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Career Profile: Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies using a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 18,300 people employed as nuclear medicine technologists in the United States. The median annual salary is $79,600. Entry level employees earn approximately $57,830 per year and senior employees earn approximately $109,070 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Administer radiopharmaceuticals or radiation intravenously to detect or treat diseases, using radioisotope equipment, under direction of a physician.
  • Detect and map radiopharmaceuticals in patients' bodies, using a camera to produce photographic or computer images.
  • Process cardiac function studies, using computer.
  • Calculate, measure, and record radiation dosage or radiopharmaceuticals received, used, and disposed, using computer and following physician's prescription.
  • Record and process results of procedures.
  • Produce a computer-generated or film image for interpretation by a physician.
  • Prepare stock radiopharmaceuticals, adhering to safety standards that minimize radiation exposure to workers and patients.
  • Explain test procedures and safety precautions to patients and provide them with assistance during test procedures.
  • Perform quality control checks on laboratory equipment or cameras.
  • Dispose of radioactive materials and store radiopharmaceuticals, following radiation safety procedures.
  • Gather information on patients' illnesses and medical history to guide the choice of diagnostic procedures for therapy.
  • Maintain and calibrate radioisotope and laboratory equipment.
  • Measure glandular activity, blood volume, red cell survival, or radioactivity of patient, using scanners, Geiger counters, scintillometers, or other laboratory equipment.
  • Train or supervise student or subordinate nuclear medicine technologists.
  • Position radiation fields, radiation beams, and patient to allow for most effective treatment of patient's disease, using computer.
  • Add radioactive substances to biological specimens, such as blood, urine, or feces, to determine therapeutic drug or hormone levels.
  • Develop treatment procedures for nuclear medicine treatment programs.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
18,300
Annual Openings:
1,500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
8%
Annual Salary Range:
$57,830 - $109,070
Education Requirements:
Associate's degree