Nuclear Medicine Technologist Jobs

Training and Education Jobs and Salaries

Nuclear medicine technologists hold about 20,000 jobs. About 67 percent of all nuclear medicine technologists jobs are in private and government hospitals. Other nuclear medicine technologists work in offices of physicians or in medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers.

Faster than average job growth will arise from an increase in the number of middle-aged and elderly persons, who are the primary users of diagnostic and treatment procedures however, the number of job openings each year will be relatively low because the occupation is small. Employment of nuclear medicine technologists is expected to increase by 15 percent from 2006 to 2016 which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Job g rowth will arise from technological advancement, the development of new nuclear medicine treatments, and an increase in the number of middle-aged and older persons, who are the primary users of diagnostic procedures, including nuclear medicine tests. Technological innovations may increase the diagnostic uses of nuclear medicine. New nuclear medical imaging technologies, including positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), are expected to be used increasingly and to contribute further to employment growth.

The wider use of nuclear medical imaging to observe metabolic and biochemical changes during neurology, cardiology, and oncology procedures also will spur demand for nuclear medicine technologists. Nonetheless, cost considerations will affect the speed with which new applications of nuclear medicine grow. Some promising nuclear medicine procedures, such as positron emission tomography, are extremely costly, and hospitals contemplating these procedures will have to consider equipment costs, reimbursement policies, and the number of potential users.

In spite of fast growth in nuclear medicine, the number of openings into the occupation each year will be relatively low because of the small size of the occupation. Technologists who have additional training in other diagnostic methods, such as radiologic technology or diagnostic medical sonography, will have the best prospects.

Nuclear medicine technologists generally work a 40-hour week, perhaps including evening or weekend hours, in departments that operate on an extended schedule. Opportunities for part-time and shift work also are available. In addition, technologists in hospitals may have on-call duty on a rotational basis, and those employed by mobile imaging services may be required to travel to several locations Median annual earnings of nuclear medicine technologists are around $62,000. The middle 50 percent earn between $53,500 and $72,500. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $46,500, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $82,300.