Alert icon

We are currently experiencing problems with our text messaging service. You can still call, email or chat to us.

Favourite this Job

Medical Radiation Technologist

Ringa Hangarau Pūhihi Whakaora

Alternative titles for this job

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

Pay

Medical radiation technologists with one to six years’ experience usually earn

$50K-$69K per year

Medical radiation technologists with more than six years’ experience usually earn

$71K-$98K per year

Source: NZIMRT; APEX and DHBs Medical Radiation Technologists Collective Agreement, 2017.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a medical radiation technologist are good due to increasing demand for their services.

Pay

Pay for medical radiation technologists varies depending on experience.

  • Medical radiation technologists with one to six years experience may earn between $50,000 and $69,000 a year.
  • Medical radiation technologists with more than six years experience may earn between $71,000 and $98,000.

Sources: New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology, 2017; and 'APEX and District Health Boards Medical Radiation Technologists Collective Agreement to 2019', 2017.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Medical radiation technologists may do some or all of the following:

  • provide information to patients about what will happen during their examinations
  • prepare patients and equipment for examinations
  • produce diagnostic images to help with diagnosis of injuries or possible diseases
  • prepare and administer radioactive materials (tracers) or x-ray dye to patients
  • check the quality of images taken
  • make reports
  • perform quality assurance testing on equipment.

Skills and knowledge

Medical radiation technologists need to have knowledge of:

  • human anatomy, physiology and pathology
  • positioning and imaging techniques, and how to use x-ray equipment
  • physics and radiation physics
  • safety issues related to the use of radiation equipment and radioactive materials.

Working conditions

Medical radiation technologists:

  • usually do shift work, which may include weekends and evenings
  • may be on call, particularly at public hospitals
  • work in hospitals, medical laboratories, private practices, and clinics.

Entry requirements

To become a medical radiation technologist you need to have one of the following degrees:

  • Bachelor of Medical Imaging
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Medical Imaging).

You also need to be registered with the New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologists Board and hold an Annual Practising Certificate.

You may need to pass health and police checks, and attend an interview and an observation day to get into these courses.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

Secondary education

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include English, maths, science, particularly physics and biology, and chemistry.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist

To become a Magnetic Resonance Imaging technologist you must complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) at the University of Auckland.

Mammography specialist

To become a mammography specialist you must complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences (Mammography) from the University of Auckland. 

Nuclear medicine technologist

To become a nuclear medicine technologist you must complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences in Medical Imaging (Nuclear Medicine Pathway) at the University of Auckland.

Sonographer

To become a sonographer you must complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Ultrasound) at the University of Auckland.

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.

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
  • photography
  • technical work
  • lab work
  • any jobs involving contact with people.

Physical requirements

Medical radiation technologists need to be reasonably strong as they may 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.

Registration

Medical radiation technologists need to be registered with the New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologists Board and hold an Annual Practising Certificate.

Find out more about training

New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology (NZIMRT)
(06) 752 7040 - nzimrt@nzimrt.co.nz - www.nzimrt.co.nz
New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologists Board (MRTB)
(04) 801 6250 - mrt@medsci.co.nz - www.mrtboard.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

 Chances of getting a job as a medical radiation technologist are good because:

  • an ageing population increases demand for more health checks and scans for age-related diseases
  • a relatively low number of people train to do this job
  • many qualified technologists go overseas for better pay and experience.

Sonographer, a type of medical radiation technologist, appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled medical radiation technologists from overseas to work in New Zealand.

Types of employers

Most medical radiation technologists are employed in:

  • hospitals and nursing homes 
  • medical and dental services 
  • health clinics.

Sources

  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 19 February 2018, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
  • New Zealand Institute of Medical Technology website, accessed April 2017, (www.nzmrit.co.nz).
  • New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologists Board website, accessed April 2017, (www.mrtboard.org.nz).
  • Whitehead, L, executive officer, New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2017.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Medical radiation technologists may move between areas of radiography if they are registered and hold a current Annual Practising Certificate covering that area. They can also progress into management and teaching roles, or marketing and sales.

Medical radiation technologists can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imagers use MRI scanners, radio frequency waves, and magnetic fields to diagnose injuries and possible diseases.
Mammography Specialist
Mammography specialists use mammography scanners to take images of the breasts.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Nuclear medicine technologists use radioactive materials (tracers) and gamma cameras to diagnose and occasionally treat diseases.
Sonographer
Sonographers use ultrasound scanners and sound waves to take images of internal parts of the body.
Medical radiation technologist is standing next to a patient who is lying down ready to be moved into a scanning machine

Medical radiation technologists prepare and comfort patients for scans

Last updated 13 February 2019