National Avg. Salary

$45,730 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

23.2% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

Certification Programs & Degrees →


  • Dependable Daily Workload
  • Fast Paced Career
  • Good Entry Level Salary
  • Growing Industry

What Could My Degree Cost?

By registering for free with, your degree could be 25-30% less, and save you time.

Learn More

Perfusionists are specialized healthcare professionals that operate the heart-lung machine, that takes over the functions of the patients heart and lungs while undergoing cardiovascular surgery.  The heart-lung machine provides the patient with the necessary physiological requirements to sustain life during a surgical procedure.

Checkmark What is a Perfusionist?

The following responsibilities are common for Perfusionists:

  • Sets-up and operates the heart-lung machine during surgery to take over heart and lung functions for a patient during surgery or respiratory failure
  • Reviews patients medical history and medical charts and consults with surgeon and/or physicians to obtain pertinent patient medical information
  • Monitors and observes patient physiological variables on the heart-lung machine to maintain the patients quality of life and normal cardiovascular functions
  • Operates the heart-lung machine during surgeries to maintain and regulate the patients blood flow and composition, to administer the appropriate drugs and anesthetics and control the body temperature
  • Cleans, maintains and sets-up the heart-lung machine and all its necessary equipment and parts

A Day In The Life

A cardiac perfusionist operates external circulation equipment, called heart-lung machines, used during any medical procedure when it is necessary to artificially support a patients circulatory or respiratory functions.

They operate the heart-lung machine, which is an artificial oxygenated blood pump, which pumps blood to the tissues and lungs and heart during surgeries, typically during cardiac surgeries.  They manage the physiological demands of the patient while the surgeon operates.  They measure various parameters like blood volume and oxygen to identify the patients mechanical, pharmalogical and thermal manipulation to maintain the patients normal physiological state.

They typically spend the majority of their time in the operating room.  Within the operating room, they are responsible for the preparation of the heart-lung machine and any other necessary equipment needed for the operation.  Once the patient is properly hooked up to the machine and equipment, they constantly monitor the patient and their status.

Typical Work Schedule

This position requires shift work because patients may need surgery at any time of the day.  The majority of this job is spent in the operating room standing for 6 to 8 hours at a time.

Projected Job Growth

Employment for perfusionists is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations as the volume and demand for cardiac surgeons increases.  The need for these individuals is expected to rise as the population’s health declines and age increases

Typical Employers

Hospitals and surgical centers like the Mayo Clinic, are the main employers of perfusionists.  The majority of their time is spent in the operating room.

Free Courses Towards My Degree?

Yep. Take a bunch of free courses at that could receive credit toward your college degree. Saving you time and money on your way to a Perfusionist career

  • Tuition Free
  • Beginner (No experience needed)
  • 24/7, Self-paced
  • Detailed Videos & Exercises
Free Courses

Want To Be a Perfusionist? Start Your Path Today.

Take Over 15 Free Courses at that Could Receive Credits Towards Your College Degree.

See How it Works

or Learn More →

Clipboard How To Become a Perfusionist

Perfusionists are required to complete an undergraduate degree with coursework in a science based major, including but not limited to subjects like biology, chemistry and anatomy & physiology, as well as additional training for certification qualification purposes.  These programs are very competitive to get into.  So a student should seek to distinguish themselves during their undergraduate studies by taking part in activities like internships and volunteer opportunities. After graduation, a student must then become certified. The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusionists (CCP) administers the certified perfusionist certification for the required credentials.  CCP applicants must complete a training program in cardiac perfusion and perform a minimum of 75 cases as the primary perfusionist during training in order to be certified.  Continuing education courses are also required on an annual basis.  Healthcare practitioners like nurses, paramedics or medical assistants can also pursue a certification program in perfusion science.  Most programs require students to have at least a minimum of 60-80 hours of coursework before they can even begin training.

Perfusionists spend most of their time in the operating room, and therefore must be able to handle stressful situations, acute stress and must be able to perform well under pressure as well as pay attention to great detail.  Some surgeries last for several hours, which requires a high level of stamina and physical endurance.

Start Your Path To Become a Perfusionist, Free!

At you could receive college credits towards your degree by taking free courses online. Potentially saving you thousands of dollars and time.

See How it Works

Quick Summary

  • Recommended Min. Degree


You Could Save on a Degree Toward Your Perfusionist Career

Find Potential Schools

Find Potential Schools

Find a university and degree you like from our accredited partners across the country (we’ll help you find the right fit)

Take Our Free Courses

Take Our Free Courses

That could receive units towards that degree…Tuition-free!

Activate Discounts

Activate Discounts

That could instantly lower the cost of your degree by 5-25% Helps Make College More Affordable…for Free.

See How it Works

Wallet Perfusionist Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

Low Range Low Range


Average Average


High Range High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range Low Range


Average Average


High Range High Range


How do Perfusionist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Perfusionist's can make an average annual salary of $45,730, or $22 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $32,030 or $15 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #443 Nationally for All Careers

Start Your Path Today, Free!

Our goal is to help people save thousands of dollars on tuition. By activating discounts and taking free courses at, you could save up to 30% on your college degree.

See How it Works

Graduation Cap Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Perfusionist. a Certification is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Chart Highest Education Among Perfusionist

  • 4.8%   Doctorate
  • 7.5%   Masters
  • 21.3%   Bachelors
  • 14.4%   Associates
  • 31%   College
  • 19.3%   High School
  • 1.7%   Less than High School

Want To Be a Perfusionist? Get Started!

Take Over 15 Free Courses at That Could Receive Credits Towards College... Saving You Both Time and Money.

See How it Works

or Learn More →

Chart Up Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Perfusionist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 23,700 jobs for a total of 125,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 23.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #36 Nationally for All Careers

Start Your Path Today, Free!

Our goal is to help people save thousands of dollars on tuition. By activating discounts and taking free courses at, you could save up to 30% on your college degree.

See How it Works

Employee What Companies Employ The Most Perfusionists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 39,200 2,800 3%
Offices of physicians 9,500 2,100 2%
General medical and surgical hospitals; local 4,500 -100 0%

Want To Be a Perfusionist? Get Started!

Take Free Courses at That Could Receive Credits Towards College... Saving You Both Time and Money. Awesome.

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →