Medical Radiation Technologists

(NOC 3215)

in All Health

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 work for hospitals, cancer treatment centres, clinics, radiological laboratories, colleges, and universities. Medical radiation technologists who are supervisors or instructors are included in this group. Radiological technologists may specialize in areas like computerized tomography, angiography, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, interventional radiology, dosimetry, stereotaxy, or brachytherapy.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 55 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 3550 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 6335 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. However, competition for positions may be low due to few qualified jobseekers. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Medical Radiation Technologists most commonly work full-time hours.

Hospitals are the main employers of medical radiation technologists, and it is not uncommon for those in the occupation to work at multiple hospitals. There are a reasonable number of job ads throughout the province. Being willing to take a job in a smaller community improves one's chances of finding work. Casual or part-time employment is not unusual and is often the way new graduates begin their career.

Hourly Pay

$29.62

Minimum

$34.44

Median

$45.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$18,109

Minimum

$66,987

Median

$87,379

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.70

Minimum

$26.60

Median

$43.30

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

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 work for hospitals, cancer treatment centres, clinics, radiological laboratories, colleges, and universities. Medical radiation technologists who are supervisors or instructors are included in this group. Radiological technologists may specialize in areas like computerized tomography, angiography, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, interventional radiology, dosimetry, stereotaxy, or brachytherapy.

Job duties

Radiological technologists:

  • Use 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.
  • Complete 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:

  • Prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals like radionuclides and other tracer materials to patients or to biological samples.
  • Use radiation detection equipment like gamma cameras, scanners, scintillation counters, and ionization chambers, to get data for nuclear medicine physicians to use in diagnosis.
  • Complete diagnostic procedures using radioactive materials on biological specimens like blood, urine and faeces.
  • Record and process results of procedures.
  • Check equipment to make sure it works properly.
  • 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:

  • Use linear accelerators, cobalt 60, X-ray and other radiation therapy equipment to administer radiation treatment prescribed by radiation oncologists.
  • Check radiation therapy equipment to make sure it works properly.
  • Help radiation oncologists and clinical physicists prepare radiation treatment plans.
  • Help prepare sealed radioactive materials like cobalt, radium, cesium and isotopes and the construction of devices like plaster casts and acrylic moulds to help 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.

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

  • 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

  • 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.

By the numbers

Quick look

585

employed in 2016

84.6%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

77.8%
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22.2%
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41.6

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

52.5%

Halifax

$66,019 median annual income
15.3%

North Shore

$71,291 median annual income
11.9%

Cape Breton

$71,239 median annual income
11.0%

Annapolis Valley

$60,569 median annual income
9.3%

Southern

$67,177 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

93.5%

Health care and social assistance

2.8%

Wholesale trade

1.9%

Public administration

1.9%

Professional, scientific and technical services

What is the age of Employment?

26.0%

45-54

26.0%

25-34

23.0%

35-44

14.0%

55-64

7.0%

15-24

5.0%

65+

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

42.2%

Bachelor

$68,208 median annual income
37.9%

College Diploma

$65,246 median annual income
7.8%

Diploma Above Bachelor

$59,919 median annual income
4.3%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A
1.7%

Trade Certification

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College Diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technician

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare individuals who are radiological technicians to use MRI technology to get still and moving images of various vascular structures in the human body that aid the physician in the diagnosis or treatment of disease and injury. They include courses in MRI imaging, sectional anatomy and pathology, MRI technology, MRI techniques and procedures, MRI physics, and clinical training.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Nuclear Medical Technologist

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students, under the supervision of physicians, to employ radioactive and stable nuclides in diagnostic evaluations and therapeutic applications while monitoring for patient health and safety. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students, under the supervision of physicians, to provide medical imaging services to patients and attending health care professionals. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Medical Radiation Technologist (MIRT)

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals
Bedford, NS

Contacts

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
Ottawa, ON
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
Bedford, NS