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Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists use special equipment that maps the distribution of radioactive tracers and tagged compounds to help in diagnosing and treating disease.

  • Avg. Salary $77,016.00
  • Avg. Wage $41.24
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 1,700
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Health Care Technologist, Medical Technologist, Diagnostic Imaging Technologist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Nuclear Medicine Technologists (3215.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Medical Radiation Technologists (D215) 
  • 2011 NOC: Medical radiation technologists (3215) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Nuclear Medicine Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with radiation detection equipment such as gamma cameras, scanners, scintillation counters, tomodensitometers and ionization chambers; and in checking equipment to ensure proper operation

METHODICAL

Interest in speaking with physicians to obtain instructions for preparing radiopharmaceuticals and administering them to patients or to biological samples; in providing appropriate care for patients during examinations; and in applying radiation protection measures

innovative

Interest in compiling data by recording and processing results of procedures for use by nuclear medicine physicians in the diagnosis of diseases

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Nuclear medicine uses radioactive substances (called radiopharmaceuticals) and gamma cameras to image body anatomy and function, and treat disease.

The way the human body handles substances differs when disease (pathology) is present. Nuclear medicine technologists use radioactive substances bound to complexes that healthy bodies handle in a certain way. Then they produce images of where those substances go.

For example, tracers and tagged compounds may gather in “hot spots” or be absent in “cold spots.” Different tracers and tagged compounds are used to image or treat different organs, glands or bodily processes.

Nuclear medicine may be used to:

  • examine kidney, heart, lung or thyroid function
  • image blood flow
  • assess bones
  • detect cancer or infection
  • treat some cancers and other diseases

In general, nuclear medicine technologists:

  • ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors within the nuclear medicine department
  • review patient records
  • prepare and administer radioactive substances to patients (by mouth or injection)
  • use equipment that detects and maps the way radioactivity spreads out in patients’ bodies
  • help patients during test procedures
  • process biological samples to determine test results
  • review and process images to ensure quality results
  • calibrate and check equipment for correct functioning
  • uphold safety standards for sealed and unsealed sources and radiation-generating equipment
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Nuclear medicine technologists work in hospitals and clinics. They are on their feet for much of the time and may be routinely required to handle items weighing up to 20 kilograms.

Working hours may include shift work and on-call shifts. They must pay strict attention to safety procedures to avoid accidental exposure to radiation or body fluids.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Nuclear medicine technologists need to possess:

  • a high degree of responsibility and integrity
  • patience and flexibility
  • sensitivity to the needs of ill and injured people
  • good communication skills and the ability to put people at ease
  • an interest in science and technology
  • the ability to be highly accurate in their duties
  • good organizational skills
  • good problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • the ability to work well in a team setting
  • the ability to manage stress well
  • a desire for lifelong learning

They should enjoy:

  • using equipment to perform precise tasks
  • having procedures and standards for their work
  • compiling data for research and statistics
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

The minimum educational requirement is a 2-year diploma program in nuclear medicine technology.

Most employers require technologists to take computer tomography courses after graduating so they can run the hybrid SPECT/CT or PET/CT cameras. Courses can be taken through the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT).


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Medical Radiation Technologist

Medical radiation technologists apply ionizing radiation and other forms of energy to produce diagnostic images, evaluate the technical sufficiency of such images, use ionizing radiation and other forms of energy for treatment purposes, and take part in patient care through interdisciplinary, peer and public education, patient counselling, radiation protection, management and related research.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists Profession Regulation, only registered members of the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT) may call themselves a magnetic resonance technologist, nuclear medicine technologist, radiological technologist or radiation therapist. Registered members provide health services listed in Schedule 12 of the Health Professions Act.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of: (1) an approved program of studies and (2) an approved examination. Applicants who have been out of practice for a period of time also may have to demonstrate that they are currently competent to practice. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the ACMDTT website or contact the ACMDTT registrar.

Working in Alberta

Medical radiation technologists and therapists who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered practitioners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To learn about certification for internationally educated medical radiation technologists, see Magnetic Resonance Technologist Registration Process, Nuclear Medicine Technologist Registration Process, Radiation Therapist Registration Process, and Radiological Technologist Registration Process.

Contact Details

Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists
#800, 4445 Calgary Trail
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6H 5R7
Phone number: 780-487-6130
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-282-2165
Fax number: 780-432-9106
Website: www.acmdtt.com

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Nuclear medicine technologists work in hospitals and clinics. Experienced technologists may take further training or a bachelor’s degree to move into teaching or administration positions.

Nuclear medicine technologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3215: Medical Radiation Technologists. In Alberta, 94% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the D215: Medical Radiation Technologists occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.9% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 94 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

Nuclear medicine technologists in Alberta earn from $32.58 to $50.64 an hour (August 2017 estimate).

Medical radiation technologists

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $33.87 $42.35 $36.08 $33.98
Overall $37.25 $48.51 $41.24 $40.47
Top $44.75 $54.66 $46.81 $44.75

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

16%
16%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

24%
24%

Vacancy Rate

5%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT) website: acmdtt.com 

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) website: www.camrt.ca

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 19, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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