Nuclear Medical Technology / Technician

Nuclear medicine is an occupation that involves using radioactive drugs in the diagnosis and treatment of various medical issues and illnesses. An individual trained in nuclear medicine performs several duties. He or she will prepare the radioactive drugs and then administer them to patients who are undergoing radiology testing or treatment by mouth, inhalation, or injection. The radioactive drugs will react differently in various parts of the body that are abnormal due to illnesses or tumors. The test results are then analyzed by doctors who will diagnose patients. In addition to administering radioactive drugs, nuclear medicine technicians keep records of the procedures performed, maintain safety procedures while administering medication, help patients feel comfortable by answering questions and concerns, and monitor equipment to make sure it is operating properly.

Nuclear medicine technologists usually work in a hospital setting, but some work in physicians' offices or diagnostic facilities. The schedule for nuclear medicine technicians can vary since the services they provide may be needed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since the job does involve the handling of radioactive materials, it is important that technicians use the utmost care and safety procedures to protect themselves and patients from harm. There are numerous safety measures that have been put into place in the field to avoid radiation exposure.

There are many nuclear medicine technologist schools in the Unites States. Nuclear medicine technologist programs are offered in the form of an associate degree or a bachelor's in science degree. Licensing rules vary by state, but all schools must be accredited so that graduates can apply for licensing if their state requires it or sit for the national certification exam. Certification of nuclear medicine technicians is provided through The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). An associate's degree can generally be obtained at a state or community college, technical school, or a medical technology school. Bachelor's degrees are offered at colleges and universities. An associate's degree is the minimum needed to obtain entry level work in nuclear medicine, but a bachelor's degree or higher is often necessary to qualify for higher level positions in the profession.

Associate's Degree in Nuclear Medicine

An associate's degree in nuclear medicine is a two year degree comprised of coursework and labs, plus clinical training in nuclear medicine. Entrance into a program is usually competitive as the programs are small and only admit a handful of students. To gain entry, students must have a high school diploma or equivalency, and satisfactorily compete any prerequisites required for entrance into the program. In addition, associate's degrees require the completion of general education courses such as English, math, and science. Most of the core courses in the degree sequence are scientific in nature, so potential students should have an interest in science. Some possible courses in a nuclear medicine program could include:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Orientation to Radiographic Technology
  • Nuclear Medicine Physics

Besides coursework, students will need to complete a number of clinical hours in a medical facility. After graduating with an associate's degree in nuclear medicine, graduates can apply to take certification exams and become licensed through their state if necessary. Graduates will then be eligible to become employed in entry level positions in:

  • Hospitals
  • Physicians' Offices
  • Diagnostic Facilities

Bachelor's Degree in Nuclear Medicine

A bachelor's degree in nuclear medicine can be obtained at a four

  • year college or university. Bachelor's degree programs typically involve two years of general coursework, and then two years of core classes towards the actual major. Like the associate's degree programs, bachelor's degree programs in nuclear medicine are usually competitive to get into, so it is important that potential students maintain a higher than average GPA during their first two years of schooling.

    Coursework will consist of general classes such as English and math, plus science classes, co-requisite lab courses, and clinicals. Although the path of the program is much the same as the associate's degree, a bachelor's degree in the subject is more intense and requires more training. Possible classes in a nuclear medicine program at a four year university might include:

    • Radiation Biology and Radiation Protection
    • Radiopharmacy
    • Nuclear Medicine Technology Techniques

    Clinical training is also a major component of the bachelor's degree. Students will need to complete a number of hours of clinical training in hospitals or diagnostic facilities in order to earn the required credits for graduation. Once students have graduated, they can take the necessary certification and licensing exams required in their state. They are then qualified to pursue positions in fields such as:

    • Hospitals
    • Physicians' Offices
    • Diagnostic Facilities

  • Featured Schools

    Programs offered:

    • Medical Radiography - Associate
    Locations:  Manassas

    Programs offered:

    • Healthcare Technology - Associate of Occupational Science
    Locations:  Roanoke

    We found 87 schools offering nuclear medicine technologist degree programs in the U.S.

    >> See all 87 Nuclear Medical Technology / Technician Colleges in the U.S.

    Top Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools By Total Enrollment

    1
    Community College of the Air Force
    Montgomery, AL  |  Total Enrollment: 378162

    Degrees Offered: One but less than two years, Associate's
    2
    Houston Community College System
    Houston, TX  |  Total Enrollment: 40929

    Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years
    3
    City College of San Francisco
    San Francisco, CA  |  Total Enrollment: 39386

    Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years
    4
    College of Dupage
    Glen Ellyn, IL  |  Total Enrollment: 28862

    Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's
    5
    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA  |  Total Enrollment: 28311

    Degrees Offered: Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate
    6
    Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis
    Indianapolis, IN  |  Total Enrollment: 27525

    Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
    7
    Broward Community College
    Fort Lauderdale, FL  |  Total Enrollment: 27389

    Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's
    8
    University of Cincinnati - Main Campus
    Cincinnati, OH  |  Total Enrollment: 27327

    Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
    9
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Chapel Hill, NC  |  Total Enrollment: 24892

    Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
    10
    Suny at Buffalo
    Buffalo, NY  |  Total Enrollment: 24830

    Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate

    Browse All 87 Colleges With Nuclear Medicine Technologist Programs


    Title City State Enrollment
    Alverno College Milwaukee WI 1932
    Amarillo College Amarillo TX 8422
    Ball State University Muncie IN 19004
    Baptist Health Schools of Nursing and Allied Health Little Rock AR 567
    Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences Memphis TN 432
    Barry University Miami FL 8650
    Benedictine University Lisle IL 2842
    Broward Community College Fort Lauderdale FL 27389
    Bunker Hill Community College Boston MA 6385
    Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Hudson NC 3191
    Cedar Crest College Allentown PA 1519
    Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science Los Angeles CA 99
    Chattanooga State Technical Community College Chattanooga TN 7873
    City College of San Francisco San Francisco CA 39386
    College of Dupage Glen Ellyn IL 28862
    Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh PA 15556
    Community College of the Air Force Montgomery AL 378162
    Cypress College Cypress CA 21361
    Delaware Technical and Community College - Stanton - Wilmington Newark DE 6622
    Delgado Community College New Orleans LA 12784
    Ferris State University Big Rapids MI 9847
    Foothill College Los Altos Hills CA 14193
    Forsyth Technical Community College Winston Salem NC 5860
    Galveston College Galveston TX 2255
    Gateway Community College Phoenix AZ 7895
    Gateway Community College New Haven CT 4157
    George Washington University Washington DC 20527
    Gloucester County College Sewell NJ 4669
    Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg Harrisburg PA 7572
    Hillsborough Community College Tampa FL 18497
    Houston Community College System Houston TX 40929
    Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis IN 27525
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Main Campus Indiana PA 13410
    Lancaster General Hospital - Lancaster Institute for Health Education Lancaster PA 197
    Lexington Community College Lexington KY 7214
    Loma Linda University Loma Linda CA 3153
    Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus Brooklyn NY 7780
    Lorain County Community College Elyria OH 10521
    Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Science Boston MA 1877
    Mayo School of Health Related Sciences Rochester MN 248
    Medical College of Georgia Augusta GA 1932
    Midlands Technical College West Columbia SC 9702
    Notre Dame College Cleveland OH 215
    Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills Campus Bloomfield Hills MI 23188
    Old Dominion University Norfolk VA 18969
    Orange Coast College Costa Mesa CA 23315
    Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls OR 2815
    Owens Community College Perrysburg OH 15845
    Pitt Community College Winterville NC 4973
    Prince Georges Community College Largo MD 11563
    Research Medical Center School of Nuclear Medical Technology Kansas City MO 5
    Rhode Island Hospital School of Nuclear Medicine Providence RI No Data
    Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud MN 15181
    Saint Louis University - Main Campus Saint Louis MO 13847
    Saint Mary S University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN 3200
    Saint Marys University of Minnesota Winona MN 5010
    Salem State College Salem MA 8587
    Santa Fe Community College Gainesville FL 12464
    Siena Heights University Adrian MI 1972
    Southeast Technical Institute Sioux Falls SD 2283
    Southern Maine Community College South Portland ME 2334
    Springfield Technical Community College Springfield MA 6705
    Suny at Buffalo Buffalo NY 24830
    The University of Findlay Findlay OH 4510
    Triton College River Grove IL 16927
    University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham AL 14951
    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock AR 1855
    University of Central Arkansas Conway AR 8481
    University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati OH 27327
    University of Cincinnati - Raymond Walters College Blue Ash OH 3668
    University of Iowa Iowa City IA 28311
    University of Louisville Louisville KY 19771
    University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Newark NJ 4666
    University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson MS 1674
    University of Nevada - Las Vegas Las Vegas NV 22041
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill NC 24892
    University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City OK 2759
    University of St Francis Joliet IL 4332
    University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio TX 3702
    University of Vermont and State Agricultural Coll Burlington VT 10118
    University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse WI 9409
    Weber State University Ogden UT 16050
    West Virginia State University Institute WV 4824
    West Virginia University Hospital School of Radiologic Technology Morgantown WV 27
    Wheeling Jesuit University Wheeling WV 1515
    William Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak MI 76
    York College Pennsylvania York PA 5254