Perfusionist Salary – How Much Does A Perfusionist Make

perfusionist salary graph
Our perfusionist salary data is gathered from the Siever survey and is guaranteed to be updated within 30 days of the most recent data release. The mean average annual salary is calculated based on a 40 hour work week.

The average annual perfusionist salary in the US is $109,773

The average hourly rate a perfusionist makes in the US is $52.78

Working to become a perfusionist

As a perfusionist, you are basically in charge of controlling equipment, and rendering medication, during a surgical procedure, so that surgeons can perform the operation. These medications are generally used to stop the heart, or slow the heart beat down to a lower level, allowing the surgeon to do what is required, without putting too much stress on the body. In order to become a perfusionist, you will have to be extremely dedicated, you must be patient, and you have to know how to work well with a team, in order to communicate with the surgeons, and anyone else that is in the room during a procedure.

Education –

In order to become a perfusionist, you will have to receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, and are required to receive specialized training, in order to meet certification requirements. For certain types of operations, you might be required to attain a master’s degree, in order to be able to sit in for the certification training. 60 to 80 hours of college coursework is required to sit in at the bachelor level, and a master’s program will require you to first attain your bachelor’s degree. With a master’s program, clinical work is also required, as well as different research programs.

Training –

Before sitting in for your certification exam, certain requirements must be met to become a licensed perfusionist. First off, in route to becoming a perfusionist you will have to complete an accredited training program, and perform a minimum of 75 perfusions, in order to be able to sit in for the exam. Annually, as a perfusionist you are also required to do course work and receive continuing education and work experience, in order to keep your certification.

Stress management training might also be required to become a perfusionist, due to the fact that you are dealing with equipment and using self sustaining equipment on a regular basis in the operating room. Many surgeries go on for hours on end, so a perfusionist must show they have the endurance to withstand these procedures, and remain calm in any situation. Training in technological change, and new equipment is also required, and this is part of the annual, ongoing perfusionist training that you will receive in this field of work.

Certification –

The perfusionist certification exam is offered twice annually; it is a two part test that includes a written section and a multiple choice section, which covers 11 different topics in the exam. You can sit for both sections on the same day, or schedule a different time to take each part of the exam. The first part of the perfusionist exam covers pharmacology, physiology, and anatomy; the second part of the exam covers labs, equipment, pharmacology, pathology, and the different quality assurance matrices.

In each state, the licensing requirements are going to vary to become a perfusionist; in most part, it is going to depend on your passing of the certification exam. Before choosing to enter this field, it is important to know what is required in your state, and how often you have to update your license (usually annually), in order to remain a licensed and certified perfusionist.

Hours –

In this line of work, hours will depend on the type of surgeries you are licensed to sit in on. You are likely not going to have a set schedule, and will generally be paired up with different surgeons, who enjoy working with you for different procedures. Depending on the size of the hospital, and the type of surgeries you are licensed for, your hours can greatly vary as a perfusionist.

In this line of work, you must remain up to date on constant changes, especially in working with the newer machines and equipment that is updated on a regular basis. Your salary as a perfusionist is greatly going to depend on time in the industry, and the type of surgical procedures you have been licensed to do. With may different requirements in education, as well as the continuing education in machinery and equipment, the more up to date you remain in the field, the more you can expect to earn over time, and the more work you can expect when it comes to the surgical procedures you will do.


A Cardiac Perfusionist At Work