How to Become a Cardiac Imaging Researcher


Cardiac imaging researchers have a keen interest in asking and answering medical questions, as well as a keen interest in academic medicine. They are individuals that have an internal philosophy of patience when it comes to results of research activities; they understand that rewards for them and for patients are somewhat delayed.


Those who wish to work in this field must not only have the intellectual and emotional capacity for completing lengthy and time consuming tasks, they must also not be easily deterred when the desired results of experimentation and research aren’t achieved in a timely manner.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to get started in this profession. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Educational Requirements

To become a cardiac imaging researcher, you need to begin by earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology or a closely related field such as Physics, Chemistry or Biochemistry.


Completing coursework in biology, chemistry, molecular biology, physics, physiology, mathematics and statistics is a great way to build an educational foundation for your prospective career as a cardiac imaging researcher.


Although having a bachelor’s degree may help you gain access to entry-level jobs in cardiac imaging research, such as lab assistant, it will be necessary to obtain a graduate degree or medical degree in order to work as a researcher.


Graduate programs, such as a Master of Science, Medical Science or a Science oriented Ph.D. program are extremely beneficial for future careers in cardiac imaging research, as they place additional emphasis on laboratory work, as well as original research.


It is quite common for cardiac imaging researchers to continue their education with postdoctoral work at universities or with federal agencies. Postdoctoral work provides valuable lab experience, including experience in very specific processes and techniques such as gene splicing, These opportunities may also lead to permanent jobs with the sponsoring organization.





General Job Description 

Cardiac imaging researchers are physician-investigators or medical scientists that devise and conduct research projects in heart and cardiovascular system imaging, using technology such as highly parallel magnetic resonance.


Their research may focus on topics such as the safety and diagnostic efficacy of imaging procedures, the cost effectiveness of procedures, radiation dose reduction techniques, and guidelines for the appropriate use of techniques and equipment. With regards to cardiovascular illness and disease, the work of cardiac imaging researchers plays an important role in the fields of diagnosis, prognostication, and therapeutic strategy.



Typical Job Duties

• Help prepare grant applications

• Prepare scientific papers for domestic and international presentation as well as publication

• Attend international meetings and seminars on occasion

• Liaise with cooperating organizations and institutions as well as industrial partners or sponsors

• Assist with supervision of other research staff as necessary

• Undertake research and development and disseminate results

• Work closely with clinical research coordinators, biostatisticians, research fellows and other team members

• Keep up to date with relevant industry knowledge 

• Study biological systems to understand the causes of cardiovascular disease and other health problems



Average Salary Level

The salary level of cardiac imaging researchers can depend on a multitude of factors, such as their level of education, their level of experience, the specific responsibilities of their job, their level of project funding and many others.


Cardiac Imaging Researcher Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of workers in the Medical Scientists occupational group is $76,700 per year. The lowest 10 percent of salaries in this group are less than $41,560, and the top 10 percent are more than $142,800 per year.



Who Employs Them?

Cardiac imaging researchers are employed with organizations involved in conducting research projects in heart and cardiovascular system imaging. These organizations include:


• Private and public medical research and development organizations

• Colleges, universities, and professional schools

• Non-profit organizations

• Cardiac imaging equipment development organizations 





Skills and Traits Needed to Be Successful

In order to have a long and successful career as a cardiac imaging researcher, you'll need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will allow you to perform your job with competence, as well as maintain a positive and productive attitude towards your work.


• A genuine interest to ask and answer medical questions

• Tenacity, focus and determination

• A solid grounding in the basics of imaging prior to engaging in research

• Knowledge of the strengths and weakness of each experimental technique

• Knowledge of how to critically interpret literature

• Willing and able to trade ideas with different experts in multiple fields

• Willing to actively participating in imaging society meetings

• Must be primarily focused on how research can benefit patient care and society

• With regards to work activities, an awareness that rewards to the investigator, the patient, and society are somewhat delayed

• Must not be easily discouraged by setbacks, such as a failed hypothesis, unexpectedly bad data, multiple rejections for a paper, or an unfunded grant



Current Job Opportunities

Our job board below has cardiac imaging researcher postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.




Similar Career Profiles in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to this one, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


• Biotechnology Researcher

• Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

• Doctor

• Medical Scientist

• MRI Technologist



References for This Guide

Please use the references below to find more information on this profession.


Life, Physical, and Social Science:Medical Scientists.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 1, 2019.

On Imaging:On Becoming an Imaging Investigator: Opportunities, Pathways, and Challenges.” (n.d.). JACC Cardiovascular Imaging website. Retrieved November 1, 2019.


Please Note: Much of the information for this career guide was gathered from actual job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, are not listed here as sources.



Scholarships for Becoming a Cardiac Imaging Researcher

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a cardiac imaging researcher are those that are found on our Biology Scholarships, Kinesiology Scholarships and Physics Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Post-Secondary Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent way to set a foundation for a career in this field, as they can provide you with the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies to succeed in this career.


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Cardiac Imaging Researcher