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Career profile Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Also known as Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist (CNMT), Lead Nuclear Medicine Technologist (Lead Nuc Med Tech), Nuclear Cardiology Technologist, Nuclear Medicine PET-CT Technologist (Nuclear Medicine Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography Technologist), Nuclear Medicine Technologist (Nuclear Med Tech), Radiation Safety Officer, Registered Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Senior Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Staff Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Also known as Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist (CNMT), Lead Nuclear Medicine Technologist (Lead Nuc Med Tech), Nuclear Cardiology Technologist

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$57,830 - $109,070 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Biology
  • Physics
Core tasks
  • 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.
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What does a Nuclear Medicine Technologist do?

Nuclear Medicine Technologists prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies using a variety of radioisotope equipment.

In addition, Nuclear Medicine Technologists

  • 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.

What kind of tasks does a Nuclear Medicine Technologist perform regularly?

Nuclear Medicine Technologists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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.

The above responsibilities are specific to Nuclear Medicine Technologists. More generally, Nuclear Medicine Technologists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

What is a Nuclear Medicine Technologist salary?

The median salary for a Nuclear Medicine Technologist is $79,590, and the average salary is $82,080. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Nuclear Medicine Technologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Nuclear Medicine Technologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Nuclear Medicine Technologists earn less than $57,830 per year, 25% earn less than $68,370, 75% earn less than $95,230, and 90% earn less than $109,070.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Nuclear Medicine Technologists is expected to change by 7.7%, and there should be roughly 1,500 open positions for Nuclear Medicine Technologists every year.

Median annual salary
$79,590
Typical salary range
$57,830 - $109,070
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.7%

What personality traits are common among Nuclear Medicine Technologists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist are usually higher in their Investigative, Realistic, and Social interests.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Nuclear Medicine Technologists typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Nuclear Medicine Technologists typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist tend to value Relationships, Support, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Nuclear Medicine Technologists very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Nuclear Medicine Technologists strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Nuclear Medicine Technologists strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Nuclear Medicine Technologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as concern for others, attention to detail, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Nuclear Medicine Technologists, ranked by importance:

Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Nuclear Medicine Technologists need?

Nuclear Medicine Technologists often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Nuclear Medicine Technologists

  • 2.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 2.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 6.8% completed some college coursework
  • 19.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 52.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 13.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Nuclear Medicine Technologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, biology, or physics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Nuclear Medicine Technologists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Nuclear Medicine Technologists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Nuclear Medicine Technologists need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Nuclear Medicine Technologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists frequently use skills like critical thinking, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Nuclear Medicine Technologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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