Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists (NMTs) specialize in the use of radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals in order to create images of internal organs in a body scanner. Nuclear medicine technologists play a vital role in the medical field for being able to study bodily functions, examine biological specimen, and diagnose or treat certain medical conditions. Nuclear medicine technologists are well-trained to be able to achieve accurate diagnostic imaging procedures through the safe use of these potentially dangerous radiopharmaceuticals. Read on to discover more information about this integral and rewarding career in the fast-growing medical industry.

How to Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine technologists must possess at least an associate’s degree in nuclear medicine technology or a related health care field, although a bachelor’s degree is preferred. Some technologists first become qualified by completing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing, and then complete the one-year certificate program in nuclear medicine technology. Programs are offered at teaching hospitals, community colleges, and four-year colleges or universities nationwide. Training includes clinical experience under supervision, as well as coursework in human anatomy, physiology, nuclear chemistry, physics, and computer science.
Not all states require nuclear medicine technologists to become certified, but it is always a wise idea to expand job opportunities and marketability to employers. Certification entails successfully completing required program courses, necessary clinical experience hours, and graduation from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program. Technologists that are interested in specializing in specific procedures, such as PETs, MRIs, or CTs, are required to have a high level of knowledge and pass the offered specialty certification examinations.

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for nuclear medicine technologists is $68,560. While the lowest ten percent in the field earned less than $49,130, the top ten percent earned more than $91,970. Those employed by colleges or universities earn significantly more than the average at $79,260 a year. Nuclear medicine technologists employed at medical diagnostic laboratories earn slightly less than average at an annual salary of $67,270.

Job Outlook

Even though the occupation is considered small within the healthcare industry, the employment for nuclear medicine technologists is predicted to grow by 19 percent between 2010 and 2020. The rate is about as fast as the average for all occupations, and it will result in an additional 4,100 new jobs throughout the decade. The career growth is expected due to the larger aging population that will require more diagnostic procedures performed by trained nuclear medicine technologists.

Job Description

Nuclear medicine technologists utilize medical technology scanners to form visual images of various parts of patients’ bodies to monitor functioning of tissues and organs. Technologists prepare radioactive drugs called radio-pharmaceuticals that give off radiation and allow all abnormal areas to be easily detected. The nuclear medicine technologists need to have a thorough knowledge of safety procedures to protect both the patient and themselves from dangerous levels of radiation exposure. After creating accurate images and keeping detailed records of the procedure, the images help physicians to diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer, disease, or tumors.

Top Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools

WELCOME TO KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

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Purdue University, one of the nation's most respected universities, will acquire Kaplan University and create a new, nonprofit, public institution within the Purdue system. Pending regulatory approvals, this exciting transition is expected to take place later this year. This change will be seamless—during the transition, you will still be able to enroll at Kaplan University, earn a high-quality education, and meet your educational and career goals.

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The Metropolitan Institute of Health and Technology (MIHT) is dedicated to educating men and women to serve with confidence in the health and technology industry. MIHT provides career training for students to move forward in their chosen field of study, changing their lives for the better. MIHT strives to provide quality education with affordable tuition. Our staff works to determine the best financial options for students on an individualized level.

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* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


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Adelphi University’s roots reach back to 1863 and the founding of the Adelphi Academy, a private preparatory school in Brooklyn, New York. The Academy was incorporated in 1869 and its Board of Trustees was charged with establishing a first class institution for the broadest and most thorough training, and to make its advantages as accessible as possible to the largest numbers of our population. The school quickly gained a reputation for its innovative curriculum, particularly in physical culture and early childhood education.

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The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

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Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.

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WELCOME TO KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Globally Renowned Purdue to Acquire Kaplan University

Purdue University, one of the nation's most respected universities, will acquire Kaplan University and create a new, nonprofit, public institution within the Purdue system. Pending regulatory approvals, this exciting transition is expected to take place later this year. This change will be seamless—during the transition, you will still be able to enroll at Kaplan University, earn a high-quality education, and meet your educational and career goals.

Programs:

  • Health Information Management

CTU can help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. And now several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News Best Online Programs for 2015.  Are you in?

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management - Health Informatics

The Metropolitan Institute of Health and Technology (MIHT) is dedicated to educating men and women to serve with confidence in the health and technology industry. MIHT provides career training for students to move forward in their chosen field of study, changing their lives for the better. MIHT strives to provide quality education with affordable tuition. Our staff works to determine the best financial options for students on an individualized level.

Programs:

  • Electronic Health Records
Locations: Lorton

Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Programs:

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Locations: Richmond

Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.

Programs:

  • Master of Science - Health Informatics
Adelphi University’s roots reach back to 1863 and the founding of the Adelphi Academy, a private preparatory school in Brooklyn, New York. The Academy was incorporated in 1869 and its Board of Trustees was charged with establishing a first class institution for the broadest and most thorough training, and to make its advantages as accessible as possible to the largest numbers of our population. The school quickly gained a reputation for its innovative curriculum, particularly in physical culture and early childhood education.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

Programs:

  • MS Health Informatics

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Sterile Processing Technician
  • Surgical Technology
Locations: Richmond
Disclaimer: School programs and details may change over time. Contact schools for current information.