Radiation Therapists
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Overview
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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.
Titles for this career often contain these words
TherapistRadiationChiefSimulationDosimetristTherapyRTComputedTomographyCTLeadMedicalTechnicianTechnologistRTTRadiologicRadiologyRegisteredSeniorStaff
Education
About 51% of radiation therapists have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by radiation therapists
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More radiation therapists have bachelor's degrees than 67% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Radiation therapists, with 18,600 workers, form a smaller workforce than 75% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for radiation therapists are expected to grow by 9%, and should have about 1,100 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Radiation therapists are less likely to be automated than 65% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for radiation therapists compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most radiation therapists earn.
$86K$0$50K$100K$150K
Gender
Women account for 69% of radiation therapists -- that's a larger percentage than 80% of other jobs.
Gender of radiation therapists
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For radiation therapists, the median men's salary was 10% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 14% of radiation therapists are minority, and 9% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of radiation therapists
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (9%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Radiation Therapists per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of radiation therapists who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (92%)
  • Consequence of Error (90%)
  • Time Pressure (86%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (62%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (58%)
  • Exposed to Radiation (55%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (54%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (42%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (40%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do radiation therapists earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for radiation therapists (BLS Salary Data)
$86K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$86K$0$50K$100K$150K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for radiation therapists (ACS Salary Data)
$81K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$81K$0$50K$100K$150K
Radiation Therapists: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $77KAll jobs' median $45K$82K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$50K$100K$150K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire radiation therapists.
Employers of Radiation Therapists (ACS)
Private for-profit (59.8%)
Private not-for-profit (33.1%)
Local government (1.2%)
State government (4.1%)
Federal government (1.1%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.3%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.3%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of radiation therapists by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$81K$76K$84K$91K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000State governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of radiation therapists by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$86K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for radiation therapists

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$91K$65K$92K$81K$73K$95K$78K$90K$0$50K$100K$150K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
01K2K3K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Radiation therapists and gender

With 69% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 80% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
69%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Radiation therapists
Men (32%)
Women (69%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for radiation therapists, with the median salary for men 10% higher than the median salary for women.

$79K$87K$0$50K$100K$150KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Radiation therapists have one of the smaller inequity calculations, with the increase for men's median salary over women's median salary in this job lower than that for 70% of other jobs.

10%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of radiation therapists

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority radiation therapists than for 78% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of radiation therapists
White (84% )
Black (7% )
Asian (6% )
Multiracial (1% )
Other (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
American Indian (0% )
Hispanic (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
14%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
9%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for radiation therapists by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$69K$80K$95K$0$50K$100K$150KBlackWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for radiation therapists by nativity
$80K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Radiation therapists and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 13% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 51% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time radiation therapists is shown following.

$47K$81K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by radiation therapists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiation therapists typically hold a associate's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as radiation therapists as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for radiation therapists

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.

Radiation therapy programs include courses in radiation therapy procedures and the scientific theories behind them. These programs often include experience in a clinical setting and courses in human anatomy and physiology, physics, algebra, computer science, and research methodology. In 2016, there were about 110 accredited educational programs recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for radiation therapists

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.

To become ARRT certified, an applicant must complete an accredited radiation therapy program, adhere to ARRT ethical standards, and pass the certification exam. The exam covers radiation protection and quality assurance, clinical concepts in radiation oncology, treatment planning, treatment delivery, and patient care and education. A list of accredited programs is available from ARRT.

Many jobs also require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic life support (BLS) certification.

Education attained by radiation therapists
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for radiation therapists? Below we see the distribution of radiation therapists salaries based on the education attained.

$82K$78K$79K$95K$94K$0$50K$100K$150KSome College (11%)Associate's/Cert. (35%)Bachelor's Degree (42%)Master's Degree (6%)Professional Degree (2%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
College majors held by radiation therapists

This table shows the college majors held by people working as radiation therapists.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Radiation therapists with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as radiation therapists, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Physical TherapistsOccupational TherapistsSpecialized TherapistsMedical and Health Servic...Physician AssistantsPhysiciansRegistered NursesSpecialized Healthcare Pr...Elementary and Middle Sch...Postsecondary TeachersMedical and Clinical Labo...Radiologic Technologists ...Diagnostic Medical Sonogr...Specialized Life Scientis...Respiratory TherapistsSpecialized Physical Scie...Specialized ManagersMagnetic Resonance Imagin...Radiation TherapistsNuclear medicine technolo...Computer and Information ...Biological ScientistsSoftware DevelopersSpecialized Life, Physica...Secretaries and Administr...First-Line Supervisors of...Medical Records Specialis...Customer Service Represen...Labor Relations Specialis...Accountants and AuditorsNurse Practitioners and N...Nurse AnesthetistsNursing AssistantsLicensed Practical and Li...Lawyers, and judges, magi...Secondary School TeachersEducation and childcare a...EditorsWriters and AuthorsFirst-Line Supervisors of...DentistsPharmacistsFinancial ManagersWholesale and Manufacturi...Chief executives and legi...First-Line Supervisors of...Treatment TherapyProfessionsMedical TechnologiesTechniciansNuclear, IndustrialRadiology, and BiologicalTechnologiesSpecialized Program inBiologyHealth and MedicalAdministrative ServicesNursingEnglish Language andLiteratureBiologyGeneral Medical and HealthServicesBusiness Management andAdministrationAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 51% of people working as radiation therapists have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%5.0%10.0%15.0%20.0%25.0%30.0%35.0%Percentage with this major$60,000$65,000$70,000$75,000$80,000$85,000$90,000$95,000$100,000$105,000$110,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for radiation therapists

What jobs will most radiation therapists hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of radiation therapists reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Radiation TherapistsDiagnostic related technologists and techniciansSecretaries and administrative assistantsEducation and childcare administratorsHealth Technologists and TechniciansTherapists, all otherRegistered nursesNursing, psychiatric, and home health aides
Lateral job transitions for radiation therapists

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 3 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as radiation therapists as well as 1% of respondents after working as radiation therapists. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Prior and next careers for radiation therapists: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as radiation therapists? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of radiation therapists surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most radiation therapists? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as radiation therapists. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Radiation Therapists per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.10.20.30.4
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where radiation therapists earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for radiation therapists compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for radiation therapists.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Radiation Therapists (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which radiation therapists earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests with
All education levels
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