Nuclear Medicine Physicians
SOC: 29-1069.05


Diagnose and treat diseases using radioactive materials and techniques. May monitor radionuclide preparation, administration, and disposition.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
347,200 employed

Projected (2024):
398,800 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Assistant Professor of Radiology
  • Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Associate Professor of Radiology
  • Director of Nuclear Medicine
  • Medical Director, Nuclear Medicine Department
  • Medical Doctor, Nuclear Medicine
  • Nuclear Medicine Medical Director
  • Nuclear Medicine Officer
  • Nuclear Medicine Physician
  • Nuclear Medicine Specialist
  • Nuclear Physician
  • Physician
  • Professor of Radiology

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed


    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.


    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media

  • Tasks:

  • Test dosage evaluation instruments and survey meters to ensure they are operating properly.
  • Teach nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology, or other specialties at graduate educational level.
  • Schedule examinations and staff activities.
  • Provide advice on the selection of nuclear medicine supplies or equipment.
  • Monitor cleanup of radioactive spills to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that decontamination activities are conducted.
  • Monitor handling of radioactive materials to ensure that established procedures are followed.
  • Formulate plans and procedures for nuclear medicine departments.
  • Direct the safe management and disposal of radioactive substances.
  • Establish and enforce radiation protection standards for patients and staff.
  • Advise other physicians of the clinical indications, limitations, assessments, or risks of diagnostic and therapeutic applications of radioactive materials.
  • Conduct laboratory procedures, such as radioimmunoassay studies of blood or urine, using radionuclides.
  • Review procedure requests and patients' medical histories to determine applicability of procedures and radioisotopes to be used.
  • Prescribe radionuclides and dosages to be administered to individual patients.
  • Prepare comprehensive interpretive reports of findings.
  • Perform cardiovascular nuclear medicine procedures such as exercise testing and pharmacologic stress testing.
  • Monitor quality control of radionuclide preparation, administration, or disposition ensuring that activities comply with applicable regulations and standards.
  • Direct nuclear medicine technologists or technicians regarding desired dosages, techniques, positions, and projections.
  • Interview and physically examine patients prior to testing.
  • Determine appropriate tests or protocols based on patients' needs or conditions.
  • Compare nuclear medicine procedures with other types of procedures such as computed tomography, ultrasonography, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and angiography.
  • Consult with patients following radiation treatments to provide information and assess outcomes or to recommend further consultation or treatments as appropriate.
  • Consult with anesthesiologists regarding recommended dosages or combinations of sedative drugs.
  • Calculate, measure, or prepare radioisotope dosages.
  • Check and approve the quality of diagnostic images before patients are discharged.
  • Administer radioisotopes to clinical patients or research subjects.
  • Interpret imaging data and confer with other medical specialists to formulate diagnoses.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Automated blood pressure cuffs
  • Beta vial shields
  • Computed tomography CT systems
  • Cone-beam collimators
  • Converging collimators
  • Desktop computers
  • Diagnostic ultrasound equipment
  • Digital ratemeters
  • Diverging collimators
  • Dose calibrators
  • Dosimetry badges
  • Electrocardiography EKG machines
  • Exercise bicycles
  • Fan-beam collimators
  • Gamma ray cameras
  • Glass beakers
  • Hypodermic syringes
  • Intravenous IV sets
  • Laboratory test tubes
  • Laboratory transfer pipettes
  • Laptop computers
  • Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems
  • Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical examination protective gloves
  • Medical picture archiving computer systems PACS
  • Medical positron emission tomography PET scanners
  • Medical safety masks
  • Medical single photo emission computed tomography SPECT equipment
  • Mercury blood pressure measuring equipment
  • Metal laboratory tongs
  • Microhematocrit centrifuges
  • Parallel-hole collimators
  • Personal computers
  • Pinhole collimators
  • Portable radiation survey meters
  • Radiation measurement phantoms
  • Radiation shielding gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Scintillation probes
  • Semiautomated or automatic external defibrillators AED
  • Single position emission computed tomography/computed tomography SPECT/CT imaging equipment
  • Slant-hole collimators
  • Stress treadmill machines
  • Tablet computers
  • Ultrasound bone density scanners
  • Well counters
  • ACOM Solutions RAPID EMR
  • Allscripts Professional EHR
  • Alteer Office
  • Digital image processing software
  • Digital Imaging Communications in Medicine DICOM medical imaging software
  • eClinicalWorks software
  • Email software
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Motion correction software
  • NextGen Healthcare Information Systems EMR
  • Patient electronic medical record EMR software
  • Radiopharmacy inventory databases
  • Scheduling software
  • SOAPware software
  • Web browser software

  • healthcare practitioners and technical

    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800