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Radiation Therapists

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What Does it Take to Be a Radiation Therapist?

Occupation Description Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist 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.

What do Radiation Therapists do On a Daily Basis?

  • Follow principles of radiation protection for patient, self, and others.
  • Observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn equipment off if unexpected adverse reactions occur.
  • Provide assistance to other healthcare personnel during dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Schedule patients for treatment times.
  • Enter data into computer and set controls to operate or adjust equipment or regulate dosage.
  • Train or supervise student or subordinate radiotherapy technologists.

What a Radiation Therapist Should Know

These are the skills Radiation Therapists say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Other Radiation Therapist Job Titles

  • Lead Radiation Therapist
  • Computed Tomography Simulation Therapist (CT Simulation Therapist)
  • Radiation Therapy Technician
  • Staff Radiation Therapist
  • Radiation Therapist

Job Outlook for Radiation Therapists

There were about 19,100 jobs for Radiation Therapists in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,400 new jobs for Radiation Therapists by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,200 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Radiation Therapists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Radiation Therapists are New York, Texas, and Florida.

Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, Vermont, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Radiation Therapist

Radiation Therapists Make between $56,360 and $124,320 a year. A Radiation Therapist median salary is $82,330.

Salary Ranges for Radiation Therapists

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

California

$114,280

New Jersey

$107,850

Oregon

$105,970

Connecticut

$105,570

Washington

$101,830

New York

$99,710

Delaware

$96,610

Rhode Island

$94,110

Massachusetts

$93,540

New Hampshire

$92,770

Colorado

$92,670

Vermont

$91,440

New Mexico

$89,230

Maryland

$89,120

South Carolina

$88,850

Nevada

$87,940

Maine

$87,000

Idaho

$86,830

Georgia

$86,510

Florida

$86,420

Illinois

$86,200

Alabama

$86,020

Utah

$85,760

Arizona

$84,990

Texas

$84,460

Kentucky

$83,950

South Dakota

$83,790

Minnesota

$83,270

Nebraska

$83,260

Mississippi

$83,130

Indiana

$82,920

Pennsylvania

$82,660

Montana

$81,580

Virginia

$81,550

Ohio

$81,420

Michigan

$79,720

District of Columbia

$78,610

Iowa

$78,260

North Carolina

$76,000

Wisconsin

$75,850

Missouri

$75,340

Oklahoma

$75,080

Tennessee

$73,490

Arkansas

$70,940

Louisiana

$69,340

Kansas

$66,310

West Virginia

$61,230

What Tools do Radiation Therapists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Radiation Therapists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office

How do I Become a Radiation Therapist?

Individuals working as Radiation Therapists have obtained the following education levels:

Radiation Therapist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Radiation Therapist?

Radiation Therapist Work Experience

Where Radiation Therapists Work

Radiation Therapist Sectors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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