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Army Air Force Navy

Medical Radiation Technologist

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time

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Medical Radiation Technologists provide diagnostic imaging services for health care professionals, which are used to diagnose and treat medical and surgical conditions.

The primary responsibilities of the Medical Radiation Technologist are to:

  • Provide patient care
  • Produce diagnostic examinations
  • Assist radiologists, medical specialists and medical officers
  • Maintain equipment, accessories and supplies
  • Maintain a Quality Assurance Program

Work environment

Medical Radiation Technologists work in modern and fully equipped clinics across Canada. They can also be deployed on missions around the world or on ships at sea.

Career Overview




MASTER CORPORAL JENNIFER ANDERSON:  I am Master Corporal Jennifer Anderson from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a Medical Radiation Technologist at Edmonton Garrison.

MASTER CORPORAL HELEN MERCIER: And I’m Master Corporal Helen Mercier from Tramping Lake, Saskatchewan, I’m a Medical Radiation Technologist at CFB Halifax.

ANDERSON: As part of the Canadian Forces Health Services team, Medical Radiation Technologists work at some of Canada’s most modern medical imaging facilities… in x-ray suites aboard our Navy supply ships… and in field hospitals on deployments and humanitarian missions around the world.

MERCIER: Being a Medical Radiation Technologist or M Rad Tech, is an incredibly challenging combination of technology, travel, and deployment.

MERCIER: Wherever we go, we serve our soldiers, sailors and Air Force personnel with state-of-the-art equipment. In the Forces – and especially in field trauma settings – you’re interacting one-on-one with the doctors, and you really feel like you’re an important part of the team.

MERCIER: It’s really rewarding, you know that you’re valued as a member of the team, because they understand that you went to school and you trained in this field, so you have comprehensive understanding in a fast ultrasound.  They know that you know what you’re looking for and you can get there, sometimes faster than they can.

ANDERSON: At home in our base clinics, our work is comparable to what you would do at any civilian hospital in Canada: digital radiography, CT scanning and ultrasound. But we’re always ready to deploy on operations at any moment.

ANDERSON: When you’re overseas, for example, you deal with a lot of traumatic injuries, and it is a very busy environment over there.  You’re dealing with general x-ray, operating room, portable x-ray as well as computed tomography.

ANDERSON: During the initial deployment in Afghanistan, we were using tele-radiography to get x-rays back to radiologists in Canada by satellite, and those results were sent back to the doctors in the trauma suite in Kandahar.

MERCIER: Anyone who’s a medical worker understands that when someone’s hurt, the first hour’s golden.  You are always on call and on duty in those situations.  Your reward is to see that person make it off your table and into the OR in an incredible amount of time that makes them have that much better of a chance for survival and evac back to North America.  If you like a challenge and you enjoy seeing different things, travelling and working with a variety of people, it is a rewarding career.

MERCIER:  And if a part-time job is all you’re looking for, there’s another great way to serve Canada and contribute to the mission of the Forces as an M Rad Tech with the Health Services Reserves.

MODULE 2 – What’s cool about the job

ANDERSON: Greatest part of the job is all of the opportunities that are out there.  When in Afghanistan, I was involved in patient care from the time they entered the building to the time they left: with their initial x-rays, their initial CT, heading into the OR if they needed an operation, any of their after-operation x-rays as well.  And I noticed even when I came home, there was patients that I recognised from Afghanistan. It was kinda great to be able to see their continued care and see how well they’re doing.

MERCIER: A tour like Haiti is exactly why people like me get hooked.  It was a true humanitarian mission.  We had one patient that was amazing. He came to us injured and by the time he left, he had a whole new life ahead of him, and his mother – she did nothing but cry her last day there.  She was so thankful and it ended up everyone else cried because she was crying.

MODULE 3 – Trade-Specific Training

ANDERSON: To qualify as a Medical Radiation Technologist in the Canadian Forces, you’ll need to be a certified technologist in radiography, with a current license as a radiographer from the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists or its Quebec equivalent.

ANDERSON: If you’re just starting to think about a career in this field, or if you’re currently enrolled in a Medical Radiation Technology program at an accredited Canadian college, you might be eligible for a program called the Subsidized Education Plan, where the Forces will pay for your education, in exchange for a period of mandatory service once you graduate.

MERCIER: Members of the Health Services team are soldiers first, just like everyone else in the Forces. So you’ll begin your military service with Basic Training in Saint-Jean, Quebec.

MERCIER:  When you complete your basic training, you’ll undertake a one-year preceptorship, under the supervision of more senior technologists.

MODULE 4 – Your First Posting

MERCIER: Your first posting will be at a Canadian Forces medical clinic. Here at home, Medical Radiation Technologists usually work a normal Monday to Friday schedule.

MERCIER: Typical day in this job: you could start your day working at the front desk, being called into ultrasound, covering x-ray on their breaks, the OR suddenly needing you because they have a surgery that they need help on.  So you could be called up there.

ANDERSON: Throughout your military career, you’ll have the opportunity to take courses in advanced specialties, including computerized tomography and diagnostic ultrasound.

ANDERSON: As a civilian, you work as a medial radiation technologist – you go to work, you do your job, and you go home.  And I wanted a lot more opportunity to travel, to expand my education, to become a leader, to advance as far as I can in the Canadian Forces.

MODULE 5 - Testimonials

MERCIER: I signed up for, at any moment, like that Haiti mission – I can go home, thinking I will be back at work on Monday, and having a phone call saying “You’re getting on a plane because someone needs you somewhere”.

ANDERSON: My proudest moment has probably been my deployment to Afghanistan.  It was an incredible feeling, an incredible experience.  Every day, every moment I was just incredibly happy with being able to do the job that I did.

MERCIER: In the short time that I’ve been in, I’ve gone to Bermuda, I’ve gone to Florida, New York, Scotland – I’ve been all over the world.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Medical Radiation Technologist
  • Diagnostic Ultrasound Technologist


The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Medical Radiation Technologists are posted to a medical unit in Canada to complete a one-year preceptor program under the supervision of senior staff. This training provides the core knowledge required to practice as a Medical Radiation Technologist in a military setting.

Medical Radiation Technologists may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound; and
  • Computerized Tomography.

As they progress in their career, Medical Radiation Technologists who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training.

Entry plans

If you already have a college diploma and baccalaureate degree in an accredited Medical Radiological Technology program and Certification by a professional association having reciprocal arrangements with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT), current unrestricted registration, license, or certification (active status) by a recognized provincial/territorial regulatory authority to practise as a Medical Radiological Technologist and a letter of good standing from an approved professional regulatory authority, the CAF may place you directly into a designated on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training are required before being assigned.

Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Entry Training Plan (NCM-STEP)

Because this position requires specialty training, the CAF will pay successful recruits to attend the diploma program at an approved Canadian college. NCM STEP students attend basic training and on-the-job training during the summer months. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the appropriate college.

For further information, please contact a Canadian Forces Health Services Recruiter:

For further information, please contact a Canadian Forces Health Services Recruiter:

Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.