Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

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: Radiation Therapists (3215.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Medical Radiation Technologists (D215) 
  • 2011 NOC: Medical radiation technologists (3215) 
  • 2016 NOC: Medical radiation technologists (3215) 
  • 2021 NOC: Medical radiation technologists (32121) 
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
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

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

Abilities

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

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
  • 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.

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.
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

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.

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.

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 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.

Note
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

Related Alberta Job Postings
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
$44.02
Per Hour
Average Salary
$75,822.00
Per Year
Average Hours
33
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
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
Starting
Overall
Top

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
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
62%
62%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
33%
33%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
23%
23%
Vacancy Rate
3%
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

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.

Was this page useful?
Top