California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Nuclear Medicine Technologists in California

May also be called: Nuclear Medical Technologists; and Nuclear Medicine Technicians

What Would I Do?

Nuclear Medicine Technologists use radioactive drugs to diagnose and treat disease. The Technologist, working under the direction of a doctor, administers to patients drugs that are attracted to specific organs or tissues. The Technologist monitors how tissues, glands, and organs actually function using a special camera that displays the concentrations of radioactivity.

Most Nuclear Medicine Technologists work in hospitals, doctors' offices, or mobile imaging vehicles. Many Technologists work 40 hours a week but may work evening and weekend hours if their department operates on an extended schedule.

Will This Job Fit Me?

This occupation may appeal to those who like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. People who like working with ideas may enjoy this occupation. It is valuable for Nuclear Medicine Technologists to be sensitive to their patients' needs and have good communication skills.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2020 for Nuclear Medicine Technologists in California is $118,386 annually, or $56.92 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$101,103$118,386$135,209
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Typical benefits include medical, dental, life, and vision insurance as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. Employers frequently provide tuition reimbursement. Several employers also provide assistance with continuing education, such as time off to attend courses and employer-provided training.

What is the Job Outlook?

The technological developments in nuclear medicine treatments and the increase in the middle-aged and elderly populations will likely increase the use of nuclear medicine. However, the cost for the procedures will be a factor that limits the growth of this small field. In addition, new procedures will likely replace older technologies, keeping the number of job openings relatively low. Technologists who are trained in multiple diagnostic methods should have the best job prospects.

How Do I Qualify?

A high school diploma or the equivalent is required for entry into an accredited program for nuclear medicine technology. The Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology accredits formal training programs in nuclear medicine technology. Technologists may obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology or a related field. Health professionals who already have an associate or bachelor's degree can also complete a one-year certificate program in nuclear medicine technology.

California requires individuals who perform nuclear medicine technology to be certified by the Radiologic Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Job openings can be located in newspaper classified ads, the Internet, and through professional associations. Applicants may also find employment opportunities through placement offices through their college or university. It can also be helpful for candidates to contact facilities providing nuclear medicine imaging services, even if no job announcement has been posted, to see if they accept applications. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).


Learn More About Nuclear Medicine Technologists