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Cath Lab Tech Certification & Licensure Guide

Lindsey Gram, RN
February 5, 2024
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A cath lab technician, or cath lab tech, is a specialized healthcare professional who works alongside cardiologists in the cardiac catheterization lab. Cath lab techs are the backbone behind some of the most advanced, high-tech, and life-saving cardiac procedures. 

Cath lab techs assist in stent placements, ablations, angiograms, pacemaker placements, and additional cardiac procedures. They prep patients, operate advanced equipment, assist cardiologists, monitor patients, and much more. 

Is this the career path for you? Let’s talk about the cath lab tech certifications you need to get started. We’ll go over the degrees and certificates needed and tell you everything you need to know about RCIS certification. Don’t forget to check out our Cath Lab Tech Career Guide and Salary Guide for more information!

General Requirements to Become a Cath Lab Tech

Now, let’s take a closer look at how to become a cath lab tech in the United States and what cath lab technician requirements are necessary. To get started in this field, you will need a high school diploma. Here’s what comes next: 

  • Apply for and complete an invasive cardiovascular technology (abbreviated as ICT or ICVT) program. These programs are typically associate degree programs or advanced certificate programs. 
  • Your ICT program will include classes in anatomy, physiology, diagnostic and interventional cardiology, and cardiac medications.
  • ICT programs also include significant clinical training to prepare you for your first job as a cath lab tech. Here, you will gain real-life experience in the cath lab as you practice your skills.
  • It typically takes two years to become a cath lab tech through an associate's degree program. Some certificate programs can be completed sooner. 

After you have completed an invasive cardiovascular technology program, your next step is to obtain a cardiac cath lab tech certification. 

Cath Lab Tech Certifications 

While you do not need certification to begin working in all cath labs, certification is strongly recommended and is becoming more of a general requirement across the board. Certification sets you apart when applying for jobs and can be necessary to advance your cath lab tech career.  Trusted requires that you have at least one of the following certifications: 

Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS)

The Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist, or RCIS certification, is a national cardiac cath lab tech certification showing dedication and commitment to your patients and profession. The RCIS exam is a three-hour, 170-question computer-based exam that tests your knowledge of cardiac catheterization procedures. 

Cardiac Interventional Radiography

The Cardiac Interventional Radiography Certification is offered by the American Association of Radiologic Technologists, or ARRT. This national certification requires specific clinical experience, specific education, and passing a 145-question exam related to cardiac interventional radiography. 

Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist (RCES)

The Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist, or RCES certification, is a national certification in the cardiac electrophysiology specialty. The RCES exam is a three-hour, 170-question exam encompassing the fundamental and advanced knowledge of electrophysiology. 

Vascular Interventional Radiography (VI) 

The Vascular Interventional Radiography, or VI certification, is offered by the American Association of Radiologic Technologists, or ARRT. This national certification requires clinical experience, specific education, and passing a 160-question exam focused on the specialty of vascular interventional radiography. 

Cath Lab Tech Licensure Requirements by State

Currently, 37 states require cath lab technicians to obtain state-specific licensure. Below you will find Trusted Health’s state-by-state guide for cath lab tech requirements, with helpful tips and links to licensure information and employment opportunities. 





























New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota







Washington, D.C. 

West Virginia



What Comes Next After Cath Lab Technician Certification?

Once you have obtained your initial certification, you will need to renew your certification based on the requirements of the issuing body.  Generally, you can expect to pay a fee to renew your certification and complete continuing education requirements.  

This will also be true for your state license if you’re working in a state with a license requirement.  You can check in with the state board for their renewal requirements.

Now that you have completed your Invasive Cardiovascular Technology program and gotten certified, it’s time to start looking at cath lab job postings! Cath lab technicians are in high demand and are needed in all areas of the United States. 

As a cath lab tech, you are an integral part of a highly specialized team that performs life-saving procedures every day. This career path has its own unique set of challenges, but the rewards are great.  

Cath lab techs are also able to take their skills on the road! Travel cath lab technicians are some of the highest-paid and in-demand cath lab techs and are instrumental in ensuring patients receive the specialized cardiac care they need despite local staffing challenges.  

Start Your Travel Cath Lab Tech Career with Trusted Health

Embark on your journey in cardiac care as a travel cath lab tech. Trusted Health is here to guide you every step of the way, offering personalized support, streamlined job placement, and valuable resources to empower your career. Embrace the adventure and impact of traveling while providing essential cardiac care where it's needed most.

Sign up today to discover diverse experiences, professional growth, and the joy of making a difference in cardiac care.

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