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

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 15 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all 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 slightly over the next few years, which should provide some 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.

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)

Hourly Pay

$28.00

Minimum

$34.95

Median

$45.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$18,109

Minimum

$66,987

Median

$87,379

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

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%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
22.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
41.6

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

52.5%

Halifax

15.3%

North Shore

11.9%

Cape Breton

11.0%

Annapolis Valley

9.3%

Southern

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's degree

$68,208 median annual income
37.9%

College certificate or diploma

$65,246 median annual income
7.8%

University advanced certificate or diploma

$59,919 median annual income
4.3%

University certificate or diploma

N/A
1.7%

Trades certificate

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College certificate or diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor's degree

$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's degree

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Nuclear medical technology/technologist

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes 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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Radiologic technology/science - Radiographer

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class includes 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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Medical Radiation Technologist (MIRT)

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated, and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals
380 Bedford Highway, Suite 310
Bedford, NS B3M 2L4
(902) 832-3167

Contacts

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
1000 - 85 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 6A4
Tel: (613) 234-0012
Fax: (613) 234-1097
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 461-0871
Fax: (902) 461-9572

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