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Health & Medical Sciences

How to become a cardiologist

Are you captivated by the field of cardiology? Let’s explore a career in cardiovascular care.


If you’re fascinated by heart health, medical research and specialist heart care, then cardiology might be an ideal career path for you. Cardiologists play a crucial role in the healthcare sector, working with medical professionals, researchers and healthcare organisations.

Cardiology is a field of medicine that relates to the cardiovascular system. This includes the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular disease. As a cardiologist, you’ll evaluate cardiac conditions, perform and assist with specialised procedures, and develop and implement evidence-based treatment plans to improve patient heart health and quality of life.

A qualified cardiologist requires a medical degree in cardiology, as well as internship and residency. To embark on a successful journey as a cardiologist, begin by earning a bachelor's degree in a relevant field like cardiology, biomedical science, or pre-medicine . This foundational knowledge will give you the necessary groundwork to pursue advanced studies in the field.

This article examines the world of cardiology and explores the job profile, required skills, educational path, and career opportunities. We also provide insights into potential salary ranges and the fulfilling nature of the profession.

So if you've ever wondered what it takes to become a cardiologist, this article offers the guidance you need.

What is cardiology?

Cardiology is a critical field when it comes to understanding and addressing heart-related conditions. By harnessing advanced medical expertise and cutting-edge research, cardiologists drive improved patient outcomes and conduct research to help unlock the complexities of the cardiovascular system.

Common cardiovascular diseases include heart attack, stroke, hypertension and heart failure. From precise diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions, to assisting with life-saving procedures, cardiologists aim to guide patients towards better cardiovascular health and the prevention of serious heart complications.

What is a cardiologist and what does a cardiologist do?

Cardiologists provide patient-centred care, focusing on well-being and overall cardiovascular health. From performing examinations and conducting diagnostic tests, to interpreting results and developing personalised treatment plans, cardiologists are committed to delivering comprehensive and compassionate care.

They work closely with patients, reviewing their medical history, addressing concerns, and educating them about their condition and treatment options. Cardiologists aim to improve the quality of life for individuals affected by heart-related issues, helping them regain and maintain optimal cardiovascular health.

Cardiologists also analyse the complexities of heart health, examining factors like cardiac disorders, preventive measures, treatment modalities and the influence of lifestyle choices. By acquiring comprehensive knowledge in these areas, cardiologists contribute to the development of effective strategies that minimise the prevalence of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiologists play a pivotal role in public health by focusing on preventive measures and patient education, exploring innovative treatments, studying disease patterns and identifying risk factors.

By collaborating with healthcare professionals, policymakers and community groups, cardiologists also forge strong partnerships to drive recommendations and policies that limit the rise of cardiovascular disease.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a cardiologist?

As heart health specialists, cardiologists undertake an array of responsibilities in their commitment to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart-related conditions, ranging from working closely with patients, to conducting research and providing expert guidance on treatment and prevention strategies.

Key roles and responsibilities in cardiology include:

  • Diagnosis and treatment: Employing advanced medical knowledge, diagnostic tools and cutting-edge technologies to accurately identify and treat cardiovascular diseases.
  • Research and clinical trials: Conducting research studies and participating in clinical trials to advance knowledge in the field of cardiology, evaluate new treatment approaches and contribute to medical advancements.
  • Interventional procedures: Assisting with life-saving interventional procedures such as angioplasty, stent placement and catheter-based interventions to restore blood flow and improve heart function.
  • Patient management: Developing personalised treatment plans, monitoring patient progress and providing ongoing care to individuals with heart conditions.
  • Prevention and risk factor management: Educating patients on lifestyle modifications, risk factor management and preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases.
  • Collaboration and consultation: Collaborating with multidisciplinary healthcare teams, including primary care physicians, surgeons and other specialists to ensure comprehensive patient care and optimal treatment outcomes.
  • Medical education: Sharing expertise and knowledge through teaching and mentoring aspiring cardiologists, medical students and other healthcare professionals.
  • Public health advocacy: Engaging in public health initiatives, raising awareness about cardiovascular health and advocating for policies that promote heart disease prevention and management.

As a cardiologist, your roles and responsibilities may vary based on your specialisation and work environment. However, a steadfast commitment to improving cardiovascular health and delivering high-quality patient care remains the cornerstone of the profession.

Cardiologists typically work standard business hours, but may be required to work overtime or irregular hours during emergencies or critical procedures.

How much do cardiologists earn in Australia?

Australia is well known for its leading medical institutions and healthcare system, where aspiring cardiologists can enjoy a thriving environment and excel in their careers. With a strong demand for specialised cardiac care and solid growth prospects, the field of cardiology offers a rewarding opportunity to make a significant impact to patients' cardiovascular well-being.

This specialised profession offers strong remuneration that recognises the expertise and vital contributions of cardiovascular healthcare experts. The average salary for a cardiologist in Australia is between $315,000 and $335,000 per year.

A cardiologist salary can vary based on factors such as the type of practice (private or public), level of specialisation, years of experience and geographic location. In general, private practice and specialised cardiology fields tend to offer higher pay. Leadership roles and involvement in cutting-edge research can also contribute to higher earning potential.

However, cardiology is not solely about financial rewards. It is a deeply fulfilling career that allows you to make a positive impact on patients' lives, provide life-saving interventions and advance cardiovascular health outcomes.

With the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and the aging population, the demand for skilled cardiologists is expected to remain high, ensuring excellent job prospects and opportunities for career advancement. As the field evolves and technology advances, cardiologists can anticipate continued competitive salaries, underscoring the important nature of their work.

5 steps to becoming a cardiologist in Australia

Embarking on a career as a cardiologist is an exciting journey, with the potential to have a profound impact on the health of Australia’s population. Follow these five steps to build a successful career in the field:

  1. Consider whether cardiology is the right career path for you
    Does cardiology align with your values and objectives? Acknowledge the challenges and time commitment required, while recognising the immense reward of making a difference in people's lives.

  2. Complete a relevant degree
    The first step towards becoming a cardiologist is obtaining a bachelor’s degree such as Bachelor of Medicine or Bachelor of Surgery followed by a Doctor of Medicine. This education will provide you with a solid foundation in medical sciences and clinical practice. Studying a combined degree allows budding cardiologists to graduate with eligibility for provisional registration with the Medical Board of Australia.

  3. Pursue specialisation in cardiology
    After completing your medical degree, you’ll need to undertake further training and specialisation. This typically involves spending a couple of years completing an internship and residency in internal medicine in the public hospital system. This is followed by applying to the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners to complete further specialised cardiology training. 

  4. Obtain professional certification and accreditation
    When you have completed training and receive recommendation for admission, you will be invited to apply for Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. 

  5. Begin applying for jobs
    There are multiple ways new cardiologists can gain employment in the field. You can search SEEK and Indeed for job openings or reach out to your network to let them know you are looking for a role. Customise your resume, seek guidance from mentors and join appropriate boards to grow your network and improve your employability.

As a cardiologist, it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest advancements in cardiovascular medicine. Engage in continuous learning through conferences, workshops, and research opportunities. By participating in ongoing professional development, you can expand your knowledge and skills, ultimately providing the best care for your patients.

Experienced cardiologists can choose to specialise in various fields like interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiac imaging, heart failure, or paediatric cardiology. By focusing on specific areas of expertise, cardiologists can further advance their careers and contribute to the betterment of cardiovascular treatment and health of their patients.

A career in cardiology 

The journey to becoming a cardiologist requires dedication, perseverance and a genuine passion for improving heart health. It’s a fulfilling career path that offers tremendous personal and professional growth prospects. By carefully considering your career choice, obtaining a comprehensive medical education, gaining practical experience, pursuing advanced specialisation and actively seeking employment opportunities, you can contribute significantly to the field of cardiology and make a lasting impact to the cardiovascular health of Australians.

If you're considering a career in healthcare, explore courses across public health, counselling, leadership, nursing, psychology, social work or mental health.