How do you become a radiation therapist?


Quick Answer

Becoming a radiation therapist requires education, licensing, certification and registration. As of Jan. 1, 2015, all candidates for radiation therapy certification must have graduated with an academic degree, such as an associate or a bachelor's degree, before becoming certified. Prior to that date, an academic degree or completion of a 12-month certificate program is acceptable, although most employers prefer a degree.

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Full Answer

Although it is preferred, the academic degree does not always have to be in radiation therapy to qualify. Most states require radiation therapists to be licensed, but the requirements vary by state. In general, licensing requires graduation from an accredited program and certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Applicants for certification must adhere to the ethical standards of the ARRT and pass a certification exam. An annual registration renewal is required to remain certified.

An education program in radiation therapy includes instruction in both the classroom and a health-care setting. Students learn radiation-therapy procedures and the scientific theories behind them. They also may take courses in human anatomy and physiology, computer science, algebra, research methodology and more. Radiation therapists administer radiation treatments to treat cancer and other diseases. They work in hospitals, health-care offices and outpatient facilities.

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