Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Radiation Therapists

What Radiation Therapists Do

Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments.

Work Environment

Radiation therapists work in hospitals, offices of physicians, and outpatient centers. Most radiation therapists work full time.

How to Become a Radiation Therapist

Most radiation therapists complete programs that lead to an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy. Radiation therapists must be licensed or certified in most states. Requirements vary by state, but often include passing a national certification exam.

Job Outlook

Employment of radiation therapists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The risk of cancer increases as people age, so an aging population may increase demand for radiation therapists.

Growth & Trends

This occupation supported 19,100 jobs in 2012 and 16,600 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 13.1%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 23.6% in 2022 to 23,600 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 20,000, compared with an observed value of 16,600, 17.0% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 12.0% in 2024 to 18,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 24,500 jobs for 2024, 29.6% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

Radiation Therapists Employment and Labor Information 2023

Radiation Therapists Employment Brief:

Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiation oncologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.

Radiation Therapists Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Radiation Therapists.

Radiation Therapists Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Conduct most treatment sessions independently, in accordance with the long-term treatment plan and under the general direction of the patient's physician.
  • Calculate actual treatment dosages delivered during each session.
  • Implement appropriate follow-up care plans.
  • Enter data into computer and set controls to operate or adjust equipment or regulate dosage.
  • Photograph treated area of patient and process film.
  • Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials, such as cobalt, radium, cesium, or isotopes, for use in radiation treatments.
  • Follow principles of radiation protection for patient, self, and others.
  • Help physicians, radiation oncologists, or clinical physicists to prepare physical or technical aspects of radiation treatment plans, using information about patient condition and anatomy.
  • Observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn equipment off if unexpected adverse reactions occur.
  • Check radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation.

Typical Daily Tasks of Radiation Therapists:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others: Administer cancer treatments. Assist healthcare practitioners during examinations or treatments. Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes: Operate diagnostic imaging equipment. Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment. Process x-rays or other medical images.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials: Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation. Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
  • Documenting/Recording Information: Maintain medical facility records.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
  • Working with Computers: Enter patient or treatment data into computers.
  • Getting Information.

Radiation Therapists Skills and Requirements:

  • Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • SpreadsheetsUsing a computer application to enter, manipulate, and format text and numerical data; insert, delete, and manipulate cells, rows, and columns; and create and save worksheets, charts, and graphs.
  • Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • PresentationsUsing a computer application to create, manipulate, edit, and show virtual slide presentations.

Radiation Therapists Education and Training:

Typical education for include: Associate's degree.

Radiation Therapists Salary, Wages, and Salary and Job Outlook

Radiation Therapists average pay is: $89530 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who work in Outpatient Care Centers are the highest paid making $60.12, while General Medical and Surgical Hospitals make the least at $45.98 per hour.Here are the top city/metro areas with the highest paying salaries for a Radiation Therapists:


Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

Employment per thousand jobs

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA




Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA




San Diego-Carlsbad, CA




Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA




New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA



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