How To Become Cardiac Rehab Specialist? (Solution)

The qualifications to become a cardiac rehabilitation specialist include include a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, physical therapy, or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree or certification in an area such as occupational therapy.

How to become a cardiac rehab specialist?

  • If you are a physical therapist, you can easily become a cardiac rehabilitation specialist by completing an examination in cardiovascular and pulmonary care studies.


What certifications do you need to be a cardiac rehab specialist?

There is no specific cardiac rehab specialist certification or degree to pursue, but prospective rehabilitation specialists can get a degree in one of the following fields: Nursing: Nursing is the study of patient care and recovery. Registered nurses have the option to pursue a career in cardiac recovery.

What education is needed to become a rehabilitation specialist?

For example, to become a vocational rehab specialist, you need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in behavioral science, social work, or professional counseling. To be a mental health rehab specialist, you need an associate degree in behavioral science or a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a mental health-related field.

How do you become a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation?

To become a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist, you can first train as an exercise physiologist, a registered nurse, a physical therapist or a respiratory therapist.

How long does it take to be a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation programs usually last about 3 months but can range anywhere from 2 to 8 months. Talk to your doctor about cardiac rehabilitation. Many insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, cover it if you have a doctor’s referral.

Who performs cardiac rehab?

Cardiac rehab is provided in an outpatient clinic or in a hospital rehab center. The cardiac rehab team includes doctors, nurses, exercise specialists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians or nutritionists, and mental health specialists. Sometimes a case manager will help track your care.

What is Aacvpr certification?

The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) certification is a recognition of a hospital’s pulmonary rehabilitation center’s commitment to providing patients a high standard of care and improving their quality of life.

How long can a patient stay in rehab?

Many treatment facilities typically offer patients short-term stays between 28 to 30 days. However, certain residential facilities may also offer extended stays for an additional fee, provided the patient is showing positive signs of recovery. 5

What is a clinical rehab specialist?

A Clinical Rehabilitation Specialist is responsible for development and implementation of educational and community relations activities which will support awareness and utilization of the rehabilitation program’s services.

What do rehab specialists do?

A rehabilitation specialist assists people with mental or physical disabilities re-acclimate to independent daily living. Rehabilitation specialists coordinate the needs of the client with the care they will receive.

What do cardiac rehab exercise physiologist do?

Cardiac Rehab-Exercise Physiologist A professional, who assesses, plans, implements, coordinates monitors and evaluates patient care exercise and activities.

What are cardiac rehabilitation programs?

Cardiac rehabilitation, also called cardiac rehab, is a customized outpatient program of exercise and education. The program is designed to help you improve your health and recover from a heart attack, other forms of heart disease or surgery to treat heart disease.

How do I become an exercise physiologist?

Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Exercise physiologists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Degree programs include science and health-related courses, such as biology, anatomy, kinesiology, and nutrition, as well as clinical work.

What are the 4 phases of cardiac rehabilitation?

In this article, we’ll break down the four stages of cardiac rehabilitation – also known as the acute, subacute, outpatient and maintenance phases.

Can you do cardiac rehab at home?

Your cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) might include an exercise program that you do at home. You might start this program after you go home from the hospital. The home program is one part, or phase, of your cardiac rehab.

Is cardiac rehab worth?

Going through cardiac rehab results in a healthier lifestyle, due to weight loss, increased muscle tone and strength, decreased blood pressure, decreased insulin resistance, and improved lipids. The program helps you quit smoking, lowers your stress level, and prevents osteoporosis.

How To Become a Cardiac Rehab Specialist

  1. The Cardiac Rehab Specialist’s Guide to Career Development
  2. How to Find a Job in the Field

The Indeed Editorial Team contributed to this article. The date is May 13, 2021. A specific study of medicine that focuses on the treatment and healing of the heart is known as cardiac care. Cardiac specialists get extensive training in the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology, as well as cardio-pulmonary diseases and structures. A cardiac rehabilitation specialist is someone who focuses on the recovery of heart function and physical mobility. If you’re considering a career in this field, it’s crucial to understand more about the job to see if it’s the ideal fit for your personality and abilities.

What is a cardiac rehab specialist?

A cardiac rehab expert is a medical practitioner who works with cardiac patients to help them strengthen and rehabilitate their hearts and bodies after they have been injured or have undergone surgery. Cardiac rehab experts frequently collaborate with surgeons or physicians to determine the best course of treatment for patients. Cardiac rehab experts frequently cooperate with cardiologists to establish the best course of treatment for patients after surgery. Related: What Is a Cardiologist and What Do They Do?

What does a cardiac rehab specialist do?

Patient rehabilitation specialists assist patients in regaining normal function and regular mobility while also adjusting to pacemakers and other cardiac devices, if needed. Cardiac rehab experts are often employed as members of a broader recovery team, and they are responsible for providing emotional support to patients as well as physical rehabilitation. Other responsibilities may include:

  • Assuring that patients completely comprehend their treatment and recovery strategy includes: The rehabilitation plan for a patient might be complicated, depending on the amount of care required and the presence of severe health issues. In order for a patient to understand the plan and how it will aid in recovery, the cardiac rehab specialist must first ensure that the patient understands the plan. Working with the patient to assist them in adjusting to their new lifestyle: Changes in one’s way of life can be difficult, especially if they occur suddenly. The cardiac rehab expert assists patients in understanding their new lifestyle needs as well as how these requirements impact rehabilitation. Moreover, they will assist patients in making challenging modifications, such as dietary changes or activity needs. Conceiving of and putting into effect new workout or recuperation programs: Cardiac rehab professionals develop and execute innovative exercise and recuperation regimens, as well as assisting patients in understanding why these programs are necessary. They also design customized regimens that are tailored to the specific demands of each patient.
  • Patients should be educated on correct food and exercise for their post-recovery lives. Cardiovascular rehabilitation professionals counsel and educate patients on how to preserve heart integrity and general health throughout the post-recovery phase. Providing patients with recommendations for lowering substantial health risks: Physicians that specialize in cardiovascular rehabilitation counsel patients on topics such as smoking, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, and certain drugs that may pose major health or cardiovascular hazards

Guide to Becoming a Cardiologist is a related resource.

How to become a cardiac rehab specialist

A unique education and training program is required to become a cardiac rehab expert. The following is an example of a typical professional path for a cardiac rehabilitation specialist:

1. Get a degree

Even though there is no specialized cardiac rehabilitation specialist certification or degree to seek, aspiring rehabilitation experts can obtain a degree in one of the following fields:

  • Nursing is defined as the study of patient care and rehabilitation. Registered nurses who are interested in pursuing a career in cardiac recovery can do so. A standard nursing degree program, or bachelor’s degree, includes four years of study with a concentration on cardiac care. Sports medicine: Sports medicine specialists are trained on the role of exercise in recovery and how it impacts the body’s physiological processes. Although most programs need four years to complete, certain institutions provide an associate’s degree program in exercise physiology. Body movement is studied in kinesiology, which includes concepts of motor skills, muscle memory, and rehabilitation. Kinesiology is the study of bodily movement. A normal kinesiologist has a four-year degree in the area
  • However, there are some exceptions. Physical therapy is the study of the rehabilitation of physical movement, including basic motor functions, after an injury, illness, or surgery. Physical therapists can specialize in a variety of specialties after completing their undergraduate degree, including cardiac rehabilitation and orthopedics.

The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation certifies universities that offer courses for future cardiac rehab experts. These universities are listed below (AACVPR). The board supervises the study of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation and guarantees that the coursework is of high quality and consistency. Related:20 Nursing Specialties to Consider (With Career Descriptions and Average Salaries)

2. Get certified by the American College of Sports Medicine

This stage is optional, but it can improve your chances of landing a position in cardiac rehabilitation. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides two levels of certification: a Diplomate and a Fellow.

  • Achieving the credential of Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist informs students about the science underlying clinical exercise and rehabilitation. Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist: This certification track focuses on the science of clinical exercise and necessitates a large time commitment on the part of the candidate.

A bachelor’s degree in a comparable field of study, about 400 hours of work experience, and passing the certification test are all prerequisites for both certification paths.

Related: What Is an Exercise Physiologist and What Do They Do?

3. Gain practical experience

Those interested in becoming cardiac rehabilitation experts can obtain practical experience in a range of medical settings, including hospitals, private clinics, and cardiac rehabilitation institutes, among others. During their training, applicants should look for volunteer or paid employment in a cardiac-focused setting in order to obtain a better grasp of cardiac care. The addition of relevant experience to a CV might make it more desirable to prospective employers. How to Become an Exercise Physiologist is a related article.

Salary for cardiac rehab specialists

A typical rehabilitation specialist may earn up to $41,208 per year in salary and benefits. If you have specific certificates and expertise, that figure might grow depending on the state in where you are employed and the organization for which you work.

Job outlook for cardiac rehab specialists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, the exercise physiology sector is predicted to expand by around 11 percent between 2019 and 2029. The field of physical therapy is also on the increase, with a predicted growth rate of around 18 percent over the same period of time, which is much higher than the national average.

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Work conditions for cardiac rehab specialists

A range of locations, including hospitals and cardiac centers, are available for cardiac rehabilitation professionals to practice. Personal protection equipment and safety precautions are usually required under normal working settings. Some of the criteria are as follows:

  • Occupational exposure to biohazardous materials: Working with patients in a hospital context may result in occupational exposure to biohazardous materials such as body fluids. Gloves, face shields, gowns, and shoe coverings are often required for this type of work. Teamwork: Cardiac rehab experts frequently collaborate with other healthcare providers in order to give patients with comprehensive therapy. This necessitates intimate interaction with other individuals, as well as effective communication and teamwork skills. Specialist equipment: Cardiac rehab professionals frequently use specialized equipment, which involves extensive training and teaching in safety procedures. Patient care also entails maintaining the confidentiality and security of patient information, as well as following to medical legislation and policy. For example, studying medical ethics and maintaining a supportive, private setting for patient healing are two requirements.

If you read this post, please keep in mind that none of the firms mentioned are linked with Indeed.

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist

Certain lifestyle adjustments can assist people who have been diagnosed with heart or lung disease lower their health risks and enhance their overall quality of life. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation professionals assist patients in better understanding and managing their health conditions, allowing them to live longer and accomplish more in their daily lives. Patient’s with asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), angina, coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack or other ailments benefit from the services of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists.

As soon as the patient has been stabilized, the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist is brought in to help with the following tasks:

  • Ascertain if the patient is aware of her illness and the medications she is taking
  • Explain when the patient may safely return to his or her previous activities. Find out whether the patient has any specific risk factors for health problems, such as high blood pressure or smoking, or if he or she has a bad diet or is overweight. Suggest measures to lower health risks, such as medical treatments and dietary modifications. Help the patient understand and implement important lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods, stopping smoking, and increasing physical exercise. Create and monitor a fitness regimen that is appropriate and specific for you

The use of a healthier diet and exercise as well as the use of some drugs can help patients lower their health risks and improve their overall quality of life. Following an initial diagnosis of heart or lung illness, the majority of patients are determined to adopt healthy lifestyle changes; nevertheless, many relapse to their previous habits as time goes on. The cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist’s goal is to keep the patient motivated by giving regular information and encouraging words of encouragement.

Working Conditions

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation experts operate in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation facilities, among others. They may meet with patients in an office, an exam room, or a supervised exercise facility, depending on their location and schedule.

The majority of the time, they work conventional business hours, however they may visit with patients and oversee group exercise programs in the evenings or on weekends.

Salary Range and Outlook

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation experts are frequently educated in a variety of different professions, including nursing, exercise physiology, and physical therapy, among others. Their earnings are highly variable, based on their degree of training and the location where they work. It is possible to earn between $18,000 and $30,000 per year as a cardiac rehabilitation expert in the beginning stages of your career.

Academic Requirements

If you want to work as a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation expert, you should first obtain certification as an exercise physiologist, a registered nurse, a physical therapist, or a respiratory therapist, among other credentials. However, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) certifies facilities that provide cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services. Although there is no individual certification for cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists, the AACVPR certifies facilities that provide cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services.

The American Academy of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation also supports scholarships and internships for students who are interested in pursuing professions in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.


  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation)
  • Heart Failure Nurses of America (American Association of Heart Failure Nurses)
  • American Heart Association (Cardiac Rehabilitation page)

This profile was reviewed and approved by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist: Educational Requirements & Salary

An expert in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, often known as a cardiac rehab specialist or therapist, works with patients who have undergone heart surgery or who suffer from chronic heart disease or chronic lung illness, among other conditions. Nutrition, exercise, and education programs are developed by a cardiac rehab therapist to help patients who have undergone heart surgery or who have chronic heart disease achieve health and improve their cardiovascular systems. It is possible for them to provide nutritional counseling as well as group and individual fitness regimens, strength training, and blood pressure and heart rate analyses as part of their job duties.

Rehabilitation therapists are often employed in hospitals or clinics, although they may also give services to patients in their homes.

Certification is also offered to help you expand your professional options.

Required Education Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or related field
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* Physical Therapists – 18%Physical Therapy Assistants – 29%Occupational Therapists – 16% Registered Nurses – 7%Exercise Physiologists – 11%Respiratory Therapist – 19%
Median Salary (2019)* Physical Therapists – $89,440Physical Therapy Assistants – $48,990Occupational Therapists – $84,950Registered Nurses – $73,300Exercise Physiologists – $49,170Respiratory Therapists – $61,330

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is the source for this information.

How to Become a Cardiac Rehab Specialist

However, although cardiac rehabilitation is not a specific major, bachelor’s degree programs in physiology, kinesiology, or exercise science typically include coursework in general sciences in addition to introductions to physiology, anatomy, and biology that can prepare students for entry-level positions in the field. The field of exercise science or clinical exercise physiology offers master’s degree programs in cardiac rehabilitation, as well as non-specialized programs that allow students to select cardiac rehabilitation courses from a variety of options.

Graduate degree programs typically involve 36 credit hours of coursework and may include internship opportunities. As a cardiac rehab expert, you may start your career by becoming one of the following types of specialists.

  • Registered nurse
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Respiratory therapist are all examples of professionals who work in the field of physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Obtaining Your Certification

It is possible that obtaining professional certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) may improve the job prospects of cardiac rehabilitation therapists. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers credentials such as the Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist and the Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP). The following requirements must be met in order to obtain either certification: a bachelor’s degree in a related field, 400 hours of practical experience, and passing a certification test.

Cardiac rehabilitation specialists work with patients who have had heart surgery.

Cardiac Rehab Salary

According to the American Heart Association, cardiac patients who participate in cardiac rehabilitation programs have a higher chance of surviving than those who do not participate in such programs. A combination of this reality plus an aging population suggests that businesses involved in cardiac rehabilitation will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. Given the fact that individuals can pursue a variety of different professional routes to achieve the position of cardiac rehab therapist, the wage range varies significantly.

The salaries vary from $48,990 to $89,440, according to the BLS.

Professionals in these roles may expect to earn a median income that is commensurate with their educational background.

Completing a bachelor’s degree program, gaining practical experience, and passing an exam are all criteria for certification.

3 Proven Steps for Becoming a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

The first step on your path is to decide whether or not a profession in this industry is a good fit for your personality and abilities. Do you believe in the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition? Are you looking for a job that would allow you to collaborate with other healthcare experts on a daily basis? Are you interested in assisting patients in their recovery from health problems? If so, please read on. Ensure that you fulfill the educational criteria, which often include acquiring a bachelor’s degree in a scientific or healthcare-related profession as the second stage in the process.

We’ve gone through these three phases in further detail below to help you have a better grasp of what it will take to break into this area. Additionally, we’ve included scholarship opportunities as well as genuine cardiac rehabilitation specialist job advertisements where they were accessible.

Educational Requirements

First and foremost, you’ll need to complete training as an exercise physiologist, licensed nurse, or physical therapist before you can specialize in cardiac rehabilitation. Most of these professions need a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or biology, a nursing degree, or an undergraduate degree in nutrition as a bare minimum of education. Numerous businesses, on the other hand, prefer individuals who have a doctorate degree in exercise science or biology, or who have a nursing degree together with practical experience in their field of specialization.

What is a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist?

Those who specialize in cardiac rehabilitation (also known as ‘cardiopulmonary rehabilitation experts’) are dedicated to helping people who are suffering from or have suffered from heart issues and illnesses. Exercise and dietary regimens for their patients must be properly designed and monitored by the professionals. A varied field, cardiac rehabilitation teams are comprised of specialists with a range of experiences in the health care area, including but not limited to the following professions: Cardiologists DietitiansNurses Kinesiologists/Exercise Scientists are professionals who specialize in the science of movement.

What Do They Do?

Perform an initial evaluation of the patient Obtain information on the patient’s medical history, as well as information about risk factors for heart disease. Establish a physical activity regimen for the patient. Monitor your blood pressure and glucose levels. Examine the patient before to each exercise session to see whether there are any contraindications to beginning the exercise session. Create a treatment plan for the patient, including recommendations for nutrition and medicine. According to the patient’s physical response to exercise, provide instruction on the most appropriate rehabilitation exercises.

In emergency situations, you must act quickly and correctly.

Typical Salary Figures

Heart failure rehabilitation experts can earn a broad range of salaries depending on a variety of criteria, including their field of speciality, their degree of schooling, their level of experience, where they work, and a variety of other variables. For the career of Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist, there is no pay information available from reputable sources. We can, on the other hand, obtain a fair notion of how much they make by comparing their wages to those of people in closely comparable fields of employment.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, no credible income data for this field was available for the remainder of Canada from reputable sources (June 26, 2019).

In the United States, earnings are as follows: Physical therapists earn an annual median wage of $76,310, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States of America.

Who Employs Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists?

These sorts of firms frequently hire cardiac rehabilitation experts for their positions in the healthcare industry: Clinics for physiotherapy Health-care institutions that specialize in a certain field, such as cardiac wellness centers Services for in-home health care Nursing and residential care facilities are a type of care facility.

Working Conditions Common to this Profession

Hospitals, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation facilities are common places of employment for cardiac rehabilitation professionals. It is likely that they will spend a significant portion of their time dealing with patients in an office setting, an exam room, or a supervised exercise facility Normal working hours are normally observed by these professionals throughout the day on weekdays, however they may meet with patients and other healthcare practitioners, or oversee group exercise programs, in the evenings or on weekends.

Reward: The responsibility of being accountable to not just a patient, but also to your complete team of healthcare experts in order to achieve goals and rehabilitate patients may give a great lot of daily motivation to those working in this line of work.

Current Job Postings

Heart rehabilitation specialist job openings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia may be found on the job board linked to below.

Similar Career Profiles in Our Database

As a result, many of the skills, competences, and responsibilities of a cardiac rehabilitation expert may be found in positions that are similar in nature to those listed below. Dietitian, Physiotherapist, and Specialist in Sports Medicine Exercise with a physician or athletic therapist Physiologist


Please refer to the following resources for further information on the many facets of this profession: The following are occupations in Alberta: “Physiotherapist.” (As of March 31, 2019) The ALIS website (Alberta Learning Information Service) provides information about education in Alberta. The date of retrieval is November 1, 2019. “Physical Therapists” are employed in the healthcare industry. Thursday, September 4, 2019 The Occupational Outlook Handbook is available on the website of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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“Cardiac Rehabilitation” is one of the health topics covered (n.d.).

The date of retrieval is November 1, 2019.

The website for Aurora Health Care.

Relevant Scholarships

You may find scholarships for majors that are relevant to becoming a cardiac rehabilitation expert by clicking on the links below. Scholarships for Biology Students Scholarships in the field of exercise science Scholarships in the field of Kinesiology Tips for Succeeding: Make sure to apply for all scholarships, even if you only barely qualify for them, because there are millions of dollars in scholarships that go underutilized every year due to a lack of candidates!

Applicable Majors for Becoming a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

Students that choose one of the university degrees indicated below will have a strong basis for their future careers as cardiac rehabilitation specialists. Find out what more you can accomplish with these majors by clicking on the links below!

Becoming a Cardiac Rehabilitation Technician

Cardiac Rehabilitation Technicians play a key role in rebuilding the strength of the heart and cardiovascular system of the people, who have suffered from a heart attack or other heart problems and even to ones who have had a heart surgery. Their responsibilities include developing and monitoring exercise program according to patient’s physical response, providing nutritional counseling, assisting in proper medication and instructing patients to practice a healthy lifestyle in order to strengthen cardiovascular system and prevent further heart problems.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Technicians work in both government and private medical settings.

They may have to work on nights, weekends and sometime on-call to respond to emergencies.

The syllabus in this program includes human anatomy, nutrition metabolism, physical therapy, electrocardiography, stress management, emergency care, personal safety etc.

Skill Set Besides the knowledge in patient care, Cardiac Rehabilitation Technician possess wide range of skills such as attention to detail, high medical ethics, empathy towards patients, physical stamina to work for long duration, ability to work with compassion, management skills, assisting the patients emotionally and physically, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, basic computer knowledge etc.

Job Outlook and Salary The job outlook for a Cardiac Rehabilitation Technician remains excellent.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations.

Becoming a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists assist patients suffering from heart and lung disorders in better understanding and managing their health conditions, allowing them to live longer and healthier lives. Their primary focus is on lowering health-related risks and increasing overall quality of life. They deal with patients who have asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, angina, coronary artery disease, heart attack, and a variety of other conditions. * Assisting patients in resuming normal activities* Identifying risk factors and other variables that contribute to patients’ health problems* Assisting patients in resuming normal activities* Treatments, changes in lifestyle, and dietary schedules are suggested.

  • A tailored healthy living program is designed for each patient and monitored.
  • They can also pursue a bachelor’s degree program that lasts four years.
  • Work Experience: For those interested in becoming Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists, internships are highly recommended.
  • 3.

4. Certification: Salary and Job Prospects: The job outlook for Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialists is positive and is expected to expand at a greater rate than the national average in the near future. In May 2012, the yearly average wage for this group of professionals was $81,110 dollars.

How to Become a Cardiac Rehabilitation Therapist

Continue reading to learn more about the job of a cardiac rehabilitation therapist. Learn about the educational requirements, training and certification, job duties, and income ranges for this career path in this article.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Therapist: Career Information at a Glance

Those who have had a heart attack, heart surgery, heart failure, or an angioplasty may benefit from a cardiac rehabilitation program, which may be found online. It helps patients get back on track by providing them with information, counseling, and fitness routines. A cardiac rehabilitation therapist is a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team that will work with patients to give them with the tools they need to enhance their overall health and wellness. It is discussed in this article how to join the cardiac rehabilitation team as a therapist, the qualifications to be successful in this field, as well as information on the job market and salaries.

Degree Required Doctoral or professional degree
Education Field of Study Physical therapy
Training Required Clinical residency program for cardiovascular and pulmonary practice
License and/or Certification Medical license as a physical therapist and professional certification as a cardiac rehabilitation specialist
Key Responsibilities Review the patient’s medical history; develop a medical exercises program for the patient; record the patient’s progress; coordinate with the cardiac rehabilitation team in caring for the patient
Job Growth (2020-2030) 21% (much faster than average) for physical therapists*
Annual Median Salary (2020) $91,010 for physical therapists*

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is the source for this information.

What Are the Educational Requirements?

Once you have completed your undergraduate studies in physical therapy, physiology, or another related discipline, you will pursue a doctorate in physical therapy at a university of your choice. In most cases, these Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs take three years to finish, but there are other DPT schools that provide both the undergraduate degree and the doctoral degree in a 6- to 7-year program, which is very advantageous. As a physical therapy student, you must also complete a 30-week clinical experience under the supervision of an experienced physical therapist.

What Kind of Training Is Required?

The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) provides residency and fellowship training for physical therapy graduates who choose to pursue a career in the cardiovascular and pulmonary fields, respectively. Residents and fellows receive in-depth and hands-on experience at acute care and outpatient institutions during their residency and fellowship training. Residency programs are generally completed in one calendar year.

What Licenses and/or Certifications Do I Need?

To work as a cardiac rehabilitation therapist, you must first obtain your licensure. Obtaining a Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP) certification is also a requirement for this position. This is the only certification for cardiac rehabilitation experts that has been accepted by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) in the United States. In addition, the AACVPR offers continuing education opportunities and re-certification every three years.

What Are the Key Responsibilities of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Therapist?

As a cardiac rehabilitation therapist, you will conduct a medical history review and establish medical exercise plans for individuals who are suffering from heart disease. You will be responsible for monitoring the progress of your patients, diagnosing their motions and functions, and keeping track of their development. You will be a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team, and you will also be responsible for providing patients with education and consultation.

Where Can I Work and How Much Is the Salary?

Physical therapists made a median annual pay of $91,010, or $43.75 per hour, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics as of 2020.

Clinics and outpatient centers employ a large number of cardiac rehabilitation therapists and technicians. Others work in healthcare institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies. Some are self-employed and are able to work in the comfort of their patients’ homes.

Education Needed for Becoming a Cardiac Rehabilitationist

When working with a cardiac rehabilitation team, cardiac rehabilitationists frequently collaborate with doctors, nurses, and nutritionists to develop a diet and fitness regimen for patients suffering from heart disease. The services of these medical specialists are not only necessary for recovery following a heart attack or heart surgery, but they are also important in minimizing the chance of developing new cardiac issues as a result of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and obesity.

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

The majority of cardiac rehabilitation specialists begin their careers with an undergraduate degree in exercise science. The scientific foundations of human movement are the emphasis of the curriculum, but you also gain knowledge and skills in exercise evaluation and programming for persons with particular requirements, such as those who have heart issues. Training methods, therapeutic exercise, diet, and stress management are all common components of cardiac rehabilitation, and each of these may be used to the treatment of heart failure.

Master of Science in Physical Therapy

Following the completion of a bachelor’s degree in science, you will be able to select between two educational pathways. The first is a master of science in physical therapy, which may be completed in two to three years depending on the student’s previous experience. Coursework varies from program to program, but all share a basic curriculum that is the same across the board. As an example, all graduate students at Ithaca College are required to complete cardiac and respiratory testing and management, in addition to clinical science courses in medicine, neurology, surgery, pediatrics, and orthopedics.

Doctorate of Physical Therapy

Because there are very few schools or institutions that provide a master’s degree in physical therapy, you may be forced to pursue a PhD in physical therapy, which would be the second of your two educational options to take. Doctorate programs, like master’s degrees, differ from one institution to the next, but they always emphasize clinical expertise in the examination, assessment, and diagnosis of health disorders that impact mobility. Those studying for a doctorate in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for example, must take classes in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation as well as therapeutic exercise, foundations of observation, and assessment, gross human anatomy, and movement science, all of which should prepare them for a career in the field of cardiac rehabilitation.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, after obtaining either degree, the next step is to enroll in a residency program in a speciality field of healthcare. Cardiovascular rehabilitation is an obvious choice for a cardiac rehabilitation specialist. This residency program would often involve working with a cardiac rehabilitation team that comprises doctors, heart specialists and surgeons, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, and other professionals who are all dedicated to helping patients recover from heart disease (the title most in line with your career path).

Residency programs can range in length from nine months to three years in length.


Following completion of your residency, you must apply for and earn physical therapy licensure from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy in the state in which you intend to operate as a physical therapist. In order to specialize in cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation, you’ll also need accreditation from the American Physical Therapy Association.

2016 Salary Information for Physical Therapists

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapists earned a median annual salary of $85,400 in 2016. Physical therapists received an average compensation of $70,680 in the 25th percentile, which means that 75 percent earned more than this amount. The wage for the 75th percentile is $100,880, which means that 25 percent of the population earns more. Physical therapists were employed in the United States in 2016, with 239,800 persons working in the field.

The Average Salary for a Cardiopulmonary Rehab Specialist

In order to lower health risks and enhance overall quality of life, a cardiopulmonary therapist works with patients to assist them achieve the lifestyle modifications that are necessary. Heart rehabilitation specialists earn an average of $43,923 per year on average.

Job Description

A cardiopulmonary rehab expert is someone who works with people who have heart or lung disorders, such as angina, asthma, coronary artery disease, emphysema, and other ailments. This health care practitioner, who is sometimes referred to as a cardiac rehab specialist, analyzes patients and develops individualized program goals and exercise regimens for them. When educating patients about the need of changing bad behaviors and lifestyle choices for healthier ones, they provide support and encouragement.

They notify a patient’s physician if they see any concerns or symptoms that should be addressed.

Education Requirements

When it comes to becoming a cardiac rehabilitation therapist, there is no single course to take. To become a physical therapist, you must first get certification as a registered nurse (RN), a respiratory therapist, an exercise physiologist, or a physical therapist assistant. With a two-year associate’s degree, you can pursue a career as a registered nurse or respiratory therapist. Programs leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree are also available as four-year options. An exercise physiology bachelor’s degree can be obtained after completing a four-year program.

The completion of either a Master of Physical Therapy or a Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree was formerly required for entry into the profession.

Candidates for degrees in cardiac rehabilitation can apply for internships in the field to get training and experience, or they may be recruited straight after completing their degrees.

Your academic institution should be able to supply you with all of the information you want regarding suitable licensure and certification.

The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACCPR) does not offer certification for cardiopulmonary rehab specialists, but individual institutions where they operate might petition to have their program recognized by the AACCPR.

Work Environment

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation experts operate in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities. Patient consultations take place in an office setting or in a fitness center, and are normally scheduled during regular business hours. Some cardiopulmonary rehab experts may be required to work evenings and weekends, depending on their employment. The majority of employees express high levels of work satisfaction.

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Cardiac Rehab Salary

CPTs make an average of $43,504 per year. The median pay indicates that half of cardiac rehab specialists make more and half earn less than the median wage. The rate of compensation is influenced by a number of factors, including education level, geographic area, and employer.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States keeps track of job developments in all civilian occupations. Exercise physiologists are predicted to be in high demand through 2026, with a faster-than-average job growth rate of 13 percent. Although there is no distinct category for cardiopulmonary rehabilitation experts, they are expected to be in high demand. A anticipated job growth rate of 28 percent for physical therapists indicates that they will be in even higher demand in the future.

Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional

Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) experts are the only ones who may earn the Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP) designation, which is available only to those who work in the field of cardiac rehabilitation (CR). Examination questions test understanding of facts, ideas, and procedures necessary to execute the following activities as described in the CCRP exam blueprint and CCRP Candidate Handbook, and are administered by the American Association of Certified Public Relations Professionals (AACVPR).

The Test Resource Document is a comprehensive listing of all available exam resources.

The AACVPR Professional Certification Commission awards the CCRP certification only once a candidate has achieved a passing score on the exam.

Fill out an application or recertify Professionals who intend to take the CCRP test must complete the following requirements before the application period closes:

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: 1,200 clinical hours in cardiac rehabilitation/secondary prevention
  • Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree or higher in a health-related subject from a recognized institution or universityORcurrent RN licensure in the state of residence RRT credential (with an RT Associates Degree) or current RRT credential
  • The current RN licensing or RRT certification (with an RT Associates Degree) does not demand the completion of a minimum academic requirement.

People who do not fulfill the standards for CCRP certification may appeal their ineligibility by filling out the CCRP Eligibility Appeal Form and sending it together with a professional CV and letter of attestation from their supervisor to [email protected] In order to participate in the February 2022 Exam Window, applicants must submit an application by December 1, 2021, and must do so by January 22, 2022. For step-by-step directions on how to apply, please visit this page. If, after following the step-by-step instructions, you still do not see the option to register, please consult this page for troubleshooting advice.

AACVPR website users who wish to access the CCRP application must first log into the AACVPR website. Don’t have a login? Click here. To register for an account, please click here.

2022 Exam Window (Dates in 2022) February 1 – February 28 May 1 – May 30 September 1 – September 30 November 1 – November 30
Application Window (Dates in 2022) December 1 – January 22 March 1 – April 15 July 1 – August 15 September 1 – October 15

Certification Cost

Member Rate Non-Member Rate
United States of America Exam Location
International Exam Location

Concerning the Exam The goal of certification renewal is to ensure a level of sustained competence in the field of cardiac rehabilitation by continually improving one’s knowledge and abilities in the field. An annual certification cycle of three years has been devised to ensure that professionals remain up to date on the ever-changing features of cardiac rehabilitation. Candidates can recertify by acquiring 60 continuing education credits (at least 25 of which must be granted by the AACVPR), or by retaking and passing the certification test prior to the expiration of their existing certification.

Recertification Policies and Important Documentation

  • The Exam in Detail The goal of certification renewal is to ensure a level of sustained competence in the field of cardiac rehabilitation by continually improving one’s knowledge and abilities in this sector. An annual certification cycle of three years has been devised to ensure that professionals remain up to date on the ever-changing components of cardiac rehab. To recertify, candidates must either obtain a total of 60 continuing education credits (at least 25 of which must be AACVPR-approved), or retake and pass their current certification test prior to the expiration of their existing certification. You may also contact the Certification team at [email protected] if you would want to retake the examination to maintain your certification.

Recertification Fees

Contact Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Examined under a microscope:

AACVPR Member Non-Member
United States of America $320 $380
International $340 $400

Our document, Certified Cardiac Rehab Professionals in Good Standing, is updated on a regular basis for the purpose of employer or certification verification. If you have any questions, you may reach out to [email protected] Thank you. ANCC Magnet Recognition Program Data Collection ToolTM (formerly known as ANCC Magnet Recognition Program Data Collection Tool) Inclusion: Announcing that the CCRP credential has been reviewed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and has met the criteria for inclusion on their list of certifications included in the Magnet Recognition Program® Demographic Data Collection ToolTM, the American Academy of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) is pleased to announce (DDCT).

  • Nurses who work in hospitals that are vying for Magnet recognition are actively encouraged to get certified in their field.
  • After logging into your AACVPR account, you may access to your profile by clicking on the link in the section below.
  • Instructions on how to get certified can be found by clicking here.
  • Fill out an application or recertify

Cardiac rehab specialist Jobs

  • Exercise Specialist – Cardiac Rehabilitation (2.8
  • 3.2) The completion of a four-year degree program in exercise science, physical education, wellness or another health-related discipline that has been accredited is required. … 3.7Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Specialist (CRE) Saint Joseph, Missouri (Missouri) Education and experience in exercise science or a similar health care discipline with an emphasis or experience in assisting lifestyle improvement and wellbeing are required. $26,347 – $59,927 (estimated by Glassdoor) …
  • 3.4
  • 3.9Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Specialist (Cardiac Rehabilitation)Duncan, OK $24,372 – $58,483 dollars (Glassdoor est.) Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science or a comparable discipline, or successful completion of a cardiovascular program with a non-profit organization are required. … Dr. Ornish is a dietician who specializes in intensive cardiac rehabilitation. Honolulu, Hawaii is a city in the state of Hawaii. $40,009 – $91,848 dollars (Glassdoor est.) Along with this, you will do nutritional assessments and communicate with treating healthcare specialists to determine the best course of action for cardiac rehab patients. … 3.6Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Tyler, Texas$33,479 – $73,160 per year (Glassdoor est.) Training and education: MS in Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Exercise Physiology related area or BS in Kinesiology, Exercise Science, or Exercise Physiology related field with at least one year of work experience .
  • 4.6Secondary Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Eaton Rapids, Michigan is a city in Michigan. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, or a related discipline. Salary range: $29,479 – $48,491 (based on Glassdoor estimates). Exercise physiology, nutrition, and risk factor identification are all covered in depth. .
  • 2.8
  • 3.7
  • 3.8
  • 3.8Pulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist Rockford, Illinois The range is $32,790 to $66,072. (Glassdoor est.) Completed yearly clinical competency and skill verification tools, as well as age and job specific competences and skill verification tools, are needed. Full Time Day/Evening Monday-Friday, 7-530. … Exercising Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation (3.1) By participating in continuing education, you may stay up to date on the field and extent of cardiovascular risk reduction, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and treatment alternatives. .
  • 3.2Coding Specialist-Inpt – RemoteReno, NV
  • 3.2Coding Specialist-Inpt $36,282 – $69,551 (total) (Glassdoor est.) When paperwork or a lawful order is partial, imprecise, confusing, or absent, it is the incumbent’s job to collaborate with HIM employees to resolve the situation. .
  • Coding Specialist (CCS, RHIA, RHIT) (Miami, Florida) Hourly Rates: $18 – $30 (Employer est.) With 154 all-private rooms and patient-centered technologies, the new seven-story Surgical Tower contributes to a better overall patient experience for everyone. .
  • 3.5Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologist Youngstown, Ohio (USA) $33,408 – $89,046 (total) (Glassdoor est.) Descriptor 4: Extensive understanding of a specialist topic is required. Certification as an Exercise Specialist from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is desirable. Acts as a resource in his or her field of expertise. … Exercising Specialist *United Auto Workers Kennewick, Washington $31,352 – $70,221 is the range (Glassdoor est.) . An ExerciseSpecialist-CardiacRehab works under the general supervision of the clinical director (a medical doctor or dentist who is board certified in exercise physiology or a PhD who is board certified in exercise physiology, etc.). 3.8Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Specialist (CRE) Texas$29,342 – $74,253 in Houston, TX (Glassdoor est.) Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Science
  • Kinesiology or a closely related field is required for this position. Licenses and certifications: BCS certification is mandatory
  • ACLS certification is optional. … Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologist-on-Call (2.8) In Coos Bay, Oregon, the salary range is $42,914 to $113,269 (according to Glassdoor estimates). AFAA, ACE, or other nationally recognized Personal Training certification is recommended. Clinical Exercise Specialists Certified by the American College of Sports Medicine. .
  • 3.9
  • 2.8Cardiac Exercise Specialist
  • 2.8Cardiac Exercise Specialist Pittsfield, Massachusetts $29,511 – $58,371 (total) (Glassdoor est.) Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science or a closely related subject is required. Extensive knowledge of cardiac rehabilitation and/or adult fitness is required. … • EXERCISE SPECIALIST (#3.7) Rockford, Illinois $32,264 to $55,675 is the range (Glassdoor est.) A bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology or a related subject is necessary for this position. If you don’t have a Master’s degree, you can get certified (or get certified within two years) through the.
  • 3.5Exercise Specialist Morgantown, West Virginia Certification in Basic Life Support within 30 days of hiring date (based on Glassdoor estimates). $26,044 – $63,359 (based on Glassdoor estimates). Care for the elderly, including the development, implementation, and assessment of exercise programs. Day Job as an Exercise Specialist II (4.2 hours per week). Tavares, Florida $26,502 – $50,627 per year (Glassdoor est.) Their responsibilities include the development, implementation, and evaluation of fitness programs for patients. In addition, the discipline monitors, assesses, and documents patient progress through the use of. Medical Technologist, Full-Time Days
  • 3.7Cardiovascular Tech This position requires understanding of human growth and development, as well as evaluation, treatment options, and patient care that is suitable for the ages of the patients served. …
  • s3.4
Job Title Employer Location Salary
Exercise Specialist – Cardiac Rehab – per diem Prime Healthcare Woonsocket, RI
Exercise Specialist – Cardiac Rehab PeaceHealth Springfield, OR
Cardiac Rehab Exercise Specialist Mosaic Life Care Saint Joseph, MO
Cardiac Rehab Exercise Specialist ATRMC (Cardiac Rehab) Asante Health System Grants Pass, OR
Cardiac Rehab Exercise Specialist (Cardiac Rehab) Duncan Regional Hospital Duncan, OK
Specialist-Exercise II – Days – ME Cardiac Rehab Baptist Memphis Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation Memphis, TN
Dietitian, Ornish – Intensive Cardiac Rehab Hawaii Pacific Health Honolulu, HI
Cardiac Rehab Specialist Christus Health Tyler, TX
Casual Cardiac Rehab Specialist Eaton Rapids Medical Center Eaton Rapids, MI
Cardiac Rehab Nursing Specialist – per diem Prime Healthcare Woonsocket, RI
Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Providence Everett, WA
Group Support Facilitator, Ornish – Intensive Cardiac Rehab Hawaii Pacific Health Honolulu, HI
Pulmonary Rehab Specialist SwedishAmerican / A Division of UW Health Rockford, IL
Exercise Physiologist – Cardiac Rehab Swedish Health Services Seattle, WA
Coding Specialist-Inpt – Remote Renown Health Reno, NV
Coding Specialist (CCS, RHIA, RHIT) Mount Sinai Medical Center – Florida Miami, FL
Exercise Specialist – Cardiac Rehab – Per Diem – Days ProMedica Adrian, MI
Exercise Physiologist Cardiac Rehab Mercy Health Youngstown, OH
Exercise Specialist *Union Trios Health Kennewick, WA
Cardiac Rehab Exercise Specialist Memorial Hermann Health System Houston, TX
Cardiac Rehab Exercise Physiologist-On Call Bay Area Hospital Coos Bay, OR
Registered Respiratory Care Practitioner- Pulmonary Rehab Specialist – Per Diem, 12 hr – Variable Shifts Washington Hospital Fremont, CA
Manager Rehab Services-Daniel Drake Center-Cardiac Therapy UC Health Cincinnati, OH
Cardiac Rehab Clinical Dietitian-16 day, Mon. and Wed. Salem Hospital(NSMC) Salem, MA
Cardiac Exercise Specialist Berkshire Health Systems Pittsfield, MA
EXERCISE SPECIALIST Mercyhealth Rockford, IL
Exercise Specialist West Virginia University Hospital Morgantown, WV
Exercise Specialist II Part Time Days AdventHealth Waterman Tavares, FL
Cardiovascular Tech, Full-Time Days Piedmont Healthcare Snellville, GA
Cardiac Rehab Therapist – Bay Park Hospital – Full Time – Days ProMedica Maumee, OH

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