Radiation therapists are essential to cancer patient care. They work alongside oncologists and apply radiation to control and destroy malignant cancer cells. But what exactly does radiation therapy involve, and is it a good career choice?
As a radiation therapist, you’ll work side-by-side with radiation oncologists to administer medical treatment to patients with cancer. You’ll also help keep patients comfortable during therapy. Additional duties include:
- Prepping and sterilizing radiation therapy rooms and equipment
- Ensuring adherence to radiation safety standards
- Positioning patients and administering radiation therapy
- Documenting all radiation therapy completed for each patient
- Supporting patients throughout their treatment and care
- Answering patient and family questions about treatment
Radiation therapists can work in a variety of healthcare facilities, such as:
- Hospitals, including children’s, general medical and surgical hospitals
- Doctor’s offices
- Outpatient centers
- Therapy centers
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories
- Colleges and universities
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for radiation therapists are expected to grow 6% between 2021 and 2031, which is as fast as the national average.
The median pay per year for radiation therapists is $82,790. Factors that affect your salary include your education level, the type of healthcare facility you work in and your geographic location. Some of the top-paying work environments and their annual mean salaries are:
- Outpatient care centers: $121,570
- Specialty hospitals: $102,930
- Colleges and universities: $100,130
- Physicians’ offices: $96,360
Besides good pay and a variety of work environments to choose from, a career in radiation therapy offers additional benefits, such as:
- The best of two worlds: If you’re a people-person who loves working with technology, radiation therapy is a happy marriage between your two passions. You’ll interact with patients and help put them at ease as you operate machinery and administer radiation therapy.
- Job security: With an average job growth rate of 6%, radiation therapy offers you a stable career for years to come. Plus, you’ll find opportunities to get promoted and increase your pay as your career progresses.
- Work-life balance: Working in healthcare can be demanding, but radiation therapists often enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Radiation therapists tend to choose flexible and predictable schedules, with most working Mondays through Fridays.
If you’re intrigued about the career of radiation therapy, we’re here to answer your questions. At Cambridge, our advisors and career specialists can help you learn about our hands-on educational programs, clinical externships and career opportunities in radiation therapy. To get started, call us today at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.
More on a radiation therapy career