Radiation Therapists
SOC: 29-1124.00


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
16,600 employed

Projected (2024):
18,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Chief Radiation Therapist (Chief RT)
  • Computed Tomography Simulation Therapist (CT Simulation Therapist)
  • Dosimetrist
  • Lead Radiation Therapist
  • Medical Dosimetrist
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Radiation Therapy Technician
  • Radiation Therapy Technologist (RTT)
  • Radiologic Therapist
  • Radiology Therapist
  • Registered Radiation Therapist
  • Senior Radiation Therapist
  • Staff Radiation Therapist

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Administer prescribed doses of radiation to specific body parts, using radiation therapy equipment according to established practices and standards.
  • Position patients for treatment with accuracy, according to prescription.
  • Enter data into computer and set controls to operate or adjust equipment or regulate dosage.
  • Follow principles of radiation protection for patient, self, and others.
  • Maintain records, reports, or files as required, including such information as radiation dosages, equipment settings, or patients' reactions.
  • Review prescription, diagnosis, patient chart, and identification.
  • Conduct most treatment sessions independently, in accordance with the long-term treatment plan and under the general direction of the patient's physician.
  • Check radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn equipment off if unexpected adverse reactions occur.
  • Check for side effects, such as skin irritation, nausea, or hair loss to assess patients' reaction to treatment.
  • Educate, prepare, and reassure patients and their families by answering questions, providing physical assistance, and reinforcing physicians' advice regarding treatment reactions or post-treatment care.
  • Calculate actual treatment dosages delivered during each session.
  • Prepare or construct equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, or protection devices.
  • Photograph treated area of patient and process film.
  • Help physicians, radiation oncologists, or clinical physicists to prepare physical or technical aspects of radiation treatment plans, using information about patient condition and anatomy.
  • Train or supervise student or subordinate radiotherapy technologists.
  • Act as liaison with physicist and supportive care personnel.
  • Provide assistance to other healthcare personnel during dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Implement appropriate follow-up care plans.
  • Store, sterilize, or prepare the special applicators containing the radioactive substance implanted by the physician.
  • Assist in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials, such as cobalt, radium, cesium, or isotopes, for use in radiation treatments.
  • Schedule patients for treatment times.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 35 millimeter cameras
  • Area radiation monitors
  • Automated external defibrillators AED
  • Band saws
  • Beam direction shells
  • Body-fat calipers
  • Brachytherapy units
  • Cobalt radiation therapy machines
  • Computed tomography CT radiation therapy planning simulators
  • Computed tomography CT scanners
  • Computerized block cutting equipment
  • Daylight medical film processing equipment
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Drill presses
  • Dual diode dosimeter patient dose monitors
  • Dynamic phantoms
  • Electrometers
  • Heat guns
  • Immobilizing bite blocks
  • Laboratory water baths
  • Laptop computers
  • Lead alloy shielding blocks
  • Linear accelerator compensation filters
  • Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems
  • Medical diagnostic x ray equipment
  • Medical imaging fluoroscopes
  • Medical linear accelerator intensity modulated radiation therapy IMRT collimators
  • Medical linear accelerator intensity modulated radiation therapy IMRT three dimensional units
  • Medical linear accelerator intensity modulated radiation therapy IMRT two dimensional units
  • Medical x ray image intensifiers
  • Multi-leaf radiation therapy collimators
  • Multi-monitor dosimetry systems
  • Optical distance indicators
  • Patient positioning devices
  • Patient positioning headrests
  • Patient positioning neck rests
  • Patient positioning straps
  • Patient treatment area casts
  • Personal radiation monitors
  • Position verification lasers
  • Power drills
  • Protective medical gloves
  • Radiation protection eyewear
  • Radiation shielding lead aprons
  • Radiation therapy beam directing wedges
  • Respiration monitors
  • Solid state diode detectors
  • Survey meters
  • Thyroid shields
  • Treatment room intercoms
  • Treatment verification equipment
  • Ultrasound imaging scanners
  • Vacuum formers
  • Wireless patient dosimeters
  • Wood chisels
  • Workshop lathes
  • X ray or fluoroscopy treatment planning simulators
  • Beam analysis software
  • Dose unit calculation software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • Image processing software
  • Lifeline Software RadCalc
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Word
  • Nucletron planning systems
  • Procedure scheduling software
  • Radiation dose calculation software
  • Radiation therapy equipment software
  • Sun Nuclear MapCHECK
  • Treatment planning software
  • Virtual simulation software
  • Web browser software

  • healthcare practitioners and technical

    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800