This occupational group includes technologists who operate radiographic and radiation therapy equipment to give radiation treatment and produce images of body structures for the diagnosis and treatment of injury and disease. Medical radiation technologists who are supervisors or instructors are included in this group.
People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 1,120
Medical radiation technologists are divided into three groups: radiological technologists, nuclear medicine technologists and radiation therapists. All occupations in this group provide patient appropriate care throughout procedures and the treatment process. The specialized duties for these occupations are described below.
Nuclear medicine technologists:
Medical radiation technologists typically work 37–40 hours per week. Those working in hospitals often rotate shifts, may work on weekends and holidays and can often expect to be on call in case of an emergency. Part-time work is also available.
The work is generally highly technical and mentally demanding. Most medical radiation technologists are employed in clean, bright and well-ventilated settings. They work at diagnostic machines and electronic imaging/digital archive systems, but workers also spend about half of their time working with patients.
Physical stamina is important since these workers are on their feet for long periods and may have to lift or turn patients. Workers may also have to move overhead equipment.
Although radiation hazards exist, they are reduced by the use of lead aprons, gloves and other shielding devices, as well as by instruments monitoring radiation exposure. Medical radiation technologists wear badges that measure radiation levels and detailed records of their overall lifetime dose are kept. As a result, radiation exposure is extremely low. With the phasing out of film processors in favour of electronic imaging, most technologists are no longer exposed to chemicals and fumes.
Source: 2016 Census
Completion of a two- to three-year college, hospital or other approved program in diagnostic radiography (for radiological technologists), nuclear medicine technology (for nuclear medicine technologists) or radiation therapy (for radiation therapists) is required for certification. Some workers may have a bachelor of health sciences degree in radiography, nuclear medicine or radiation therapy.
In addition, a period of supervised practical training is usually necessary. Experience as a medical radiation technologist is required to become a supervisor or instructor.
Requirements for full-practice membership or registration in the profession include:
Those enrolled in a recognized medical radiation technology program can become a student member of BCAMRT. For more information, visit the CAMRT website at www.camrt.ca and the BCAMRT website at www.camrt.ca/bc.
In B.C., certification is not needed to work as a medical radiation technologist. However, in practice, employers generally require certification and registration with CAMRT and/or BCAMRT. Industry sources report that employers will accept qualified technologists for new job openings if they are graduates of an accredited program and either certified with or are eligible for certification with CAMRT.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
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While most new job openings will come from job creation, there will be also be a considerable number of jobs available due to the need to replace retiring workers.
The growing demand for health-care services will increase job opportunities for medical radiation technologists. Population growth, an aging population and technological advances in diagnosis and treatment are contributing to the demand for X-rays, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine tests and other diagnostic procedures. Advances in radiation-based diagnostics and treatments may also increase the need for these services.
Industry sources report current worker shortages throughout the Lower Mainland, along with a higher need for casual workers on Vancouver Island.
For those seeking work in hospital settings, full-time positions are difficult to find when starting a career. However, there will be plenty of on-call and part-time opportunities.
With sufficient work experience and training, medical radiation technologists can advance to supervisory positions in radiography, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine, CT scan and MRI fields. Some may also pursue positions as clinical instructors or start their own businesses.