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Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists conduct prescribed radiation treatments for cancer patients.

  • Avg. Salary $77,016.00
  • Avg. Wage $41.24
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 2,900
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Health Care Technologist, Medical Radiation Technologist, Medical Technologist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Radiation Therapists (3215.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Medical Radiation Technologists (D215) 
  • 2011 NOC: Medical radiation technologists (3215) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Radiation Therapist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Radiation Therapists
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with radiation therapy equipment to administer treatments prescribed by radiation oncologists, and to help with the construction of devices such as plaster casts and acrylic moulds used for radiation treatments; and in checking radiation therapy equipment to ensure proper operation

METHODICAL

Interest in assisting radiation oncologists and clinical physicists with administration of radiation treatment plans and preparation of sealed radioactive materials; and in monitoring patients' physical and psychological well-being during the entire course of treatments

innovative

Interest in compiling information to prepare and administer radiation treatments

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Radiation damages and destroys cancer cells. Radiation treatments may be external (using radiation-emitting equipment such as linear accelerators), or internal (placing radioactive material into body cavities or tissue).

Radiation therapists work closely with other health care providers (such as radiation oncologists, medical physicists, nurses, dieticians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists). In general, radiation therapists:

  • use complex technical equipment and treatment units
  • plan the physical and technical aspects of radiation treatments
  • deliver internal and external radiation therapy to patients
  • construct patient positioning aides and individual treatment devices
  • educate patients, families, and significant others about treatments (such as side effects, on-site care, dietary requirements, and available support programs)
  • support and care for patients during treatment sessions
  • provide follow-up care
  • assess patient reactions to treatments
  • calculate actual treatment doses for each session.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Work schedules vary. They may include weekday or weekend hours, evenings, or on-call shifts. Radiation therapists may spend long periods of time standing or walking. They have to help lift and move patients. They often handle materials weighing up to 10 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Radiation therapists need to possess:

  • good physical health
  • a sense of responsibility and a high degree of integrity
  • patience, empathy, and compassion for people of all ages and backgrounds
  • an understanding of cancer patients’ special needs
  • speaking and listening skills
  • the ability to put people at ease
  • an interest in science and technology
  • an interest in keeping their related skills and knowledge up to date
  • the ability to be highly accurate in their duties
  • the ability to be well organized
  • the ability to think critically and solve problems
  • the ability to work well in a multidisciplinary team setting.

They should enjoy:

  • using equipment to perform precise tasks
  • having procedures and standards for their work
  • pulling information together
  • working with the public.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

The University of Alberta offers a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Radiation Therapy. The classroom component of the program occurs on campus in Edmonton. The clinical component includes 2 parts:

  • a simulation semester on campus
  • clinical practicums in cancer centres with radiation therapy treatment services in Alberta.

Program entrance requirements include completion of a pre-professional year at any post-secondary school. Applicants must also complete a personal interview and write a career reflection letter. Specific pre-professional year course requirements are listed on the program website.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Medical Radiation Technologist

Medical radiation technologists apply ionizing radiation and other forms of energy to produce diagnostic images, evaluate the technical sufficiency of such images, use ionizing radiation and other forms of energy for treatment purposes, and take part in patient care through interdisciplinary, peer and public education, patient counselling, radiation protection, management and related research.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists Profession Regulation, only registered members of the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT) may call themselves a magnetic resonance technologist, nuclear medicine technologist, radiological technologist or radiation therapist. Registered members provide health services listed in Schedule 12 of the Health Professions Act.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of: (1) an approved program of studies and (2) an approved examination. Applicants who have been out of practice for a period of time also may have to demonstrate that they are currently competent to practice. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the ACMDTT website or contact the ACMDTT registrar.

Working in Alberta

Medical radiation technologists and therapists who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered practitioners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated medical radiation technologists and therapists, see Electroneurophysiology Technologist Registration ProcessMagnetic Resonance Technologist Registration ProcessNuclear Medicine Technologist Registration ProcessRadiation Therapist Registration Process and Radiological Technologist Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists
#800, 4445 Calgary Trail
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6H 5R7
Phone number: 780-487-6130
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-282-2165
Fax number: 780-432-9106
Website: www.acmdtt.com

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

In Alberta, radiation therapists work for Alberta Health Services - Cancer Control Alberta. They work at the following facilities:

  • Central Alberta Cancer Centre in Red Deer
  • Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton
  • Jack Ady Cancer Centre in Lethbridge
  • Tom Baker Centre in Calgary
  • University of Alberta (educational program)

In Canada, about 44 cancer care facilities offer radiation therapy.

With time on the job, radiation therapists may advance to senior therapist roles. With further education and time, they may move into management, teaching, or advanced practice.

Radiation therapists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3215: Medical radiation technologists. In Alberta, 94% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the D215: Medical Radiation Technologists occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.9% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 94 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018
Medical radiation technologists

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $33.87 $42.35 $36.08 $33.98
Overall $37.25 $48.51 $41.24 $40.47
Top $44.75 $54.66 $46.81 $44.75

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

16%
16%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

24%
24%

Vacancy Rate

5%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
    • Human and Social Services
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT) website: www.acmdtt.com

Alberta Health Services - CancerControl Alberta website: www.albertahealthservices.ca

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists website: www.camrt.ca

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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