Treating cancer with technology
September 15, 2005
As of May 2004, the median annual earnings of radiation therapists were $57,700; this means that 50 percent of those workers earned more than that amount, and 50 percent earned less.
The highest earning 10 percent earned more than $83,340, and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,550.
Radiation therapists administer radiation therapy to cancer patients, which helps to shrink tumors and save lives. As part of a medical radiation oncology team, radiation therapists use machines—called linear accelerators—to administer radiation to patients. Linear accelerators, used in a procedure called external beam therapy, project radioactive x-rays at targeted cancer cells. As the radioactive 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 most often used in conjunctions with chemotherapy or surgery.
In addition to providing a chance to help patients and apply scientific expertise, the occupation of radiation therapist often offers above-average salaries, and it is expected to have faster-than-average job growth over the 2002-12 decade.
The Occupational Employment Statistics program produces employment and wage estimates for radiation therapists and other occupations. For more information, see "Radiation Therapists: Treating cancer with technology" by Benjamin Wright, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Summer 2005. Note about the chart: deciles divide the dataset into 10 equal-size groups and quartiles divide the dataset into 4 equal-size groups.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Treating cancer with technology on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/sept/wk2/art04.htm (visited July 12, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Meal Appeal: Patterns of Expenditures on Food away from Home
Examines spending on food away from home, such as meals or snacks from restaurants, vending machines, employer cafeterias, or other venues.
- Job Flexibilities and Work Schedules in 2017–18
Examines data on job flexibilities, such as working at home, flexible schedules, and shift work.
- Labor Market Activity of Blacks in the United States
Examines data on the labor market and related topics for the Black or African American population.
- Workers’ Access to and Use of Leave from Their Jobs in 2017–18
Examines the reasons for which workers can take leave, their use of leave, and the reasons they did not take available leave even when they needed to.