home | contact us | disclaimer  

Nuclear Medicine Technologist: Nuclear Medicine Technician, Nuclear Medicine Tech School

The field of nuclear medicine involves diagnoses and procedures of various diseases, making use of radiation, magnetic resonance imaging, and radio wave equipment. A nuclear medicine technologist is involved with monitoring and diagnosing patients by administering radiopharmaceuticals, and often works alongside doctors in a hospital setting.

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging and medicine that utilizes nuclear properties during diagnosis and therapy. Nuclear medicine can be broken down into various categories including:

  • Radionuclides

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Nuclear scintigraphy

Nuclear medicine is different from other imaging modalities since it focuses on the physiological function of the system. Nuclear medicine images can also make use of CT or MRI scanning procedures, as this is an important part of radiopharmaceutical diagnosis. Diagnostic tests are generally requested from a specific department of a hospital or clinic, and involve exploiting the body to see how it handles different substances. In a typical situation, a radionuclide is injected into the body or combined with food. After a period of time, the nuclear medicine technologist is then responsible for monitoring the patient's cells through the use of medical imaging equipment.

Job Description and Responsibilities of a Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Graduates of a nuclear medicine school, and those who pursue a career as a nuclear medicine tech are expected to:

  • Work directly with patients
  • Work under the supervision of a physician, doctor, or trained nuclear medicine tech
  • Learn how to limit radiation exposure to patients and themselves
  • Document all lab operations
  • Assist in scheduling patient examinations
  • Interpret images and film with a physician

Career Options After Nuclear Medicine Technologist Training and Nuclear Medicine School

Nuclear medicine technologists and students who attend nuclear medicine school may choose to work in:

  • Hospitals

  • Physician's offices

  • Private clinics

  • Group health practices

Nuclear Medicine Training & Certification

Most states require certification and licensing for a prospective nuclear medicine technologist. Nuclear medicine technology programs can be between 1 to 4 years in length with certification, an associate's degree, and a bachelor's degree available. Certification programs are available through most hospitals, and can be used to pursue a career in nuclear medicine in lieu of attending a formal nuclear medicine school.

Certification generally requires an associate's degree, and is available primarily through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. Certification from both of these agencies is another option. The one-year program is ideal for a prospective nuclear medicine technician interested in specializing in nuclear medicine who may already have an associate degree as a diagnostic medical sonographer or radiologic technologist. Certification through a two-year program is another option for those attending a nuclear medicine school.

Nuclear medicine schools can provide ample training in subjects such as:

  • Computer applications
  • Radiation protection, including procedures and applications
  • Biological effects of exposure to radiation
  • Physical sciences
  • Human physiology
  • Radiopharmaceuticals

A nuclear medicine technician may begin as an assistant, and move ahead to an independent position and then a supervisor. Specialization is another option, and a nuclear medicine technologist may become an instructor or researcher as well.

Nuclear Medicine School Accreditation

The Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology is responsible for accreditation of nuclear medicine training programs or a nuclear medicine school specializing in nuclear medicine technology. Over 100 accredited programs are available throughout the U.S.

Nuclear Medicine Technician Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

The field of nuclear medicine looks promising, and employment prospects for nuclear medicine technologists are expected to grow faster than average with the technological advances in the medical field. As more people require imaging and testing procedures, skilled and experienced nuclear medicine tech professionals are in high demand. The addition of new nuclear medical imaging technologies in the industry will require ongoing training, education, and certification in the field. Median annual earnings for nuclear medicine technologists were $56,450 in 2004. Related occupations include:

  • Clinical laboratory technologists

  • Diagnostic medical sonographers

  • Respiratory therapists

  • Radiation therapists

  • Radiologic technologists

  • Radiologic technicians


Back to Nuclear Medicine School: Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Nuclear Medicine Technician



Trade Schools


Fashion Design Degree

Graphic Design Degree

Flight Colleges

Photography School

Medical Billing School

Medical Coding Training

Medical Assistant Training

Natural Health Schools

Dental Programs

Law School Ranking

Best Business School Ranking

Dental Assistant Programs

Cosmetology Schools

Interior Design Schools

Art Schools: Art Degree

Acupuncture School

Paralegal Degree

Medical Transcription School

Massage School

Online Pharmacy Technician Schools

Truck Driving Schools

Animation Degree Courses

Top 10 Universities