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15 Hottest Health Care Fields of 2010

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#13 Radiation Therapists

As part of a medical radiation oncology team, radiation therapists use machines called linear accelerators to administer radiation treatment to patients. Linear accelerators are most commonly used in a procedure called external beam therapy, which projects high-energy X rays at targeted cancer cells. As the X rays collide with human tissue, they produce highly energized ions that can shrink and eliminate cancerous tumors. Radiation therapy is sometimes used as the sole treatment for cancer, but it is usually used in conjunction with chemotherapy or surgery.

Relevant Statistics

  • Projected Need: 4,100

    Projected Growth: 27+%

    Median Wage: $72,910

A bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or certificate in radiation therapy generally is required. Many States require radiation therapists to be licensed, and most employers require certification. With experience, therapists can advance to managerial positions.

Employment is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations, and good job opportunities are expected. Job openings will result from employment growth and from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree and related work experience may have the best opportunities.

More Resources:


Career Profile: Radiation Therapist
Fight Cancer as a Radiation Therapist
Quiz: What’s Your Healthcare Dream Job?

Bonus: Visit the Technical Health Careers Page


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