Radiation Therapist

Job Description


Radiation therapists work in the field of oncology, where they treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments. 

Radiation therapists treat the cancer by administering doses of radiation to cancerous growths in patients. They deliver radiation in various forms and via various methods to help shrink the tumor.

A great thing about this career is that there is a lower educational requirement than other jobs in the medical field and the pay is still great. There are postgraduate certificates you can get to grow in the field and make more money.




Radiation therapists have a list of responsibilities. They are responsible for locating the tumor with imagining equipment, preparing radiation, and administering radiation.

They identify the location of the tumor using imaging equipment, such as a CT scanner. Then, radiation therapists use high tech machines, called linear accelerators, to administer beams of radiation directly to the patient's tumor.  

They deliver regular doses of radiation to patients during sessions that can last as long as 30 minutes. During the therapy, radiation therapists monitor patients and adjust treatment for any serious side effects. 

Other duties may include the following:

  • Reviewing prescription and diagnosis

  • Acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel

  • Preparing equipment

  • Maintaining records

  • Assisting in dosimetry procedures 





Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas about patient's treatment plans and diagnoses. Must correspond with other medical professionals to ensure patient care.


Monitoring/Assessing patient to make sure they are responding well to radiation treatments and make improvements or take corrective action when necessary.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 


Must be able to empathize with a patient's pain and difficulties. Need to make people feel comfortable and meet them at their emotional level to humanize themselves since they deal with people going through trying circumstances.


Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it.

Operation Monitoring

Must be able to monitor gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Must work with other healthcare professionals to ensure patient care.

Equipment Maintenance

Must perform routine maintenance on equipment and determine when and what kind of maintenance is needed.


Working Conditions 


Most therapists work in hospitals, offices of physicians, and outpatient centers. They usually work full time and keep regular work schedules because all procedures are usually planned in advance.

Radiation therapists can be on their feet for long periods and may need to lift or turn disabled patients, so it can be physically taxing.

Radiation therapists must follow safety procedures to ensure they aren't exposed to harmful amounts of radiation.

Because they work with radiation and radioactive material, the threat of radiation exposure is present and should be taken into account.

Most of these procedures usually require that therapists stand in a different room while the patient undergoes radiation procedures. 



Salary Outlook