By: Tammy McCausland
At the time of writing, a quick search for “radiation therapy” (no location specified) yielded 2,273 jobs on LinkedIn, 3,664 jobs on Glassdoor.com and 829 jobs on Indeed.com.
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) recently released its Radiation Therapy Staffing and Workplace Survey 2020. According to the survey, “the vacancy rate for radiation therapists was 7.2 percent in 2020, up from 3.2 percent in 2018. Vacancy rates in medical dosimetry increased from 2.4 percent to 9.6 percent over the same period. Vacancy rates represent the percent of positions that are open and actively being recruited.” In its news release, ASRT cautioned that the survey results were collected before COVID-19.
Forbes recently published its article “Here’s How Much Money Radiation Therapists Make In Every State.” The author writes, “The annual mean wage for radiation therapists is $104,160 in outpatient care centers, while the annual mean is $87,920 for radiation therapists working in general medical and surgical hospitals.” It provides a chart that lists mean annual wage for each state from 2014 through 2019. The author also points out that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of radiation therapists is projected to increase by 9% over the years 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average growth for all occupations.”
According to SROA’s 2018 Benchmarking Survey, the highest and lowest reported salaries for licensed radiation therapists was $93,600 and $65,094, respectively, with median bonuses of $2,000 and $900, respectively. Administrators reported that bonuses were not typical. SROA encourages member administrators to participate in the 2020 Biennial Benchmarking Survey.
The hiring trend appears more promising compared to a couple of years ago when SROA published an article in 2017 about RT hiring trends. If the market is favorable, there may be more mobility as radiation therapists leave their current jobs for more lucrative opportunities or for positions that offer more growth and responsibility. States and smaller centers with lower salaries may find it harder to recruit radiation therapists.
A radiation therapy job applicant’s decision about which position to choose isn’t only about salary.
Radiation therapy employers can take several steps to make their positions attractive to prospective hires: they can ensure the job description accurately reflects the job duties; they can offer benefits such as bonuses, paid professional development and other non-monetary perks; and they can create a welcoming “team first” environment. Employers need to think beyond the need to fill a position to selecting a candidate that they feel with enjoy coming to work and be happy with the people they work with, including their supervisor. And when recruiting, employers may look to strike a balance between the number of experienced and new therapists to ensure continuity in their RT workforce.
Being flexible about location can help RT graduates secure their first job. By being open, they can gain invaluable experience that they can leverage for future opportunities. And they might just find a place to stay in an unexpected place.
SROA is currently conducting it's 2020 Benchmarking survey and want to hear from you. To learn more and schedule your interview click here.
Related Content: SROA 2018 Benchmarking Survey