Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

cardiac rehabilitation specialist job description

In an era where healthcare is of paramount importance, the role of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist is more crucial than ever.

As medical advancements continue to progress, the need for skilled professionals who can help patients recover and improve their heart health is growing.

But what exactly is expected from a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core responsibilities of this role,
  • A hiring manager defining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply interested in the intricacies of cardiac rehabilitation,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist job description template, designed for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists play a vital role in the healthcare field, helping patients recover from heart surgeries, heart diseases and other cardiovascular issues.

They are responsible for assisting patients in improving their heart health and overall fitness.

The main duties and responsibilities of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist include:

  • Evaluating the cardiovascular health of patients and determining the appropriate course of rehabilitation
  • Developing customized rehabilitation plans for each patient based on their health status and personal goals
  • Assisting in the implementation of exercise programs and educating patients on the importance of physical activity
  • Monitoring patients during physical activities to assess their heart rate, blood pressure, and physical well-being
  • Providing guidance and counseling to patients and their families about heart-healthy lifestyle choices
  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals such as cardiologists, dietitians, and psychologists to provide holistic patient care
  • Regularly updating patient records and reporting progress to referring physicians
  • Staying updated with the latest advancements in cardiac rehabilitation and incorporating them into patient care strategies
  • Conducting group education sessions on topics such as stress management, healthy eating, and smoking cessation


Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a dedicated and experienced Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist to join our healthcare team.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist will be responsible for developing, implementing, and monitoring individualized exercise programs for patients with heart disease and other chronic health conditions.

The ideal candidate will have excellent knowledge of cardiovascular disease, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to communicate effectively with patients and healthcare professionals.

A significant part of the job will involve educating patients about heart-healthy lifestyle changes.



  • Assess patients’ health needs and develop customized rehabilitation programs.
  • Monitor patients’ vital signs during exercise and adjust the program as needed.
  • Teach patients about heart disease, medication, nutrition, and lifestyle changes.
  • Work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals to ensure the highest standard of care.
  • Document and maintain accurate patient records.
  • Provide emotional support to patients and their families.
  • Participate in continuing education activities to maintain current knowledge in the field.
  • Ensure compliance with safety and infection control policies.



  • Proven work experience as a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist or similar role in the healthcare industry.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, Physical Therapy, Nursing, or related field.
  • Current CPR and ACLS certification.
  • Excellent knowledge of cardiovascular disease and the principles of exercise physiology.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Compassionate and patient-centered approach.
  • Proficiency with electronic health records (EHR) software.



  • 401(k) Retirement plan
  • Comprehensive health insurance
  • Dental and vision coverage
  • Generous paid time off
  • Continuing education reimbursement


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Work Environment: Hospital or outpatient clinic. Some travel may be required for home visits or to attend conferences.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Director.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $60,000 minimum to $85,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Do?

A Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist is a healthcare professional who works with patients who have heart diseases or have recently undergone heart procedures.

Their main role is to help these individuals to recover, improve their cardiovascular fitness, and reduce the risk of further heart issues.

A significant part of their job involves designing and implementing exercise programs tailored to each patient’s specific needs and abilities.

These programs aim to improve the patient’s cardiovascular health, strength, and overall fitness.

They also provide education and counseling to patients about heart-healthy lifestyle choices.

This includes advice on nutrition, stress management, smoking cessation, and medication usage.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists work closely with other healthcare professionals, including cardiologists, nurses, dieticians, and psychologists, to provide a holistic approach to cardiac rehabilitation.

They monitor patients’ progress, adjust their exercise programs as necessary, and report back to the patient’s primary healthcare team.

It is their responsibility to create a safe and supportive environment for their patients, encouraging them to take an active role in managing their heart health.

They may also provide emotional support to patients who may be dealing with fear or anxiety about their condition.

In some cases, Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists may also be involved in research or community education initiatives related to heart health.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Qualifications and Skills

A cardiac rehabilitation specialist should have a strong medical background, physical fitness knowledge, and excellent interpersonal skills to work with patients recovering from heart procedures or with chronic heart diseases.

These skills and qualifications include:

  • Deep knowledge of cardiovascular disease, its effects on the body and how exercise and lifestyle changes can improve heart health.
  • Strong analytical abilities to assess patients’ health status, interpret medical tests and design suitable rehabilitation programs.
  • Physical fitness understanding to create and oversee exercise programs that are safe and beneficial for patients with heart conditions.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills to effectively convey medical information to patients, their families, and other medical professionals.
  • Empathy and patience to support patients who may be dealing with fear or anxiety about their health and recovery.
  • Ability to motivate and educate patients about the importance of healthy lifestyle changes, such as diet, smoking cessation and exercise.
  • Problem-solving skills to identify potential issues during a patient’s recovery and adjust their rehabilitation program as necessary.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Experience Requirements

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists typically need to complete a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, physical therapy, nursing, or a related field to gain foundational knowledge.

They then proceed to earn a master’s degree in cardiac rehabilitation, exercise physiology, or related medical fields, which often includes hands-on experience in a clinical setting.

Entry-level candidates are likely to have 1 to 2 years of experience, often obtained through internships or practical training during their education.

These professionals may initially work as a Cardiac Rehabilitation Technician or a Physical Therapy Assistant, where they can gain valuable practical experience in patient care and monitoring.

Candidates with more than 3 years of experience have usually honed their skills in cardiovascular care and have developed an in-depth understanding of cardiac rehabilitation procedures.

They might have experience in related healthcare roles, such as Cardiac Nurse or Exercise Physiologist.

Those with more than 5 years of experience often have considerable experience in direct patient care and may have held supervisory roles in a healthcare setting.

Such candidates may be suitable for team lead positions in a cardiac rehabilitation department, or for roles that involve developing and implementing cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Many employers prefer Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists to be certified, which requires a specific amount of clinical experience, usually around 400 to 600 hours.

Therefore, candidates should aim to gain this practical experience as part of their career progression.

Additionally, continual professional development is essential, with many Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists engaging in ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest developments in cardiovascular care and treatment.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Education and Training Requirements

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists are typically required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, kinesiology, or a related field.

They often need a strong background in human anatomy, cardiovascular physiology, and exercise science.

To further specialize in this field, a master’s degree in cardiac rehabilitation or clinical exercise physiology can be beneficial.

Some jobs might require a doctorate degree depending on the complexity of the role.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists should obtain certification as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) from American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or as a Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP) from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

Most states require licensure to practice.

The criteria for licensure may vary from state to state, but generally require the individual to have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field, and pass a state licensing exam.

Continuing education is important in this field to keep up with the latest research and advances in cardiac rehabilitation.

This might include attending workshops, seminars, or taking additional courses.

In addition, Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists must have strong interpersonal skills, as they often work directly with patients who are in the process of recovering from heart-related illnesses.

This includes the ability to motivate and educate patients about their condition and the importance of lifestyle changes.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Salary Expectations

A Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist earns an average salary of $57,742 (USD) per year.

The salary may vary depending on the level of experience, the complexity of the cases they handle, educational background, and the location of their practice.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist need?

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact with patients and their families.

A strong knowledge of cardiovascular disease and its management is crucial, as is the ability to design and implement individualized treatment plans.

They should also be skilled in monitoring patient progress and adjusting rehabilitation programs as necessary.


Do Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists need a degree?

Yes, Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, physical therapy, or a related field.

Many positions also require a master’s degree and relevant certification, such as Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP) or Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP).


What should you look for in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist resume?

A Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist should have a degree in a relevant field and the necessary certifications.

Their resume should also show experience in cardiac rehabilitation, preferably in a hospital or clinical setting.

Look for evidence of their ability to work collaboratively with a medical team, as well as their experience in patient education and counseling.


What qualities make a good Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist?

A good Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist is patient, compassionate, and understanding, as they will be working with people who are dealing with serious health conditions.

They should be detail-oriented to ensure patients are following their individualized rehabilitation programs correctly.

Excellent problem-solving skills are also essential in dealing with any unexpected issues or changes in a patient’s health.


What is the work environment like for a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist?

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists typically work in hospitals, clinics, or rehabilitation centers.

They collaborate with a team of healthcare providers to deliver a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program.

The work can be physically demanding as they may need to assist patients with physical exercises.

The role may also require working in shifts, including weekends and evenings.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve delved into the essence of what it truly means to be a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist.

Surprise, surprise?

It’s not just about monitoring heart rates.

It’s about reshaping lives and promoting heart health, one patient at a time.

With our handy Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist job description template and real-world examples, you’re primed to take the next step.

But why stop there?

Deepen your understanding with our job description generator. It’s your tool for crafting precision-tailored job listings or polishing your resume to perfection.

Always remember:

Each patient is a vital part of the broader narrative.

Let’s promote heart health. Together.

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