Radiation Therapists: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- Employers usually prefer to hire applicants who have an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy. However, candidates may qualify for some positions by completing a certificate program.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 12% (Faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- With additional education and certification, therapists can become medical dosimetrists. Dosimetrists are responsible for calculating the correct dose of radiation that is used in the treatment of cancer patients.
- In most states, radiation therapists must be licensed or certified. Requirements vary by state, but typically include graduation from an accredited radiation therapy program and ARRT certification.
- Median pay: How much do Radiation Therapists make?
- $80,160 Annual Salary
- $38.54 per hour
Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments.
What do Radiation Therapists do?
Radiation therapists typically do the following:
- Explain treatment plans to the patient and answer questions about treatment
- Protect the patients and themselves from improper exposure to radiation
- Determine the exact location of the area requiring treatment
- Calibrate and operate the machine to treat the patient with radiation
- Monitor the patient to check for unusual reactions to the treatment
- Keep detailed records of treatment
Radiation therapists operate machines, such as linear accelerators, to deliver concentrated radiation therapy to the region of a patient’s tumor. Radiation treatment can shrink or remove cancers and tumors.
Radiation therapists are part of the oncology teams that treat patients with cancer. They often work with the following specialists:
Careers for Radiation Therapists
- Medical dosimetrists
- Radiation therapy technologists
- Registered radiation therapists