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Career Outlook

What is Nuclear Medicine?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Diagnostic imaging embraces several procedures that aid in diagnosing ailments, the most familiar imaging being the x ray. In nuclear medicine, radionuclides—unstable atoms that emit radiation spontaneously—are used to diagnose and treat disease. Radionuclides are purified and compounded to form radiopharmaceuticals. Nuclear medicine technologists administer radiopharmaceuticals to patients and then monitor the characteristics and functions of tissues or organs in which the drugs localize. Abnormal areas show higher-than-expected or lower-than-expected concentrations of radioactivity. Nuclear medicine differs from other diagnostic imaging technologies because it determines the presence of disease on the basis of metabolic changes, rather than changes in organ structure”. For more information regarding this profession click on: www.bls.gov.

Occupational Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of Nuclear Medicine Technologists is expected to grow by 19% from 2010-2020. For more information visit: www.bls.gov.

Salaries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site lists current salary ranges for Nuclear Medicine Technologists. Salaries vary by location. The site lists the mean annual wage of $69,960. For more information, including a breakdown of wages across the country, visit their website at: www.bls.gov/oes/current.

For more information about Nuclear Medicine as a career option, visit the Society of Nuclear Medicine at www.snm.org.