The Bachelors Degree Vs Radiation Therapist Salary With Associates Degree
Honestly, this option is the best way to go into this field, if you want to start off with the highest salary possible. Unfortunately, it does mean you will spend four years studying instead of the two years it would take with an associates degree.
This isnt too bad, but it does mean you wont be able to start working for another two years. A Bachelors also ascertains that you are more knowledgeable than those with the Associates, which will definitely help you during the employer interview process.
Q How Long Does It Take To Become A Radiation Therapist
For entry-level jobs as a Radiation Therapist, you should expect to take about two years to earn an Associates degree.
These can be obtained online or in-person but should include clinical labs and an internship.
Sometimes, internships can take longer but will provide much more experience in the long run.
Those who want more education can opt for a Bachelors degree, which will take about four years to finish.
What Is The Demand For Radiation Therapists
Over the next several years, we should see a 7 percent increase in this career.
That is because the baby boomer generation is growing older, which means they will need more healthcare and medical procedures.
Advancements in technology have made it easier as well, which means more career opportunities in the future.
Those with certification and proper education will find the most career opportunities.
Read Also: Lung Cancer Non Smoker Symptoms
Occupational Employment And Wage Statistics
The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.
Training Other Qualifications And Advancement For Radiation Therapists
Many states and employers require radiation therapists to be licensed or be certified. Those with experience can move up to managerial positions with these certifications.
An associates degree or bachelors degree in radiation therapy is usually required while some employers will accept a degree in radiography and then completing a 12-month certificate program in radiation therapy. A radiation therapy course program will usually include courses in radiation therapy as well as human anatomy, physiology, writing, or computer science. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists accredits 102 radiation programs in the United States.
Thirty three states require licenses for radiation therapists to work. Each states requirements vary but most require radiation therapists to pass the ARRT examination. The exam covers radiation protection, quality assurance and other clinical concepts and requires that the radiation therapist must demonstrate proficiency in clinical practices such as dosimetry calculations or patient care activities. The ARRT certification is valid for a year and radiation therapists must renew this certification as well as pay dues and continue on with their education requirements. These education requirements must be met every 2 years by either completing 24 course credits or attaining the ARRT certification. Some states may not require certification renewal.
Recommended Reading: Does Chemo Weaken Your Immune System
Work Environment For Radiation Therapists
Radiation therapists hold about 16,400 jobs. The largest employers of radiation therapists are as follows:
|Hospitals state, local, and private
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.
Qualities That Make A Great Radiation Therapist
To be successful as a radiation therapist, you need to possess a number of different skills and qualities. Because the field is technology driven, complex, and focuses on sick medical patients, common sense, problem solving, and critical thinking skills are essential. You will need to have very good oral and written communication skills to effectively communicate with your healthcare team.
You will need to be comfortable with technology and also be able to follow complicated protocols. Adapting to new technology and change is also important as radiation therapy is an evolving field of medical science with frequent technology changes.
However, medical and technical competency is really just an essential entry level requirement. You must also be able to demonstrate compassion and sensitivity to patients with both physical and psychological complaints due to their severe and sometimes terminal medical illness. You will also need a different, but equally important interpersonal skill set to connect with your patient and their families.
Pros of being a radiation Therapist
Cons of being a radiation therapist
Recommended Reading: What Helps With Constipation From Chemo
A Radiation Therapists Salary: Making Sense Of The Numbers
Larry Morgan of the Orion HR Group reports the following average radiation therapist salary information for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Area as of January 2021:
- New graduate to one year of experience: $63,900 annually with data varying from $51,100 to $76,700 annually
- Five years of experience: $75,400 annually with data varying from $60,300 to $90,400 annually
- Ten years of experience: $85,000 annually with data varying from $68,000 to $102,000 annually
Remember, this is information for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Area. Many variables go into formulating reliable salary estimates. Thats why providing a single nationwide number is not the most accurate way to understand what a radiation therapist earns.
NWHSUs Julie Beaudoin says its a good idea to consider these additional factors:
Dont forget about employee benefits. Radiation therapists are rarely self-employed. They work for public entities or private healthcare corporations. That means they typically receive employee benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
These potential benefits should be factored in as youre trying to get a sense of a radiation therapists overall compensation, Beaudoin says.
Radiation Therapy Program Accreditation
Students enrolling in radiation therapy programs should verify a schools accreditation status. Accreditation ensures that programs have met a set of peer-reviewed standards in their curriculum.
Look for programs in radiation therapy accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology . JRCERT currently offers programmatic accreditation in radiation therapy at the certificate, associate, baccalaureate, and masters degree levels in both campus-based and distance learning formats.
Reputable regional accreditation entities can be verified through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation , which approves reputable accreditation bodies across the United States.
Also Check: Hair Falling Out From Chemo
How To Become A Radiation Therapist: The Definitive Guide
As a Radiation Therapist, you will work hands-on with people battling the toughest illness, cancer.
This is why youll need to be a strong, empathetic person in order to succeed in this career.
A Radiation Therapist assists those suffering from cancer by providing radiation therapy.
In this career, its important to work as a team-Radiation Therapists work closely with oncologists, medical physicists, and other medical staff to ensure patients are treated right.
Radiation Therapist Specializations & Degree Types
Radiation therapy is used together with many other approaches to oncological treatments and protocols to address the highly-specialized needs of a wide variety of cancer patients. In general, radiation therapists must hold at least an associates degree, although employers highly recommend and prefer a bachelors degree. Several radiation therapist specializations and career types are available for prospective behavioral professionals. They include:
- Diagnostic radiology
- Medical physics
Also Check: Breast Cancer Of The Nipple
Radiation Therapist Education Trends
While it is possible to become a radiation therapist by completing a less intensive certification program, employers vastly prefer that their candidates have at least an associate degree in radiation therapy. Its important to reiterate the practicality of that approach. Individuals would only have to invest in two years of coursework to become certified and sufficiently trained. With the high mean salary associated with radiation therapy, this is a very cost-effective employment plan. Even entry-level jobs in the field pay well compared to the national average yearly salary.
Earning an associates degree and going right to work for favorable pay gives individuals the option to complement their primary degree with more advanced degrees and certifications later on in his or her career. These upper-level degrees and more specialized certifications can improve an individuals earning potential and increase their chances of progressing in the industry.
Radiation Therapist I Salary In San Diego California
How much does a Radiation Therapist I make in San Diego, CA? The average Radiation Therapist I salary in San Diego, CA is $96,200 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $86,800 and $107,700. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target.
|10th Percentile Radiation Therapist I Salary
|25th Percentile Radiation Therapist I Salary
|50th Percentile Radiation Therapist I Salary
|75th Percentile Radiation Therapist I Salary
|90th Percentile Radiation Therapist I Salary
Don’t Miss: What Is Stage 4 Lung Cancer
Beyond The Dollars: The Many Benefits Of Becoming A Radiation Therapist
As you get a better sense of what a radiation therapist can earn, you should also consider a number of other importantand uniquefeatures to this profession. According to Beaudoin, here are some of the most compelling.
Be part of a multidisciplinary cancer treatment team. Radiation therapists rarely work alone. Safety protocols and therapy best practices, explains Beaudoin, generally require therapists to work in tandem.
In addition, radiation therapists play a key part on an multidisciplinary healthcare team, working under the direction of a radiation oncologist and in conjunction with a number of other healthcare professionals, including:
- Medical dosimetrists
This is definitely not an isolating kind of profession. This is a profession for people who want a team-oriented career, Beaudoin says.
Connect with patients more deeply. As a radiation therapist, you see the same patients Monday through Friday, for anywhere from two to seven weeks.
Beaudoin says that fact alone puts radiation therapists in a unique position. Youre often serving as a hub for the rest of the team because youre the one who sees the patient every day. Other team members may only see them once a week or just once at the beginning of the treatment, she says.
For a lot of radiation therapists, notes Beaudoin, its the day-to-day interaction with patients that becomes the driving force for why they love their job.
Those situations rarely come up as a radiation therapist, says Beaudoin.
Gain Licensure And Certification
Once you have gained a degree, youll need to become certified and licensed in most states.
Not all states require licensure, but at least 75% of them do.
This is something youll need to find out beforehand, but if you need to become licensed, there are some requirements:
- Have graduated with at least an Associates degree
- Have had some hands-on experience as a Radiation Therapist
- Have good morals and ethics
The exam consists of 200 to 220 questions that are designated to Radiation Therapy.
Once you take the exam and pass it, you will be licensed in the state in which you live.
Certification isnt the same as licensure, so make sure that you know your states requirements.
Certification shows employers and patients that you are competent in the career.
The ARRT provides certification for Radiation Therapists, but there are other associations that have certifications as well.
In order to become certified as a Radiation Therapist, you will need to:
- Have at least an Associates degree
This exam also consists of about 200 multiple-choice questions.
Passing this exam and completing education will gain you many opportunities as a Radiation Therapist.
Don’t Miss: Do People Survive Stage 4 Cancer
Licenses Certifications And Registrations
In most states, radiation therapists must be licensed or certified. Requirements vary by state but may include graduating from an accredited radiation therapy program and passing an exam or earning certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists .
To become ARRT certified, an applicant must earn an associates or higher degree from an approved radiation therapy program, adhere to ARRT ethical standards, and pass the certification exam. The exam covers topics such as radiation protection, treatment planning, and patient care and education.
Many jobs also require cardiopulmonary resuscitation or basic life support certification.
What Does A Radiation Therapist Do
Radiation therapists are medical professionals who specialize in the administration of radiation treatments for patients who have cancer or other diseases. Based on the orders of a medical physicist or radiation oncologist, radiation therapists take X-rays to determine the exact part of a patient’s body that needs radiation treatment and operate and maintain linear accelerators, which are equipment used for the procedure. Radiation therapists also monitor the response of the patient throughout the treatment and keep detailed records of the procedure, which physicians can use to create therapeutic strategies in the future.
Other duties and responsibilities that a radiation therapist performs include:
Explaining treatment plans to the patient and family members and answering questions about treatment
Following safety procedures to protect the patients from overexposure to radiation
Checking the machines to ensure safety
Checking computer programs to make sure the machine generates the correct dose of radiation
Read Also: What To Expect During Chemo
Radiation Therapy Associate Degree Jobs
Seattle, WA 98133 $46.41 – $73.36 an hour
- Provides radiationtherapy to patients utilizing a variety of radiationtherapy equipment.
- Perform daily quality assurance tests on radiationtherapy equipment.
|Temporary +1Monday to Friday
|Hybrid remote in Raleigh, NC 27604Full-time
|St. Louis, MO 63110 Full-time
|Oceanside, NYPer diem
|Remote in Boston, MA 02115Per diemDay shift
|Lakeland, FL 33805
|Baltimore, MD 21201 Part-time +1Day shift
|Fremont, CA 94538 Per diem8 hour shift
Radiation Therapist Role And Education Requirements
Radiation therapists are part of a dedicated team of health care professionals who all work together to treat cancer and other diseases using radiation. Radiation therapists do more than just administer radiation they also gather patient data and plan for the treatment.To ensure cohesion with the team, students interested in a career in radiation therapy should attend an ARRT-certified educational program, to ensure they understand ARRTs ethical standards, protection protocols, and clinical concepts. Upon completion of the program, youll sit for the state and ARRT licensure examinations.
You May Like: How Much Is Chemo For Cats
States With The Most Radiation Therapist Job Opportunities
As for geographic trends in the employment of radiation therapists, a few are easy to spot. States along the east coast, Texas, and California have the highest concentration of employed radiation therapists. The Midwest shows very sparse employment of radiation therapists, but that is in alignment with population distribution.
A plentiful radiation therapy job market is going to be where there are lots of people and lots of hospitals to treat those people. These are the five states with the most employment opportunities in radiation therapy:
Complete An Associate Or Bachelor’s Degree
Employers usually prefer radiation therapists who hold associate or bachelor’s degrees. Consider enrolling in a radiation therapy education program. Radiation therapy programs prepare you to operate and maintain radiological equipment and assess and treat patients with cancer.
Potential courses in these degree programs include physiology and anatomy, radiation therapy physics, medical terminology, radiologic patient care, principles of oncology radiation biology, dose calculations, dosimetry and radiation protection. You also obtain hands-on experience working as an intern at a hospital’s radiation therapy department, where you may learn about patient care, patient psychology, oncology skills and emergency procedures.
If you want to increase your chances of getting a job, consider completing a certificate program in radiation therapy in addition to your degree.
Also Check: End Stage Breast Cancer Timeline
Radiation Therapist Job Description
A radiation therapist job description includes technical aspects of machine operation and radiation administration, but it also includes a personal touch. In addition to the technical aspects of the job, radiation therapists are often the ones providing support to nervous patients during a very frightening experience. Having a kind heart and the ability to make someone feel comfortable is an essential part of what makes a good radiation therapist.
In addition, a radiation therapist job description can include the following:
- Explain the procedure to patients and help make them comfortable
- Examine radiation machines to ensure they are safe and working correctly
- Adhere to strict safety procedures regarding exposure for both the radiation therapist and patient
- Perform x-rays of the patient in order to determine the exact location of radiation treatment
- Program the machines with the prescribed dose of radiation for the prescribed area
- Position patients for treatment
- Administer the prescribed dose of radiation and monitor the patient for adverse reactions during treatment
- Maintain detailed patient treatment records