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Learn How to Become a Cardiac Rehab Therapist

Career News October 22, 2015

If you think that being a Cardiac rehabilitation therapist is a good career for you, read this article to know the level of education needed and other essential information that may help you make a more informed decision.

General Career Overview for a Cardiac Rehab Therapist

A cardiac rehab therapist mainly deals with people who have already undergone heart surgery and in some cases, they attend to patients with chronic heart diseases. Their main work here is to develop a proper diet for the post surgery patients, help them do exercises and as the main goal, help the patient recover quicker.

The basic education requirements as summarized below are a bachelor’s degree in physiology, exercise science or in Kinesiology.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology
Estimated job growth rate: 36% in related professions
Average salary in 2014: $82,390 for the physical therapists and $78,810 for occupational therapists

Required Educational Background

Actually, it is very rare to find a degree program in cardiac rehabilitation. However, if you want to pursue a career in this field, you can begin by completing a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, physiology or in exercise science. The coursework equips you with the necessary knowledge in cardiac rehabilitation, as you will have to explore general sciences, anatomy and Biology.

Pursuing a master’s degree in a related field will also give you an edge in the ever competitive job market. The main areas that people specialize in during their master’s degree program are, exercise science or clinical exercise physiology. The programs also include non specialization area topics and topics that are optional for the students.

Once you start studying a master’s degree program in this area, you can expect to learn more of cardiac pathology, exercise physiology and the principles and procedures of primary prevention courses. Finally, note that the graduate programs take an average of 36 credit hours plus an internship program.

General Information about this career

A cardiac rehabilitation therapist works with patients after they undergo heart surgeries, or work with patients with chronic heart diseases. The therapists develops the diet to be used by the patient, they guide the patients during exercises and may also do regular analysis of the patients’ heart rates and pressure.

These kinds of therapists are mainly found in hospitals, clinics and sometimes they may work for patients staying at home. There are many reasons why a cardiac rehabilitation therapist is likely to get a job fast after schooling. For one, the American Heart Association conquers that heart patients who sought for post surgery therapy were likely to survive more than those who didn’t and as such, more people look for these therapists after their loved one undergoes a heart surgery. Since these therapists are in demand in the country today, their salary is also quite high. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that an average cardiac rehabilitation therapist earns an annual salary between $78,000 and 82,000 depending on whether they are physical therapist or occupational therapists.

Finally, while jobs for physical therapists will continue to grow at a rate of 36% per annum, there will also be an increase in the job growth rate for occupational therapist at a rate of 29% (BLS).

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