Radiation Therapists: Salary Overview
Radiation therapists administer radiation treatments in order to treat cancer and other diseases.
Their job description typically includes explaining treatment plans and potential side effects to patients, protecting the patients and themselves, calibrating the machine, monitoring the patient to see if there are any reactions to the treatments, and keeping detailed records of the treatment.
Radiation therapists often work as part of an oncology team that also includes radiation oncologists, oncology nurses, and physicists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage reported by radiation therapists in the United States was $85,560 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession made less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries vary depending on a wide range of factors, including experience level, region, and industry of employment.
The bottom 10 percent of all radiation therapists reportedly earned less than $59,280 per year while the top 10 percent made more than $128,630 annually.
The 25th percentile for this occupation is $70,170 which means that most employees earned more than this amount.
Radiation Therapist Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of radiation therapists worked for general medical and surgical hospitals or for offices of physicians.
Radiation therapists who worked in general hospitals reported salaries that averaged at $87,920 while those who worked for physicians’ offices made $95,530 per year, on average.
The average annual wage was $104,160 for radiation therapists who worked for outpatient care centers and $93,790 for those who worked for specialty hospitals.
Colleges, universities, and professional schools also had a few hundreds of radiation therapists on their payroll and paid them, on average, with $99,430 per year.
The highest average salary was reported by radiation therapists who worked for outpatient care centers.
The second-highest paying field for this profession was, according to BLS, offices of other health practitioners where the average annual wage for this profession was $103,050.
A few radiation therapists worked for medical and diagnostic laboratories and reported an average annual wage of $99,900.
There are many other factors that play an important role in determining a radiation therapist’s salary, including his/her education and experience level.
Although an associate’s degree may be enough for entry-level employment in the field, a bachelor’s degree can increase your earning prospects.
Many jobs also require CPR and BLS certification.
Those who are willing to continue their training can advance to a medical dosimetrist position which may also come with a pay raise.
Medical dosimetrists determine the correct dose of radiation needed for each patient.
Your level of experience is also important in determining your salary.
While as an entry-level employee you will most likely receive a salary that is close to the minimum for this profession, your earnings will increase significantly after a few years of clinical experience.
The report published by BLS shows that salaries for this profession also vary depending on the region of employment and the state.
In 2019 the highest-paying state was California with an average annual wage calculated at $119,800.
Other top-paying states where the reported salaries were above the $100,000 mark are New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington.
Radiation therapists in Kansas, Tennessee, and West Virginia, on the other hand, reported salaries that were below $75,000 on average.
Texas was the state with the highest employment level for this occupation in 2019.
Here radiation therapists were remunerated with $90,270 per year, on average.
Employment of radiation therapists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029; growth which can be explained, in part, by the fact that the population is aging and the incidence of cancer increases as people age.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Radiation Therapists. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.