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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.

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

  • 3215.2: Nuclear Medicine Technologists

2006 NOC-S

  • D215: Medical Radiation Technologists

2011 NOC

  • 3215: Medical radiation technologists

2016 NOC

  • 3215: Medical radiation technologists

2021 NOC

  • 32121: Medical radiation technologists

2023 OaSIS

  • 32121.03: Radiation therapists
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Nuclear medicine uses radioactive substances, called radiopharmaceuticals, to help create images of body anatomy and function. This process can be used to diagnose and treat disease.

There are differences between the ways that healthy and diseased cells handle radiopharmaceuticals. Nuclear medicine technologists use gamma cameras to produce images that show where radiopharmaceuticals do and do not go. This can suggest what disease processes may be present.

For example, substances called “tracers” and “tagged compounds” may gather in “hot spots” or be absent in “cold spots.” This information can be 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
  • Interpret physicians’ requests for nuclear medicine exams
  • 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 radioactive sources and radiation-generating equipment
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

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. They also help position patients. Technologists may help other health-care workers assist patients who are unable to move on their own.

Working hours may include shift and on-call work.

Technologists must pay strict attention to safety procedures to avoid accidental exposure to radiation or body fluids.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

2006 NOC: 3215.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Nuclear medicine technologists need:

  • To be responsible and have integrity
  • To be patient and flexible
  • To be sensitive to the needs of sick and injured people
  • Communication skills (listening and speaking)
  • The ability to put people at ease
  • An interest in science and technology
  • Accuracy
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • The ability to work well in a team setting
  • Stress-management skills

They should enjoy:

  • Continual learning
  • Using equipment to perform precise tasks
  • Having procedures and standards for their work
  • Compiling data for research and statistics

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Medical radiation technologists

2016 NOC: 3215

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 16 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Mar 24, 2022 and Feb 16, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Construction Specialization: Team player
Health benefits: Health care plan
Security and Safety: Criminal record check
Attention to detail
Health benefits: Dental plan
Construction Specialization: Judgement
Health benefits: Vision care benefits
Construction Specialization: Flexibility
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

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

Employers may require additional training or courses to be taken after employment for specialized areas of practice, such as computer tomography. Courses can be taken through the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT).

 

 


Related Education

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Medical Radiation Technologist

Medical radiation technologists may apply ionizing radiation, non-ionizing radiation, and other forms of energy to produce diagnostic images. They then evaluate the technical sufficiency of the images. They may also use those forms of energy for treatment purposes. They assess the medical condition and needs of patients before, during, and after procedures.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf] ], Health Professions Restricted Activity Regulation [pdf], and Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists Profession Regulation [pdf], registration with the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT) is mandatory. Only registered members may provide restricted activities specified in the Regulations. This includes those who:

  • Meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public
  • Teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession
  • Supervise registered members who provide services to the public

Only those members can use the protected titles and initials of the specialties included in the medical radiation technologist (MRT) register:

  • Radiological technologist or MRT (R)
  • Nuclear medicine technologist or MRT (NM)
  • Radiation therapist or MRT (T)
  • Magnetic resonance technologist or MRT (MR)

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Medical Radiation Technologist.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2024

 

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

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 3215: Medical radiation technologists occupational group, 95.5% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 3215: Medical radiation technologists occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 46 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2024

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Medical radiation technologists

2016 NOC: 3215
Average Wage
$44.02
Per Hour
Average Salary
$75,822.00
Per Year
Average Hours
33
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3215 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $33.98 $42.35 $35.91 $33.98
Overall $39.02 $51.61 $44.02 $42.84
Top $44.75 $55.41 $47.54 $47.30

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
62%
62%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
33%
33%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
23%
23%
Vacancy Rate
3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2024

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: hsaa.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2024. 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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