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Nuclear Medicine Technologist Careers

Learn about nuclear medicine technology schools, education, and careers.

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Home » Specialties » Nuclear Medicine Technologist

The Basics

  • What you’ll do: As a nuclear medicine technologist (NMT), you’ll perform diagnostic tests on patients using imaging equipment such as gamma cameras.
  • Where you’ll work: Hospitals, physician’s offices and clinics, private practice or for a firm. Some nuclear medicine technologists may work for state or federal government agencies.
  • Degree you’ll need: Associate’s degree, but preferably a bachelor’s degree
  • Median annual salary: $79,590

Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Description

Working directly with patients and under the supervision of a physician, you’ll fulfill the following standard duties of a nuclear medicine technologist:

  • Explaining procedures to patients
  • Administering radioactive substances to patients
  • Producing the images on a computer screen or on film for a physician to interpret
  • Taking precautions to limit radiation exposure to the patient and yourself

You might also document laboratory operations and participate in scheduling patient examinations.

Salaries by State

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports nuclear medicine technologist median annual wages by state. Take a look at how your state ranks:

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

National data

Median Salary: $79,590

Bottom 10%: $57,830

Top 10%: $109,070

Projected job growth: 5.4%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $65,990 $46,960 $81,880
Arizona $87,550 $68,950 $105,310
Arkansas $69,110 $52,840 $94,400
California $122,390 $89,370 $163,080
Colorado $89,110 $70,160 $106,540
Connecticut $93,470 $67,840 $121,670
Delaware $83,090 $65,530 $108,030
District of Columbia $96,540 $77,260 $123,590
Florida $76,430 $57,640 $98,830
Georgia $76,070 $56,280 $99,280
Hawaii $102,600 $77,520 $128,360
Idaho $80,930 $66,020 $101,690
Illinois $82,680 $62,640 $111,870
Indiana $75,380 $56,840 $97,880
Iowa $73,700 $55,200 $99,970
Kansas $73,310 $55,160 $98,510
Kentucky $71,080 $54,450 $85,880
Louisiana $70,280 $54,600 $89,660
Maine $80,880 $60,860 $101,420
Maryland $85,040 $64,350 $105,220
Massachusetts $84,410 $62,860 $111,330
Michigan $74,220 $56,930 $94,530
Minnesota $89,440 $70,520 $104,600
Mississippi $70,560 $53,560 $87,940
Missouri $76,820 $56,180 $100,450
Montana $77,900 $59,140 $100,910
Nebraska $75,560 $54,050 $98,690
Nevada $78,220 $66,370 $99,170
New Hampshire $86,440 $67,120 $102,720
New Jersey $88,610 $70,790 $110,260
New Mexico $76,110 $58,660 $100,480
New York $91,400 $69,150 $111,130
North Carolina $70,480 $53,220 $91,570
North Dakota $74,850 $57,990 $99,670
Ohio $74,430 $57,060 $97,400
Oklahoma $71,690 $54,900 $92,330
Oregon $92,520 $72,950 $110,830
Pennsylvania $73,130 $53,520 $102,280
Rhode Island $105,730 $75,080 $130,690
South Carolina $73,980 $58,520 $92,150
South Dakota $63,990 $38,490 $95,050
Tennessee $69,840 $55,360 $85,950
Texas $77,590 $57,060 $101,660
Utah $79,260 $61,460 $100,550
Vermont $79,330 $58,460 $99,110
Virginia $77,060 $58,600 $100,520
Washington $101,220 $76,440 $130,320
West Virginia $63,400 $51,890 $79,210
Wisconsin $86,920 $63,210 $110,860

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2020 median salary; projected job growth through 2029. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Education & Licensure

First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure you complete an accredited NMT program. Certificate programs are offered for experienced technologists who wish to specialize in nuclear medicine. In the training programs, students receive a combination of classroom and clinical instruction.

Coursework May Include the Following:

  • Nuclear physics
  • Statistics
  • Health physics
  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Radiopharmacology
  • Radiation biology
  • Clinical nuclear medicine
  • Radionuclide therapy
  • Immunology

Regulations about certification and licensing vary from state to state. However, getting your certification is a good idea because most employers require it. Upon completion of an accredited program, you can receive your NMT certification from these agencies:

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook