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Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists conduct prescribed radiation treatments for cancer patients.

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

  • 3215.3: Radiation Therapists

2006 NOC-S

  • D215: Medical Radiation Technologists

2011 NOC

  • 3215: Medical radiation technologists

2016 NOC

  • 3215: Medical radiation technologists

2021 NOC

  • 32121: Medical radiation technologists

2023 OaSIS

  • 32121.03: Radiation therapists
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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

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.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Radiation Therapists

2006 NOC: 3215.3

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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


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


Interest in compiling information to prepare and administer radiation treatments

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Medical radiation technologists

2016 NOC: 3215

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 16 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Mar 24, 2022 and Feb 16, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Health benefits: Health care plan
Construction Specialization: Team player
Security and Safety: Criminal record check
Attention to detail
Health benefits: Dental plan
Construction Specialization: Judgement
Health benefits: Vision care benefits
Tasks: Operate X-ray, radiographic and fluoroscopic equipment, computerized tomography (CT) scanners, mammography units and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

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.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

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.


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.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Medical Radiation Technologist.

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 3215: Medical radiation technologists occupational group, 95.5% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 3215: Medical radiation technologists occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.5% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 57 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Medical radiation technologists

2016 NOC: 3215
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3215 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $33.98 $42.35 $35.91 $33.98
Overall $39.02 $51.61 $44.02 $42.84
Top $44.75 $55.41 $47.54 $47.30

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
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:

Alberta Health Services - CancerControl Alberta website:

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists website:

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

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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