Nuclear Medicine Technologist Salaries
Nuclear Medicine Salary
Nuclear medicine technologist salaries can vary greatly depending upon factors such as level of education, experience, and the relative size of the employer as it relates to the industry in general. According to May 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wages for nuclear medicine technologists were $73,230. This was much higher than the mean annual wage of $47,230 for all occupations combined across the U.S.
Outlook of Employment
Before you even consider a nuclear medicine career, you will probably want to know what the future holds for this profession. The field of nuclear medicine is expected to play an increasingly stronger role in health solutions for the future due to an aging population and rapid technological growth. In fact, the BLS estimates there should be a 20 percent increase in employment opportunities for nuclear medicine technologists from 2012-2022, resulting in the opening of 4,200 new positions.
Steps to Becoming a Nuclear Medicine Technologist
- An associate degree in nuclear medicine technology is typically necessary to enter the field, according to the BLS, although some students complete a bachelor's degree. Research nuclear medicine schools so that you chose the program that best suits your individual career goals.
- If you can't find a nuclear medicine technology degree in your area, you may be able to complete a degree in a related field, such as nursing or radiologic technology. Adding on a 12-month certificate in nuclear medicine technology can be another path to completing your training, reports the BLS.
- Finish all of the clinical hours needed as part of your program. These may help you to gain experience under the supervision of a certified nuclear medicine technologist and a surgeon or physician who practices in the nuclear technology field.
- After you have completed your nuclear medicine program, you may be prepared to seek national certification. This may not be a requirement for state licensing, but often will fulfill many of the licensing requirements if licensure is required, according to the BLS. Certification can be found either through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB), according to the BLS. As well, the NMTCB offers both nuclear cardiology (NCT) and positron emission tomography (PET) certification.
- Apply for a state license if it is required in your state. The NMTCB reports that licensing is required in 26 states in all and that many accept NMTCB certification in place of the state exam. More details about the licensing steps can be found on the NMTCB website.
- May 2014 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#00-0000
- Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nuclear-medicine-technologists.htm#tab-6
- Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292033.htm
- State Licensure, Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, no date, https://www.nmtcb.org/faq/index.php?cat=9#a44