As a highly specialized career that also allows you to work directly with patients, nuclear medicine technologists administer radiopharmaceuticals to help doctors diagnose and heal diseases. They may also be involved in emergency efforts during a nuclear disaster and support researchers in the development of new imagery or therapy. The faster-than-average job outlook of 5% and median pay of almost $80,000 adds to the attractiveness of this career.
And while being nuclear medicine technologist is a very a hands-on career, some of the college coursework you need to complete to become one can now be taken online. This guide gives a comprehensive look at online nuclear medicine technologist programs that combine remote coursework with in-person clinical training. You’ll find information on top schools, program content, cost and financial aid, certification, accreditation, and more. Keep reading to discover how to get started earning a nuclear medicine technologist degree or certificate online from one of the best programs available.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Online School Spotlights
Three of the best nuclear medicine technologist programs currently available at least partially online are spotlighted below to show you what to expect in terms of accreditation, affordability, and flexibility. These programs give you a good idea of what to look for in a quality program as you choose one that’s right for you, and all of them are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT).
Types of Online Nuclear Medicine Programs
Nuclear medicine technology programs are available from colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Most are campus-based, though a few offer some or all of their didactic course fully or partially online. Both associate and bachelor’s degrees and professional certificates are offered, and each is designed to accommodate students at different points along their academic and career paths.
What You’ll Learn in a Nuclear Medicine Technologist Program Online
Nuclear medicine technologists prepare and give doses of radiopharmaceuticals (radioactive drugs) to patients and operate sophisticated equipment that creates images used in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of illnesses and diseases. Online nuclear medicine programs provide students with the education and training needed to carry out those duties in a consistent, responsible, safe, and effective manner. As a nuclear medicine technology student, expect to attain the following professional goals:
- Clinical Competency
Demonstrated proficiency of the full range of entry-level nuclear medicine technology clinical knowledge and skills, including a comprehensive understanding of the physical principles associated with nuclear medicine technology, the preparation of radiopharmaceuticals, the operation of nuclear medicine equipment, and established safety practices.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Competent critical thinking and problem-solving skills as demonstrated in the ability to utilize facts and data and to practice knowledge in assessing problems and finding solutions related to nuclear medicine imaging procedures.
- Communication Skills
Demonstrated oral and written communication skills appropriate to professional nuclear medicine technologist practice when interacting with patients and their families as well as professional colleagues in the nuclear medicine department.
- Professional and Ethical Practice
The recognition of established professional and ethical principles, and commitment to their practice at all times when carrying out all nuclear medicine technologist duties and responsibilities.
- Lifelong Learning
Commitment to lifelong learning and the maintenance and improvement of nuclear medicine technologist skills as demonstrated through participation in continuing education programs and other profession-related activities.
FAQs About Online Nuclear Medicine Programs
How much do online nuclear medicine technologist programs cost?
The total cost associated with online nuclear medicine programs varies substantially from program to program, due mainly to type of program (associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or certificate) and whether the school is public or private (private school programs tend to be more expensive). We’ve listed the current tuition prices for three nuclear medicine technologist programs online below to give you an idea of what you might pay.
Total Credits: 128
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Total Credits: 60
PITT Community College
Total Credits: 68
Can I complete my nuclear medicine technologist training 100% online?
While you’ll be completing some or all your didactic coursework online, you’ll still need to attend some classes in person as well due to the hands-on nature of the subject. You’ll also be required to complete in-person training, typically at clinical practice sites in and around the school’s campus or in your local area.
Is financial aid available for online nuclear medicine technologist training programs?
Several financial aid options are typically available to students in online nuclear medicine programs, the most common of which is the student loan. Student loans can come from both public and private sources and sometimes the schools themselves. The most common source of student loans is the federal government. Other popular funding sources for undergrad programs include scholarships and grants, work study, and employer tuition reimbursement programs. Find out more about funding your online nuclear medicine technologist education by visiting EduMed’s financial aid and radiology tech scholarships pages.
Accreditation for Online MRI Tech Training Programs
Accreditation assures that degree and certificate programs and the schools offering them meet standards of academic quality. When it comes to online MRI programs, there are two basic types of accreditation to consider: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation concerns the soundness of postsecondary schools overall and is handled by several independent national and regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Institutional accreditation is an absolute must for any MRI tech schools, online or in-person.
Programmatic accreditation vets specific degree and certificate programs themselves. Programmatic accreditation of U.S. MRI programs is overseen by two accrediting organizations: the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT).
Accreditation information for online MRI programs can usually be found on a school’s website. You can also confirm institutional accreditation by visiting the websites of the various accrediting agencies. Current MRI tech programmatic accreditation status can also be found by checking ARMRIT’s approved program list and this JRCERT program search engine.
Employment and Salary Outlook for Nuclear Medicine Technologists
A career in nuclear medicine technology is solid in terms of earning potential and job security. The median annual salary for nuclear medicine technologists in the U.S. is $79,590, nearly twice that for all occupations combined, according to recent (2020) figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, the lowest 10% of nuclear medicine technologists make $57,830 while the highest 10% make $109,070. As for job outlook, nuclear medicine technologists are slightly ahead of those for all occupations combined with an estimated increase in demand of 5% through 2029.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Licensing and Certifications
There are currently at least 30 states that license nuclear medicine technologists. Specific licensure requirements vary by state and may require professional certification and registration by either the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) or Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB). Some states accept certification by either body. Regardless of license requirements, many employers prefer to hire nuclear medicine technologists that are AART or NMTCB certified. That’s why you should strongly consider only those nuclear medicine technologist online programs that prepare you for certification and registration eligibility.
For detailed information on licensing and registration requirements by state, visit the SNMMI’s Nuclear Medicine Technologist Requirements by Jurisdiction webpage. Also, confirm your state’s licensing requirements with the proper state agency before enrolling in any online nuclear medicine program.
Related Online Healthcare Programs You May Be Interested In
Online Resources for Nuclear Medicine Technologist Students and Professionals
- American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT)
- American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
- American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC)
- American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
- HOSA Future Health Professionals
- Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)
- Lambda Nu (National Honor Society for Radiologic and Imaging Sciences)
- Nuclear Medicine Technologists Facebook Group
- Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB)
- Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging (SNMMI)
- World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS)