Health Occupations
& Technology


To be a successful Perfusionist you should…

  • have the ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • have the ability to work with all types of people
  • have the ability to work correctly and quickly in emergency situations and under stress
  • have emotional stability, especially in handling long hours of work

What will my job be like?

Perfusionists monitor blood circulation during surgery and keep the surgical team informed of the patient’s condition. Perfusionists must have a thorough knowledge of heart-lung equipment and be able to make adjustments should abnormal conditions arise.

Perfusionists are trained to operate special equipment that temporarily takes over a patient’s respiratory (breathing) and/or circulatory (blood movement) functions. This ensures that oxygen reaches the patient’s body through the blood, even when the patient’s lungs and heart are temporarily not functioning.

Where could I work?

Perfusionists usually work at hospitals, although some may be hired by surgeons or medical service groups.

Other workplace settings:

  • Equipment Manufacturers
  • Private Surgeon Offices

What is the average annual salary?


What is the future of this career?

The BLS reports that employment opportunities for perfusionist are expected to fluctuate throughout the next decade. There is an expected expansion of 5-10% in job opportunities between 2020 to 2030. This is partly due to the rapidly aging baby-boom generation that will require more open-heart surgeries as they get older. There is also added emphasis on cardiac health due to the fact that heart related illnesses are responsible for a large number of deaths each year. There will also be job openings due to current cardiovascular professionals retiring or leaving the field for other reasons. Because the profession is relatively small and competitive, job security should be high for these cardiac professionals.

What type of education and/or training do I need?

To become a perfusionist, you must complete an education program accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA) and pass an examination by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP). Programs are generally one to two years in length.

Where can I get the education and/or training?

  • Quinnipiac University, Hamden

Do I need a license or certification for this career?

Licensure is required in Connecticut.  An applicant must have successfully completed a perfusion education program with standards established by the Accreditation Committee for Perfusion Education and approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHE) and provide verification of completion of a minimum of 50 perfusion cases.

Please visit the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health website for more information.

Where can I get more information?

American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion
515A East Main Street
Annville, PA   17003
(717) 867-1485

American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion
2903 Arlington Loop
Hattiesburg, MS   39401
(601) 268-2221

The American Society of Extracorporeal Technology
330 N. Wabash Avenue, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL  60611
(312) 321-5156