When someone’s having heart surgery, a heart-lung machine keeps their blood circulating with the right amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide. A perfusionist (also called a blood specialist or pump technician) is the person who monitors a specialized pump to make sure patients stay alive. This job is a mix of medicine and technology. As a blood specialist, you help before and during surgery. You might also be called in when a premature infant experiences breathing trouble.
Most job openings are in cities or areas with a lot of people. Beginning blood specialists earn $50,000. With more experience you can earn between $60,000 and $95,000.