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32121 – Medical radiation technologists

Medical radiation technologists use radiation and electromagnetism to produce images of body structures for the diagnosis and treatment of injury and disease and use radiation therapy equipment to administer radiation treatment. They are employed in hospitals, cancer treatment centres, clinics, radiological laboratories, colleges and universities. Medical radiation technologists who are supervisors or instructors are included in this unit group.


Example titles

  • Mammography technician
  • Nuclear medicine clinical instructor
  • Nuclear medicine technologist
  • Nuclear medicine technologists supervisor
  • Radiation oncology technologist
  • Radiation therapist
  • Radiation therapy clinical instructor
  • Radiation therapy technologist (RTT)
  • Radiography technologist
  • Radiological technologist
  • Radiotherapy technician
  • X-ray (radiology) technician
  • Diagnostic imaging technologist
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologist

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
    Radiological technologists
    • Operate X-ray, radiographic and fluoroscopic equipment, computerized tomography (CT) scanners and mammography units to produce radiographs or anatomic images of the human body for the diagnosis by radiologists of disease or injury
    • Record and process patient data
    • Perform 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, such as radionuclides and other tracer materials to patients or to biological samples
    • Operate radiation detection equipment, such as gamma cameras, scanners, scintillation counters, tomodensitometers and ionization chambers, to acquire data for use by nuclear medicine physicians in the diagnosis of disease
    • Perform diagnostic procedures using radioactive materials on biological specimens, such as blood, urine and faeces
    • Record and process results of procedures
    • Check equipment to ensure proper operation
    • 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
    • Operate linear accelerators, cobalt 60, X-ray and other radiation therapy equipment to administer radiation treatment prescribed by radiation oncologists
    • Check radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation
    • Assist radiation oncologists and clinical physicists with preparation of radiation treatment plan
    • Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials such as cobalt, radium, cesium and isotopes and the construction of devices such as plaster casts and acrylic moulds to assist 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.
    Magnetic resonance technologists
    • Operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to produce anatomic images of the human body for diagnosis by radiologists of disease or injury
    • Record and process patient data
    • Perform verification and quality control checks on magnet equipment
    • Safety screen all patients for contra-indicators present that could harm the patient or would exclude the patient from having the examination
    • Provide appropriate care and monitoring of the patient during the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination
    • Administer and follow the necessary safety precautions for entry to the magnet room to protect themselves, the patient, their colleagues, other members of the health care team and any other individuals who may be present
    • May train and supervise student magnetic resonance technologists or supervise other magnetic resonance technologists.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of a two- to three-year college 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.
  • Magnetic resonance technologists require completion of a graduate certificate program in magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Licensure with a regulatory body is required in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
  • Membership with a provincial association is required in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and Northwest Territories.
  • Certification by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists is required in all provinces except Quebec and British Columbia.

Additional information

  • Experience as a medical radiation technologist is required for supervisors and instructors.
  • Magnetic resonance technologists are included in radiological technologists in Quebec.
  • Radiation therapists may specialize in areas such as dosimetry, stereotaxy, computed tomography (CT) simulation or brachytherapy.
  • Radiological technologists may specialize in areas such as computerized tomography, angiography, mammography or interventional radiology.
  • There is no mobility between the four types of medical radiation technologists without further training.


  • Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists (32123)
  • Medical laboratory technologists (32120)
  • Medical sonographers (32122)
  • Other medical technologists and technicians (32129)
  • Pharmacy technicians (32124)
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (32103)
  • Animal health technologists and veterinary technicians (32104)

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
3 – Health occupations
2 – Occupations usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training of two or more years; or supervisory occupations
Major group
32 – Technical occupations in health
Sub-major group
321 – Technical occupations in health (except practitioners of natural healing)
Minor group
3212 – Medical technologists and technicians
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
Date modified: