Radiation Therapist Training and Certification

Learn what courses you'll take in certificate and degree programs in radiation therapy. Find out the requirements for certification and licensure, as well as salary potential. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Radiation Therapist Training Programs Are Available?

These programs can be found at universities, community colleges, technical colleges and medical schools. Radiation therapy degrees are mainly found as undergraduate programs. Undergraduate programs may award an Associate of Science or a Bachelor of Science. Certificate programs are also available if you have previously earned a degree in a related field, including allied health and nursing.

You won't be able to find any distance education programs for this field. This is because programs from all levels of education will require you to participate in hands-on training and clinical work.

Degree Levels Associate's and bachelor's degrees
Common Courses Physiology, radiation therapy, English, medical imaging, psychology
Certification/Licensure Requirement Varies, depending upon your state of employment; most states require radiation therapists to be certified
Median Salary (2014) $80,090 for radiation therapists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Can I Expect?

Certificate programs provide the basic elements necessary to pursue a radiation therapist career or to maintain certification. Your education will teach you about the theory and techniques needed in protection, planning and anticipating trends in the field. Courses cover radiation therapy principles and practice, fundamentals and physics.

An associate's degree program teaches you how the human body works and responds to radiation. You learn how to keep you and your patient safe, use various medical machines and read testing results. By working closely with an oncologist, you understand how to deliver treatments, figure out dosage levels and create treatment plans. You can expect to take courses in ethical issues, anatomy, physiology, patient care, medical imaging, pathology, radiation therapy and radiation physics. You may also need to complete general education courses in psychology, sociology, English composition and communications.

In addition to what you may learn in an associate's degree program, a bachelor's degree program may develop your skills using X-ray and computed tomography (CT) machines. You understand how to take cross-sectional images, keep radiation machines calibrated and make sure radiation machines are working properly. This type of program may include courses in radiobiology, law, dosimetry, oncology, healthcare management, CT procedures and nutrition. You can also anticipate completing general education courses in mathematics, chemistry, general science, psychology, English composition and social sciences.

Am I Required to Obtain Licensure or Certification?

Over half of the states require you to become certified before practicing radiation therapy. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to pass an exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) before you are awarded licensure.

Certification can be earned through the ARRT. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you may be required to reapply for certification every year (www.bls.gov). If you decide to maintain certification, you may be required to complete additional education courses every two years.

What Is My Job Outlook?

Completing an associate's degree program will make you eligible for entry level therapist positions. Earning a bachelor's degree and obtaining certification can qualify you for a position as a technologist, health care manager, research scientist or dosimetrist. You may be able to find positions in a physician's office or hospital.

According to the BLS, radiation therapist positions are expected to grow 14% between 2014 and 2024. The main cause for this growth is advancing technology in the world of cancer detection. The BLS also estimated that radiation therapists earned a median salary of $80,090 in 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
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  • The George Washington University

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    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

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  • George Mason University

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    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

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  • American University

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    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

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  • University of Saint Mary

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    Popular programs at University of Saint Mary:

    • Master

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  • Kaplan University

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  • University of Delaware

    University of Delaware responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Delaware:

    • Master

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  • Herzing University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

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