/or blood vessels using ultrasound technology. The Cardiac Sonographer provides direct patient care and may work in the hospital echocardiography lab, in private cardiology, diagnostic imaging clinics, or in mobile imaging companies.

Learn more about these careers at cci-online.org, or asecho.org. The Cardiovascular Technology program is accredited by CAAHEP, upon the recommendation of Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology.

Length of Program

Four semesters (not including prerequisite courses); Program courses must be taken in sequence within the prescribed time frame.

Semester Program Begins

Fall Semester; Full time; Day classes only

General Admission Application Process
  1. Apply to Gwinnett Technical College at GwinnettTech.edu, submit all transcripts from high school and previous college work, and take the ACCUPLACER test, if required. Students must be accepted into Gwinnett Tech prior to applying to a program of study.
  2. Applicants are initially accepted into the Interdisciplinary Studies degree program with a concentration in Health Informatics while completing the required prerequisite courses.
Program Application Process
  1. All applicants are required to submit a Cardiovascular Technology program packet. Program packets forms are available online at http://www.gwinnetttech.edu/enrollment/forms-documents/.
  2. For fall semester admission, the program application, and all prerequisites must be completed by May 20.
Prerequisite Courses All of the following by deadline:
Additional Required Courses*
  One of the following:

*Additional required courses - recommended that courses are taken prior to program start date, but can be taken during program. See advisor for more information. Transfer students with 30 + transferrable credit hours will be exempt from taking FYES 1000.
*Courses may not be more than 5 years old at time of program application.
**Courses may not be more than 10 years old at time of program application.

Competitive Admissions

Acceptance into the Echocadiography Technology program is based on : Overall GPA, prerequisite GPA on all attempts, and TEAS exam score.

Program Costs and Requirements

In addition to tuition and lab fees, students will need uniform scrubs, shoes, books, liability insurance, criminal background check and drug screen; immunizations for clinical rotations, exam fees for certification and clinical software. More cost may be added as program is developed.

For more information: Tavia Thurmond, program support specialist for Health Imaging and Informatics
TThurmond@GwinnettTech.edu or 678-226-6404 or Building 200, Room 213, of the Lawrenceville campus

Information Sessions
Lawrenceville Campus: First Saturday of each month* at 9 a.m., in Building 200, Room 104
*There will not be an Information Session in January

Quick Facts
2016 Median pay*        $64,280 per year/ $30.90 per hour
Entry level education        Associate degree
Number of jobs, 2016*        122,300
Job growth, 2016-2020        17% (much faster than average)

Cardiovascular technologists/ Invasive Cardiac specialists assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments. Technologists may specialize in different areas of practice: invasive cardiology or non-invasive (echocardiography).

  • Invasive cardiology (Cardiac Catheterization). CVTs work with physicians to perform cardiac catheterization procedures in which a small tube, or catheter, is threaded through a patient’s peripheral artery to the heart. These tests are used to diagnose a wide variety of cardiac and vascular disease. If diagnosed, technologists will assist the physician in treatment of the disease. Some of these procedures may involve balloon angioplasty, pacemaker insertion, and stent placement.
  • Non-Invasive cardiology (Echocardiography). Technologists who use ultrasound to examine the heart chambers, valves, and vessels are referred to as cardiac sonographers, or echocardiographers. They use ultrasound instrumentation to create images called echocardiograms that are used to visualize and measure cardiac and vascular structures and function. These tests are used to diagnose a wide variety of cardiac and vascular disease.

Work Environment

Echocardiographers/Cardiovascular technologists spend a lot of time walking and standing. Heavy lifting may be involved to move equipment or transfer patients. Work environments may vary depending on location. In 2016, most echocardiographers worked in hospitals. Sonography uses non-ionizing radiation technology, which is generally considered safe.  In some environments echocardiographers / cardiovascular technologists may have the potential for radiation exposure. In addition, those who use sonography can be at an increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back strain, and eye strain. Technologists generally work a 5-day, 40-hour week that may include weekends. They also may be on call during the night and on weekends.


Cardiovascular technologists and technicians held about 49,400 jobs in 2012. About 77 percent of jobs were in hospitals (public and private), primarily in cardiology departments. The remaining jobs were mostly in offices of physicians, including cardiologists, or in medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers. Employment of cardiovascular technologists is expected to increase 29 percent through the year 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations.


Median annual wages of cardiovascular technologists and technicians were $49,410 in May 2012. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,610, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,020. Median annual wages of cardiovascular technologists and technicians in 2008 were $48,590 in offices of physicians and $46,670 in hospitals.

Research the Career

Echocardiography: asecho.org sdms.org
Credentials: cci-online.org ardms.org

 *Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists

on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm (visited February 6, 2019).