Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools

Becoming a nuclear medicine technologist (NMT) is a unique career for people with technical precision and supportive and pleasant bedside manners. This job leverages a savviness with cutting-edge medical equipment and medicine to treat patients undergoing radiology and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Using equipment such as computed tomography (CT) machines, radiation-sensitive cameras, and dosage meters, NMTs prepare medications and support patients as they go through procedures that require absolute stillness to get accurate imaging results. NMTs help patients of all ages get the care they need to be comfortable during their procedures to assist physicians in ruling out or confirming injuries and potentially life-threatening illnesses.

While an associate of applied science degree (AAS) can get a person started in the field, most nuclear medicine technologists continue on to get a bachelor of science (BS) degree. Certificate programs are also available for those with AAS and BS degrees in a related field.

For example, high-profile schools such as Johns Hopkins University offer an 18-month nuclear medicine technologist certificate program for AAS degree-holders. Vanderbilt University offers a 52-week certificate for students who have three years of university radiologic coursework or a bachelor’s degree. There are many on-campus and online programs that offer AAS, BS, and certification options to those with related medical technology experience or credentials, which are detailed below.

Successful NMTs tend to be good with people and have a drive to continually learn about the workings of the human body. In addition to critical thinking skills and grace under pressure, a nuclear medicine technologist must memorize key facts, diagnoses, and data, and synthesize and apply them to correctly administer radiologic tests and analyze results. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2021) reports that these medical professionals make an average annual salary of $84,850, significantly higher than the average of all American jobs at $58,260 (BLS).

Read on to learn more about nuclear medicine technology careers and schools offering reputable and accredited on-campus, hybrid, and online programs.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist fast facts
Projected Jobs Created1,400
Projected Job Growth8 percent
Average Salary$84,850
Low Salary$60,550
High Salary$105,530
Entry-Level EDU Associate's Degree
Sourced from BLS 2022

Degree & Certification Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology

To begin a career as a nuclear medicine technologist, students must earn, at a minimum, an associate of applied science (AAS) degree. Many NMTs may also go on to earn bachelor’s degrees in order to further their career prospects. CareerOneStop (2022), a resource sponsored by the US Department of Labor, shows that the vast majority of NMTs hold a bachelor’s degree (52 percent), associate’s degree (20 percent), or another type of degree or certification.

Following is a sampling of reputable universities that offer on-campus nuclear medicine technology programs.

On-Campus Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology

Johns Hopkins University – As the number one ranked school for biomedical fields by the U.S. News and World Report (2022), Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the finest institutions for studying nuclear medicine technology. The 18-month program leads to certification as an NMT and computed tomography (CT) specialist. Students of this program also have some of the most prestigious clinical experiences at hospitals like the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

To apply to this program, students must have a minimum of an associate degree, be a US citizen or permanent resident, and submit a professional statement of 200 words expressing why they are interested in this career. Graduates from this program have a 100 percent exam pass rate on the ARRT and NMTCB and a 100 percent job placement rate. This program meets the requirements for professional licensure in the state of Maryland.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)
  • Tuition: $45,750 per year

Oregon Institute of Technology – At the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon, students can pursue a bachelor of science (BS) degree in nuclear medicine technology. The required courses in this program far exceed the minimums set forth by the certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification. Courses include computed tomography, MRI lab in a CT/MRI simulator lab, and cross-sectional anatomy.

To give students working experience in their degree program, 11-month externships are available in several western and southern states. Graduates from this program are eligible to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) board exams, and 91 percent are employed after graduation, while 6 percent continue their education.

  • Location: Klamath Falls, OR
  • Duration: Four years
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Tuition: $205 per credit

University of Iowa – Located in Iowa City, Iowa, the University of Iowa has a stellar reputation for offering students the best technology and training in the medical field. This highly competitive program admits only eight students every year who can demonstrate coursework in chemistry, anatomy and physiology, intermediate-level algebra, and medical terminology.

This four-year NMT program is student-centered as it requires them to complete the majority of an associate’s degree before being accepted. This means that, upon graduation, graduates are potentially eligible for two fields of employment. This program boasts a 95 percent job and grad school placement rate.

  • Location: Iowa City, IA
  • Duration: Four years
  • Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)
  • Tuition: $9,942 (in-state); $31,905 (out-of-state residents)

Vanderbilt University – Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt consistently ranks as a top university by the US News and World Report (2022). This 12-month program is highly intensive and prepares students to be nationally certified and specialize in pediatric nuclear medicine and in vitro procedures.

Some students in this program are finishing their fourth year of the bachelor of science at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Students who have completed three years of pre-radiologic technology work or have a bachelor’s degree in a related science field are also eligible to apply. Upon graduation from this program, students earn 1,350 hours of experience and are eligible to sit for national board certification exams.

  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)
  • Tuition: $4,500

SELECT * FROM `mts_online_offline_data` WHERE `page_url` = '/nuclear-medicine-technologist' AND ( `table_type` = 'Offline' OR `table_type` = 'BOTH (Online + Offline)' ) ORDER BY `grads` DESC

List of Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website grads (2018)
Houston Community College Houston Texas 26
Hillsborough Community College Tampa Florida 25
Robert Morris University Moon Township Pennsylvania 19
Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 18
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus Indiana Pennsylvania 17
Amarillo College Amarillo Texas 16
GateWay Community College Phoenix Arizona 15
Molloy College Rockville Centre New York 15
Triton College River Grove Illinois 15
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Wisconsin 15
The University of Findlay Findlay Ohio 14
Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls Oregon 13
University of Nevada-Las Vegas Las Vegas Nevada 13
Cuyahoga Community College District Cleveland Ohio 12
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster Pennsylvania 12
Pitt Community College Winterville North Carolina 12
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati Ohio 12
AdventHealth University Orlando Florida 11
Old Dominion University Norfolk Virginia 10
Bellevue College Bellevue Washington 9
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Florida 9
University at Buffalo Buffalo New York 9
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock Arkansas 9
Weber State University Ogden Utah 9
Broward College Fort Lauderdale Florida 8
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn Illinois 8
Frederick Community College Frederick Maryland 8
Midlands Technical College West Columbia South Carolina 8
Saint Louis University Saint Louis Missouri 8
Miami Dade College Miami Florida 7
Delgado Community College New Orleans Louisiana 7
Galveston College Galveston Texas 7
Gateway Community College New Haven Connecticut 7
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana 7
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science Rochester Minnesota 7
University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences San Juan Puerto Rico 7
Baptist Health College Little Rock Little Rock Arkansas 6
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Hudson North Carolina 6
Manhattan College Riverdale New York 6
University of Iowa Iowa City Iowa 6
University of Mississippi University Mississippi 6
University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City Oklahoma 6
University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio Texas 6
Universidad Central Del Caribe Bayamon Puerto Rico 5
Forsyth Technical Community College Winston-Salem North Carolina 5
Prince George's Community College Largo Maryland 5
Rowan College at Gloucester County Sewell New Jersey 5
University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College Blue Ash Ohio 5
Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences Memphis Tennessee 4
Oakland University Rochester Hills Michigan 4
Rhode Island College Providence Rhode Island 4
Southeast Technical Institute Sioux Falls South Dakota 4
University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham Alabama 4
University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas 4
York College of Pennsylvania York Pennsylvania 4
Cedar Crest College Allentown Pennsylvania 3
Columbia State Community College Columbia Tennessee 3
Delaware Technical Community College-Terry Dover Delaware 3
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro Pennsylvania 3
Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick New Jersey 3
Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud Minnesota 3
Loma Linda University Loma Linda California 2
Allen College Waterloo Iowa 2
MCPHS University Boston Massachusetts 2
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills Michigan 2
University of Central Arkansas Conway Arkansas 2
West Virginia University Hospital Departments of Rad Tech and Nutrition Morgantown West Virginia 2
Gulf Coast State College Panama City Florida 1
Del Mar College Corpus Christi Texas 1
Harrisburg Area Community College Harrisburg Pennsylvania 1
Henderson State University Arkadelphia Arkansas 1
Maine College of Health Professions Lewiston Maine 1
Mount Aloysius College Cresson Pennsylvania 1
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona Minnesota 1
Salem State University Salem Massachusetts 1
2017-2018 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in November, 2019)

Hybrid & Online Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology

While there are no entry-level nuclear technologist programs that can be completed entirely online due to the essentially clinical nature of the discipline, there are some options available for students seeking the flexibility and convenience of an online program. Following is a selection of these online programs:

Lakeshore Technical College – Located in Cleveland, Wisconsin, Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) offers a 62-credit online associate’s degree in nuclear technology. It is important to note that this program is not specific to nuclear medicine and rather provides an overview for working with nuclear materials in many settings.

This online program could be a stepping stone to a nuclear medicine program for those who want to pursue that career. Didactic courses can be completed online via video conferencing and laboratory courses can be completed remotely. New courses begin each fall semester.

  • Location: Cleveland, WI
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $141 per credit (in-state); $212 per credit (out-of-state)

Loma Linda University – Located in Loma Linda, California, Loma Linda University (LLU) offers a hybrid bachelor of science in nuclear medicine technology. The program is expected to take students between 24 and 27 months to complete. Of the 126 credits required to complete the program, 26 credits are offered in the form of online classes while the rest require on-campus attendance. Courses include writing for healthcare professionals, principles of nuclear medicine, and radiopharmacy.

The LLU program has been accredited by the JRCNMT and has also been approved by the California Department of Public Health, Radiologic Health Branch, which requires a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical hours in nuclear medicine. By comparison, this program includes 1,550 clinical hours and more than 250 clinical hours in CT procedures and patient care.

  • Location: Loma Linda, CA
  • Duration: 24 to 27 months
  • Accreditation: Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)
  • Tuition: $29,040 (first year); $37,620 (second year); $8,580 (third year)

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – Located in Boston, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) offers an accelerated bachelor of science in nuclear medicine technology. Courses in the first two years of this three-year program are offered in-person, while students complete coursework in the final year entirely online. Courses include the biology of organisms, anatomy and physiology, and nuclear cardiology.

To apply, students must submit a common application as well as an internal application to MCPHS, official transcripts with algebra, biology, chemistry, English, and social sciences, letters of recommendation, an essay, and SAT or ACT scores.

  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Duration: Three years
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $1,275 per credit

Pitt Community College – Located in Winterville, North Carolina, Pitt Community College (PCC) offers an online associate of applied science (AAS) degree in nuclear medicine technology. This 68-credit program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in nuclear medicine technology. Skills covered include using radioactive materials and the operation of imaging and counting instrumentation. Except for the clinical practice rotations, all courses are offered online.

Courses include procedures for nuclear medicine, radiology, and algebra/trigonometry. Graduates from this program are eligible to apply for certification exams and registration with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

  • Location: Winterville, NC
  • Duration: Three years
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $76 per credit (in-state); $268 per credit (out-of-state)

Because there is a heavy emphasis on clinical training in nuclear medicine technology, it is impossible to offer an entirely online program. However, due to student demand and the Covid-19 pandemic, an increasing number of programs offer flexibility in terms of classroom work that can be completed via a combination of in-person and distance learning (also known as hybrid learning).

Check program websites and course catalogs to see which schools qualify.


School City State Website grads (2018)
Ferris State University Big Rapids Michigan 14
Pitt Community College Winterville North Carolina 12
Augusta University Augusta Georgia 7
Santa Fe College Gainesville Florida 6
University of Mississippi University Mississippi 6
Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga Tennessee 5
2017-2018 School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in November, 2019)

Core & Elective Courses in Nuclear Medicine Technology

While course requirements may vary from school to school, most nuclear medicine technology (NMT) degree programs have the same basic structure. Some programs, such as the one at the Mayo Clinic, require students to have completed a bachelor of science degree prior to enrolling, which will mean completing basic courses such as chemistry as a prerequisite.

For others, core courses such as biology, chemistry, and a math component will be included in the program. In a BS program, students may also be able to choose elective courses in a broad range of subjects in addition to the nuclear medicine requirements.

Here is an overview of the typical course structure of an accredited NMT program:

  • Positron Emission Tomography – This course covers all elements of PET, including tomography composition, scintillation crystallization, and time-of-flight imaging. Students are also taught how to use PET imaging agents and data analytics.
  • Nuclear chemistry and physics – Students learn why certain nuclides are radioactive, and discuss radiation interactions and decay models. They also discover the crucial differences between nuclear and physiological imaging.
  • Radiopharmacy – In this course, students identify the most common nuclear medicine pharmaceuticals and how they interact with patients, in addition to how to prepare and dose these medicines.
  • Radiation biology – Students explore how to identify safe and unsafe levels of radiation, as well as symptoms of radiation exposure. Courses may also discuss how cells respond to radiation and how to protect patients from overexposure.
  • Clinical procedures – In this class, students get a strong background in the various purposes and processes of radiation imaging. Clinical procedures covered generally include hematology, immunology, blood volume determination, bone densitometry, and nuclear neurology.
  • Clinical Internship/Practicum – Students work under a board-certified radiologist to complete the clinical requirement: 1,300 supervised hours. Twenty competencies are required, including cystogram, ductogram, tube injections, and barium enema. It is during this portion of the degree program that students can choose elective courses to specialize in health information management or pre-medical studies.

Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Technology Programs

All nuclear medicine degree programs are generally approved by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT). The JRCNMT is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as the only organization qualified to evaluate nuclear medicine programs.

The JRCNMT provides a thorough evaluation of each college that it endorses, including several onsite visits, a curriculum review, and educator interviews. Representatives from the major radiologic fields—American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), the Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiologic Sciences (AEIRS), Association of Medical Imaging Management (AHRA), and the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists (AAMD)—also may independently evaluate the college’s program to ensure it meets national standards.

Career Outlook

Although this is a high-paying job in a growing field, the BLS shows the number of positions created between 2020 and 2030 is only around 1,400 (BLS (2021). The BLS projects that growth in this occupation will continue to increase by 8 percent, which is as fast as the national average. As the Baby Boomer population ages over the next decade and more Americans get access to health insurance through the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), there will likely be an increase in these types of diagnostic services.

While job creation will be limited, pay for these jobs will likely be competitive. The BLS (May 2021) found the following salary information about the 17,140 nuclear medicine technologists nationwide:

  • Average salary: $84,850
  • 10th percentile: $60,550
  • 25th percentile: $74,820
  • 50th percentile (median): $78,760
  • 75th percentile: $98,410
  • 90th percentile: $105,530

Nuclear medicine technologists are employed throughout the US with the majority of jobs clustering in states with larger populations. In 2021, the BLS showed the following states are the top employers of nuclear medicine technologists:

  • Florida: 1,610 employed
  • California: 1,420
  • Texas: 1,040
  • Ohio: 920
  • New York: 880

As with other medical professions, education plays a major role in how easy it is to land one of these hard-to-find nuclear medicine technology jobs. Students who only have an associate degree may find it difficult to compete with those who have gone on to gain additional certification. Specialty certifications like positron emission technology (PET) and nuclear cardiology (NCT) can increase the likelihood of employment and higher salary (BLS 2021).

Career Facts Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Related CareersDiagnostic Medical Sonographer, MRI Technologist, Neurodiagnostic Technologist, Radiation Therapist, Radiologic Technologist, Surgical Technologist
Common Job TitlesNuclear Medicine Technologist (NMT)
Technology & EquipmentRadiation Detectors, Liquid Scintillation Counters, CT or CAT Calibration Devices, Medical Radiation Dosimeters
Sourced from BLS 2022

Licensing & Certification of Nuclear Medicine Technologists

There are two certification bodies for nuclear medicine technologists: the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians (ARRT) and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB).

To qualify to take ARRT and NMTCB exams, graduates must first complete a nuclear medicine degree or appropriate coursework at a school endorsed by the ARRT, the NMTCB, or the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT), or the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT). Job applicants may be required to show their education level in core subjects such as clinical procedures, nuclear instrumentation, and radiation biology.

In addition to professional certification, some states require additional state-level exams to meet certification standards. For example, the California Department of Public Health Radiologic Health Branch allows those applicants who have graduated from JRCNMT-accredited programs and passed the ARRT radiography examination or are currently certified ARRT registrants to earn a fluoroscopy permit without taking the state-level exam.

Finally, it is impossible to be fully licensed as an NMT without significant experience hours. For example, candidates applying for the MRI certification with ARRT must show a minimum of 125 MRI repetitions that meet specific safety requirements. Many colleges provide the required hours of clinical experience that will qualify graduates to be certified. Graduates will also be required to produce a letter from their university program director (or supervising radiologist) verifying their experiences with core competencies such as in vitro tests, imaging studies, radioactive administration, and blood withdrawal.

The JRCNMT keeps an updated list of accredited programs in nuclear medicine technology for prospective students to research and for nuclear medicine patients and employers to verify credentials.

For more information about licensing and certification, please see our Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Guide.

Jocelyn Blore
Jocelyn Blore Managing Editor

Jocelyn Blore has interviewed dozens of medical technology and healthcare professionals, and edited hundreds of articles related to this field since 2015. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jocelyn traveled the world for five years as freelance writer and English teacher. After stints in Japan, Brazil, Nepal, and Argentina, she took an 11-month road trip across the US, finally settling into lovely Eugene, OR. When Jocelyn isn’t writing about college programs or interviewing professors, she satirizes global politics and other absurdities at Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor). Thank you for being so interested.