Nuclear Medicine Technology Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Employment of nuclear technicians is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations, because of greater demand for nuclear energy. Technological innovations may increase the diagnostic uses of nuclear medicine. One example is the use of radiopharmaceuticals in combination with monoclonal antibodies to detect cancer at far earlier stages than is customary today and without resorting to surgery. Another is the use of radionuclides to examine the heart’s ability to pump blood. 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 (BLS, 2007).

Employment

NMTs are employed in hospitals, universities, medical clinics and research centers across the United States and abroad. There are more than 13,000 NMT positions throughout the country. After further study in nuclear medicine, you may advance to positions such as chief technologist, research technologist or educator (MC, 2003).

Earning Potential

Salaries vary depending on the employer and geographic location. A 2010 survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists showed that annual salaries averaged about $44,500 for entry-level radiographers and $57,500 for entry-level radiation therapists. With experience, additional education or supervisory responsibilities, salaries can reach $65,000 to $85,000 per year, depending on area of specialization (American Medical association, n.d.). The median annual wage for nuclear technicians was $69,060 in May 2012 (BLS, 2012). Oregon Tech graduates have an excellent record of employment after graduation and certification.

Graduate Success Rate

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The statistics and figures listed in the Graduate Success publication are based upon the Career Survey administered by Oregon Tech's Career Services Office for the graduating class of 2012-13. The success rate is calculated as the percentage of survey respondents who are employed, continuing education, or inactive within six months after graduation. Those who are inactive are not seeking employment for a variety of reasons. Average graduate salaries encompass all alumni within a given discipline. These results are from a survey conducted between Dec. 20, 2013 and Jan 14, 2014.