There are approximately 19,300 nuclear medicine technologists in the United States, with most (73 percent in May 2019) employed by hospitals. Nuclear medicine technologists are also employed at health clinics, nuclear medical equipment development facilities, diagnostic imaging centers, research facilities, and private laboratories.
Graduates of specialized training programs and two- and four-year programs usually receive placement assistance from their educational institutions, which have a vested interest in placing as many graduates as possible. Help wanted ads in local papers and professional journals, as well as on health profession employment Web sites, are also good sources of job leads, as is participation in professional organizations, which gives members opportunities to network.
Growth in the field of nuclear medicine should lead to advancement opportunities. Advancement usually takes the form of promotion to a supervisory position, with a corresponding increase in pay and responsibilities. Due to increased competition for positions in large metropolitan hospitals, technologists who work at these institutions may need to transfer to another hospital or city to secure a promotion. Hospitals in rural areas have much less competition for positions and therefore are more likely to give promotions.
Promotions, which are more easily attained by earning a bachelor's degree, are normally to positions of supervisor, chief technologist, or nuclear medicine department administrator. Some technologists may advance by leaving clinical practice to teach or work with equipment development and sales.
Become familiar with health care setttings by volunteering in a hospital or nursing care facility.
Take anatomy and physiology courses to learn more about the human body and its functions.
Contact your local hospital to arrange for an information interview with a nuclear medicine technologist.