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A Radiation Therapist, also known as a Therapeutic Radiographer, is a radiation expert who generally works as a part of an oncology team inside medical institutions.

The Therapist's main responsibility is to provide radiation treatment and therapy to all individuals in tandem with the expertise and advice of the patient's oncologist. This also involves explaining the treatment to patients and their families, building a connection with them, answering their questions, as well as using equipment to monitor any progress or changes in the patient, and reporting on the changes to the head doctor.

They also maintain and regularly test the equipment used for monitoring and for the appliance of the treatment and regularly reading about new research and discoveries in the field of oncology to better their own medical understanding and the quality and method of their work.

A person hoping to work as a Radiation Therapist should have a bachelor's degree in radiation therapy and even previous work experience. A good understanding of the tools and methods at hand is important, and an eye for detail, technical and communication skills is essential as well.

What Does a Radiation Therapist Do

Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments.

Learn more about what a Radiation Therapist does

How To Become a Radiation Therapist

Most radiation therapists complete programs that lead to an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy. Radiation therapists must be licensed or certified in most states. Requirements vary by state, but often include passing a national certification exam.

Learn More About How To Become a Radiation Therapist

Radiation Therapist Job Description

A radiation therapist collaborates with the oncology department in order to provide appropriate measures of radiation to patients suffering from cancer. Their duties include handling appropriate medical machinery, applying radiation to patients, and ensuring that treatments are working or adjusting doses accordingly.

Learn more about Radiation Therapist Job Description

Career Path For a Radiation Therapist

As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, a radiation therapist can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as prn radiation therapist, progress to a title such as therapist and then eventually end up with the title nursing director.

Radiation Therapist

Average Salary for a Radiation Therapist

Radiation Therapists in America make an average salary of $84,981 per year or $41 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $113,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $63,000 per year.
Average Radiation Therapist Salary
$84,981 Yearly
$40.86 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Radiation Therapist

The role of a radiation therapist includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general radiation therapist responsibilities:

  • Treatment operates linear accelerator and or superficial x-ray machine for the treatment of cancer patients. Sets up
  • Performs radiation therapy treatments. Explains treatment procedures to patients. Prepares the treatment room
  • Delivers and accurately documents a planned course of radiation on specific treatment equipment following the prescription of the radiation oncologist. Verifies the mathematical accuracy of the prescription, calculates treatment times

There are several types of radiation therapist, including:



A therapist is the keeper of secrets. Neither therapist nor client is likely to advertise what is going on during sessions. You might have pinned down therapists as doctors of psychology who try to help the weak and crazy among us.

Well, the truth is contrary: it is a humble and courageous gesture to seek the help of a professional, not only in moments of crisis, trying to deal with harmful mental patterns or toxic core beliefs, which cause suffering to the patient and his/her or her environment alike, but also on a preventive basis.

So, just as much as it is the job of therapists to diagnose mental health problems and propose and conduct treatments, it is also their responsibility to make sure a diagnosis will never be necessary.
  • Average Salary: $55,943
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

X-Ray Technician


An x-ray technician is a professional who works in the hospital to perform imaging tests on patients by request from medical personnel for diagnostic purposes. They operate x-ray equipment to get images of different areas of the body. They adjust x-ray machines as needed to ensure clear and accurate imaging. They also evaluate, interpret and report x-ray imaging results, make treatment recommendations based on x-ray results and ensure the patient is comfortable and protected from radiation.

Some skills associated with an x-ray technician include; analytical skills to be able to interpret results and strong communication skills, both verbal and written. They also require organizational, time management, and mechanical skills. They should be willing to spend long periods of time on their feet, perform heavy lifting equipment, and be frequently exposed to radiation. They might also work long hours, with evenings and weekends sometimes required.

A minimum of an associate's degree is required and, in most cases, a bachelor's degree. They earn an average salary of $57,450 per year. Some certifications for this job might include; The American Registry of Radiologist's Technicians, Registered Radiology Assistant, Radiologic Technologists Mammography Certification, and Therapeutic Radiologic Technology Certification.
  • Average Salary: $51,642
  • Degree: Associate Degree

Mammography Technician


Mammography technologists operate a mammography unit to produce images of the breasts for diagnostic purposes under the direction of a physician. They explain the procedure to patients, position and immobilize the patient's breast in the unit, and observe the scanning process. This involves monitoring the video display of the area being scanned and adjusting the density or contrast to improve picture quality.

Most mammography technicians have an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in radiology. At various points during these undergraduate programs, they will specialize in mammography. The American Registry for Radiologic Technologists currently certifies mammography technicians, and forty other states in the US currently require this certification by law in order to practice.

According to, the median salary of mammography technologists is between $67,373 and $80,898.
  • Average Salary: $64,362
  • Degree: Associate Degree

States With The Most Radiation Therapist Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active radiation therapist jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where radiation therapists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Radiation Therapist Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
3New York1,746$102,947
8North Carolina1,277$80,374
9New Jersey1,186$64,451
33North Dakota193$118,935
39South Carolina80$85,198
41New Mexico51$86,255
43New Hampshire28$76,378
44Rhode Island26$78,637
45South Dakota22$77,522
47West Virginia12$93,712

Radiation Therapist Education

Radiation Therapist Degrees


40.3 %


39.7 %


15.1 %

Top Colleges for Radiation Therapists

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Radiation Therapist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 28.0% of radiation therapists listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Radiation Therapist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Radiation Therapist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Radiation Therapist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Radiation Therapist diversity

Radiation Therapist Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among radiation therapists, 65.7% of them are women, while 34.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among radiation therapists is White, which makes up 69.7% of all radiation therapists.

  • The most common foreign language among radiation therapists is Spanish at 63.9%.

Online Courses For Radiation Therapist That You May Like

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Best States For a Radiation Therapist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a radiation therapist. The best states for people in this position are Mississippi, California, Utah, and Missouri. Radiation therapists make the most in Mississippi with an average salary of $130,376. Whereas in California and Utah, they would average $123,879 and $121,237, respectively. While radiation therapists would only make an average of $121,228 in Missouri, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Radiation Therapist Jobs: 193
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Nebraska

Total Radiation Therapist Jobs: 378
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Missouri

Total Radiation Therapist Jobs: 938
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Radiation Therapists

How Do Radiation Therapists Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Radiation Therapist Employers

Most Common Employers For Radiation Therapist

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1St Joseph's Hospital$115,941$55.7414
2University Hospitals$113,081$54.379
3Cleveland Clinic$111,603$53.667
4Methodist Hospital Of Henderson, Kentucky$97,217$46.748
5Good Samaritan$96,304$46.3011
7Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center$90,942$43.7215
9Kaiser Permanente$88,470$42.5311

Radiation Therapist Videos

Becoming a Radiation Therapist FAQs

Do Radiation Therapists Make Good Money?

Yes, radiation therapists make good money. The average salary for radiation therapists in the United States is around $85,000 per year. Salaries typically start from $59,000 and go up to $130,000.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Radiation Therapist?

It takes two to four years to become a radiation therapist. Becoming a radiation therapist takes between two and four years to obtain your desired degree. An associate's degree takes two years to complete, and a bachelor's of science in radiation therapy takes four years to complete.

Is Being A Radiation Therapist A Good Job?

Yes, being a radiation therapist is a good job. Radiation therapists are in high demand, are paid well, and provide a service that actively helps many people.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiation therapy employment is expected to grow 9% by 2028, faster than average employment growth. This means that radiation therapists are in high demand across the United States.

Is It Hard To Become A Radiation Therapist?

No, it is not hard to become a radiation therapist. Becoming a radiation therapist takes between two and four years to obtain your desired degree. An associate's degree takes two years to complete, and a bachelor of science in radiation therapy takes four years.

Radiation Therapist Vs Radiation Tech

A radiation therapist is an expert medical professional who facilitates treatment for patients with malignant tumors by using high-energy radiation to kill or manage the growth of cancer cells, while a radiation tech is a medical professional who performs imaging studies that are used for a patient's diagnosis.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being A Radiation Therapist?

The pros of being a radiation therapist include helping patients, earning a good salary, and job security, while to con is working in a physically demanding and stressful work environment. Radiation therapists provide vital treatments to patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases but are also exposed to radiation daily.

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