Radiation Therapist
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
2d ago

Pay for radiation therapists varies depending on experience and responsibilities.

  • Radiation therapists usually start on about $51,000 a year.
  • With two to five years' experience they can earn about $59,000 to $80,000.
  • Radiation therapists with extra responsibilities or particular clinical expertise can earn between $83,000 and $107,000.
  • Source : New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology, 2017; and 'APEX and District Health Boards Medical Radiation Technologists Collective Agreement to 2019', 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Radiation therapists may do some or all of the following :

  • work with radiation oncologists (cancer specialists) to plan and deliver treatment
  • use computed tomography (CT) scans, computer programmes and clinical information to plan radiation treatment
  • make immobilisation devices, such as masks, to help patients lie still during treatment
  • build rapport and communicate with patients during treatment
  • deliver radiation treatment using high energy x-ray machines (linear accelerators)
  • educate people about radiation therapy and its side effects.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Radiation therapists need to have knowledge of :

  • radiation treatment methods and radiation equipment
  • radiation physics and how radiation affects the body
  • anatomy, physiology and pathology
  • how to make patients comfortable.
  • Radiation therapists :

  • usually work regular hours and may also work weekends and be on call
  • work in oncology departments at public and private hospitals.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a radiation therapist you need to have a Bachelor of Radiation Therapy, or another qualification recognised by the Medical Radiation Technologists Board

    You also need to be registered with the Medical Radiation Technologists Board.

    The Bachelor of Radiation Therapy is only available from the University of Otago's Wellington campus, and there are about 30 places on the course each year.

    You can increase your chances of being accepted on to the course by :

  • having strong NCEA Level 3 results, or at least one year's university study in science and psychology
  • showing an interest in, and knowledge of, radiation therapy.
  • The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

    Secondary education

    A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include biology, English, maths and physics.

    Personal requirements

    Radiation therapists should be :

  • understanding and empathetic
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to work well under pressure
  • safety conscious
  • excellent communicators
  • good at planning and organising
  • interested in research
  • good at problem solving.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for radiation therapists includes :

  • any work involving helping or caring for people
  • work in hospitals
  • experience with organisations that work with people who have cancer, for example CanTeen or the Cancer Society.
  • Registration

    Radiation therapists need to be registered with the New Zealand Medical Radiation Technologists Board and have a current Annual Practising Certficate.

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