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Medical Radiation TechnologistAlternative titles

Ringa Hangarau Pūhihi Whakaora

This job is sometimes referred to as:

Diagnostic Imaging General Technologist
Magnetic Resonance Imager (MRI)
Medical Imaging Technologist
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
X-ray Technician

Medical radiation technologists use x-ray and other imaging equipment to take images of people's injuries and possible diseases. 

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733

Entry requirements

To become a medical radiation technologist you need to:

  • complete a Bachelor's degree in medical radiation technology, which includes work in a clinical setting
  • be registered with the NZ Medical Radiation Technologists Board
  • hold an Annual Practising Certificate, which is issued by the Board.

Relevant degrees are available through:

  • Unitec
  • Universal College of Learning (UCOL)
  • Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT).

You may need to pass health and police checks, and attend an interview and/or an observation day, to get into the course.

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, maths and calculus, science, particularly physics, computing and information management.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

Further training needed to specialise

To specialise in mammography, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), you need to complete a postgraduate qualification in the relevant area.


You need to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences (Mammography) from The University of Auckland. 

Ultrasound (sonography) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

You need to complete a postgraduate diploma in the relevant area, available from The University of Auckland, while working in the field.

Nuclear medicine technology

If you are interested in qualifying in nuclear medicine technology, contact the NZ Medical Radiation Technologists Board to find out your options, as they are in the process of working out which qualifications will be accredited. Study is likely to be by distance-learning through an Australian institution.

Personal requirements

Medical radiation technologists need to be:

  • mature, responsible and patient
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to work well under pressure
  • able to work independently and as part of a team
  • able to follow instructions
  • excellent communicators so they can relate well to patients and other staff
  • good decision-makers
  • competent with technology
  • organised.

Medical radiation technologists must not be squeamish, as they may have to deal with people who have severe injuries.

Useful experience

Useful experience for medical radiation technologists includes:

  • any work in the health sector
  • teaching
  • photography
  • technical work
  • lab work
  • any jobs involving contact with people.

Physical requirements

Medical radiation technologists need to have a good level of fitness as they may need to lift and move patients into positions for scans. They also need good hand-eye co-ordination, as lab work and patient injections require steady hands.


Medical radiation technologists need to be registered with the NZ Medical Radiation Technologists Board.

Related courses

View information on courses in the course database

Find out more about training

New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology (NZIMRT)
(09) 379 3059 - nzimrt@nzimrt.co.nz - www.nzimrt.co.nz
NZ Medical Radiation Technologists Board (MRTB)
(04) 801 6250 - mrt@medsci.co.nz - www.mrtboard.org.nz


years of training required

Chris Burkhill and a colleague looking at a computer screen.

Some specialisations require you to take a postgraduate qualification

Chris Burkhill looking at a computer screen.

Accuracy and an eye for detail are important for medical radiation technologists

Updated 22 Jan 2015