Nuclear medicine technologists are professionals who use radioactive drugs for the treatment of various disorders. At the same time, nuclear medicine technologists are trained to use high-quality scanners to produce bodily images of the internal organs, and they work closely with doctors, physicians and other health care professionals.
It often happens that the training and expertise of nuclear medicine technologists is vital for diagnosing certain conditions and disorders, however, it is very important for them to adhere to a set of rules to keep them safe while working with radioactive materials. Statistically speaking, the median yearly salary of these professionals in the United States of America can range anywhere between $58,000 and as much as $82,000 a year.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States
The highest paying state for nuclear medicine technologists is certainly California, as professionals who work here should expect a median yearly wage of over $92,000 a year. On the other hand, those who live and work in Rhode Island should also expect a rewarding salary that often exceeds $87,000 a year, while those from Washington D.C. typically make around $81,000 a year.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Description
As mentioned above, nuclear medicine technologists work with radioactive materials in order to diagnose and treat various diseases that can be potentially fatal. They prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals, and they also rely on the use of high-end medical equipment to monitor the evolution of certain diseases. They are trained to operate magnetic resonance imaging scanners and they also know how to use computed tomography equipment to diagnose different diseases.
These professionals have many different duties and responsibilities, in addition to administering medications and radiopharmaceuticals. They also process the data provided by the medical equipment and enhance the digital images, they analyze the data and use it for diagnostic interpretation and they also calibrate the instruments. The nuclear medicine technologists must always be up to date with the latest protocols and they are trained in many different subspecialties related to their field of activity, from radiation exposure to radiopharmaceuticals, computer applications and radiation procedures.
It is also the duty of the nuclear medicine technologist to make sure that the patient is placed in the right position prior to operating the scanner and other high-end medical equipment.
How To Become A Nuclear Medicine Technologist?
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- Surgical Technology - Associate's
- Medical Radiography - Associate's
- Medical Assisting - Associate's
After finishing high school and receiving a high school diploma or a GED, the next step is to enroll in one of the many accredited training programs for nuclear medicine technologists. On average, these programs last anywhere between 12 months and 48 months, and you can get either an Associate’s Degree in the field or a Bachelor’s Degree, depending on the chosen training program.
Throughout the training period, you will get a deeper insight into physical sciences, radiation exposure, computer application, radiopharmaceuticals, protection and such. In spite of the fact that getting certified as a nuclear medicine technologist is not a must, it is highly recommended to pursue a license in the field. As it happens with any other medical field, the exact eligibility requirements do vary greatly from one US state to another. Most of the time, these professionals choose to get licensed in a field like nuclear cardiology.
Nuclear medicine technologists who do want to take their education a mile further and to secure their position can always opt for a certification provided by the NMTCB, or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. The certification is recognized as one of the premier examinations for nuclear medicine technologists, it is fully recognized by state licensure agencies and it is a high-quality certification exam overall.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
The median yearly wage of a nuclear medicine technologist in Canada is of around Ca$62,000 a year, while in Australia these professionals should expect to get around Au$70,000 a year. At the same time, a nuclear medicine technologist who lives and works in the United Kingdom typically makes around 25,000 pounds a year.
Verdict On Nuclear Medicine Technologist Salary
To sum it all up, these professionals get a very rewarding salary, although the risks associated with working as a nuclear medicine technology are directly proportional to the yearly wages described above.