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Medical Radiation Technologists

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NOC:3215
Occupation:Medical Radiation Technologists
Category:Health

About the job

Nature of work:

This group includes technologists who operate radiographic and radiation therapy equipment to administer radiation treatment and produce images of body structures for the diagnosis and treatment of injury and disease. They are employed in hospitals, cancer treatment centres, clinics, radiological laboratories, colleges and universities. Medical radiation technologists who are supervisors or instructors are included in this group.

Job duties:
Radiological technologists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Operate X-ray, radiographic and fluoroscopic equipment, computerized tomography (CT) scanners, mammography units and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to produce radiographs or anatomic images of the human body for the diagnosis by radiologists of disease or injury.
  • Record and process patient data.
  • Perform basic verification and quality control checks on radiographic and film processing equipment.
  • Provide appropriate care and monitoring of the patient during the radiographic examination.
  • Explain procedures, position patient and equipment and apply radiation protection measures.
  • May train and supervise student radiographers or supervise other radiological technologists.
Nuclear medicine technologists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals, such as radionuclides and other tracer materials to patients or to biological samples.
  • Operate radiation detection equipment, such as gamma cameras, scanners, scintillation counters, tomodensitometers and ionization chambers, to acquire data for use by nuclear medicine physicians in the diagnosis of disease.
  • Perform diagnostic procedures using radioactive materials on biological specimens, such as blood, urine and faeces.
  • Record and process results of procedures.
  • Check equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Provide appropriate care and monitoring of the patient during the examination.
  • Apply radiation protection measures.
  • May train and supervise student nuclear medicine technologists or supervise other nuclear medicine technologists.
Radiation therapists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Operate linear accelerators, cobalt 60, X-ray and other radiation therapy equipment to administer radiation treatment prescribed by radiation oncologists.
  • Check radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Assist radiation oncologists and clinical physicists with preparation of radiation treatment plan.
  • Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials such as cobalt, radium, cesium and isotopes and the construction of devices such as plaster casts and acrylic moulds to assist with administration of radiation treatment.
  • Provide appropriate care and monitoring of the patient's physical and psychological well-being during the entire course of treatment.
  • Explain procedures and side effects of radiation.
  • May train and supervise student radiotherapy technologists or supervise other radiotherapy technologists.

Radiological technologists may specialize in areas such as computerized tomography, angiography, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, interventional radiology, dosimetry, stereotaxy or brachytherapy.

Sample job titles:
  • diagnostic imaging technologist
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologist
  • mammography technician
  • medical radiation technologist
  • nuclear medicine technician
  • radiation therapy technologist (RTT)
  • radiology technologist
  • registered technologist in nuclear medicine (RTNM)
  • registered technologist in radiography (RTR)
  • X-ray (radiology) technician
Skills:

This work demands skill, accuracy, and close attention to detail. You should be efficient yet sensitive to patients' needs. Integrity and a strong sense of responsibility are important, as your results may affect a diagnosis or treatment. You must also be comfortable working with technology and able to keep up with new advances in the field.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of a two- to three-year college, hospital or other approved program in diagnostic radiography or magnetic resonance imaging (for radiological technologists and magnetic resonance technologists), nuclear medicine technology (for nuclear medicine technologists) or radiation therapy (for radiation therapists) or a bachelor of health sciences in radiography, nuclear medicine or radiation therapy and a period of supervised practical training are required.
  • Licensure with a regulatory body is required in Nova Scotia.
  • Certification by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists is required in Nova Scotia.
Other considerations:

Depending on the size and type of institution, people in these jobs may be required to work evenings, weekends, or holidays. There is no mobility between the three types of medical radiation technologists without further training. Experience as a medical radiation technologist is required for supervisors and instructors.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Medical Radiation Technologists most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 61% of Medical Radiation Technologists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $70,719. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Medical Radiation Technologists540Moderate growth45Low
Minimum: $23.00
Median: $32.54
Maximum: $45.00
Minimum: $18,109
Median: $66,987
Maximum: $87,379
Occupations in Health36,515Strong growth4,385Low
Minimum: $16.38
Median: $25.50
Maximum: $41.00
Minimum: $10,740
Median: $43,853
Maximum: $88,944
Medical Radiation TechnologistsCompared to: Occupations in Health
Percent employed full-time85%77%
Percent self-employed2%10%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentMedical Radiation TechnologistsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern9%x12%$30,581
Northern15%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton12%x13%$32,974
Halifax53%$60,97747%$41,209
Annapolis Valley11%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeMedical Radiation TechnologistsCompared to: All Health
% Employed% Employed
15-243%1%
25-3433%15%
35-4427%28%
45-5414%31%
55-6420%20%
65+4%5%
Median Age4244
GenderMedical Radiation TechnologistsCompared to: Occupations in Health
% Employed% Employed
Female77%84%
Male23%16%
EducationMedical Radiation TechnologistsCompared to: All Health
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/Ax1.1%$27,581
High school1.8%x6.9%$24,119
Trades certificate1.8%x5.0%$31,728
College certificate or diploma38.6%$54,50439.4%$36,693
University certificate or diploma4.4%x4.8%$50,769
Bachelor's degree42.1%$58,44127.6%$57,186
University advanced certificate or diploma7.9%x2.3%$61,833
Master's degreeN/Ax5.1%$87,808
Doctorate1.8%x0.7%$70,843
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry1.8%x7.2%$83,000
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Medical Radiation Technologist
Right to Practice:This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
PO Box 9410, Station A
Halifax, NS B3K 5S3
(902) 434-6525
(902) 425-2441
info@nsamrt.ca
Useful contacts:
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
1000 - 85 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 6A4
Tel: (613) 234-0012
Fax: (613) 234-1097
info@camrt.ca
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 461-0871
Fax: (902) 461-9572
info@hcsc.ca

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Nuclear medical technology/technologist
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals, under the supervision of physicians, to employ radioactive and stable nuclides in diagnostic evaluations and therapeutic applications while monitoring for patient health and safety. These programs include courses in nuclear physics, health physics, instrumentation and statistics, biochemistry, immunology, radiopharmacology, radiation biology, clinical nuclear medicine, radionuclide therapy, computer applications, safety regulations, equipment operation, quality control, laboratory procedures, taking patient histories, patient evaluation and monitoring, emergency first aid, administration and record-keeping, and personnel supervision.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Radiologic technology/science - Radiographer
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals, under the supervision of physicians, to provide medical imaging services to patients and attending health care professionals. These programs include courses in applied anatomy and physiology, patient positioning, radiographic technique, radiation biology, safety and emergency procedures, equipment operation and maintenance, quality assurance, patient education, and medical imaging/radiologic services management.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Additional resources: