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Radiation Therapists

Radiation Therapists
Quick Facts : Radiation Therapists*
2010 Median Pay$74,980
Entry Level EducationAssociate's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201216,900
Job Outlook20% (Faster than average)
Employment Change3,400

Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by giving radiation treatments. Most radiation therapy uses machines called linear accelerators. These machines direct high-energy x rays at specific cancer cells in a patient's body, shrinking or removing them.

What Radiation Therapists Do

  • Explain treatment plans to the patient and answer questions about treatment
  • Follow safety procedures to protect the patient and themselves from overexposure
  • X-ray the patient to determine the exact location of the area requiring treatment
  • Check the computer programs to make sure that they will give the correct dose of radiation to the correct area of the patient's body
  • Monitor the patient to check for unusual reactions to the treatment

Work Environment

Most radiation therapists work in hospitals or cancer treatment centers.
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Job Outlook

Employment of radiation therapists is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2010 and 2020. Since its is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 3,400 new jobs over the 10-year period.
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The average salary of radiation therapists in May 2010 was $74,980.
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Radiation Therapists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Radiation Therapists


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Radiation Therapists*
Percent Change in Employment

Radiation Therapists


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Radiation Therapists

Candidates may qualify by completing a 12-month certificate program, but most employers prefer to hire applicants who have an associate's or a bachelor's degree in radiation therapy.
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