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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Cleveland, Ohio

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for radiation therapists in the Cleveland, Ohio area. There are currently 500 working radiation therapists in Ohio; this should grow 22% to about 610 working radiation therapists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for radiation therapists, which sees this job pool growing by about 27.1% over the next eight years. Radiation therapists generally provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.

The income of a radiation therapist is about $31 per hour or $64,630 annually on average in Ohio. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 hourly or $72,910 yearly on average. Radiation therapists earn less than people working in the category of Radiology generally in Ohio and less than people in the Radiology category nationally. People working as radiation therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: computed tomography simulation therapist , radiologic therapist, and radiation therapy technician.

The Cleveland area is home to 103 schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Cleveland where you can get a degree as a radiation therapist. Given that the most common education level for radiation therapists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a radiation therapist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Radiation Therapist

Radiation Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, radiation therapists provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. They also duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files.

Radiation therapists maintain records, reports and files as required, including such data as radiation dosages, apparatus settings and patients' reactions. They also position patients for treatment with accuracy in line with prescription. Equally important, radiation therapists have to inspect prescription and identification. They are often called upon to follow principles of radiation protection for patients and others. They are expected to observe and reassure patients during treatment and report unusual reactions to physician or turn apparatus off if unexpected adverse reactions occur. Finally, radiation therapists administer prescribed doses of radiation to specific body parts, using radiation therapy apparatus in line with established practices and standards.

Every day, radiation therapists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for radiation therapists to conduct most treatment sessions independently, in accordance with the long-term treatment plan and under the general direction of the patient's physician. They are often called upon to check for side effects such as skin irritation, nausea and hair loss to gauge patients' reaction to treatment. They also implement appropriate follow-up care plans. They are sometimes expected to check radiation therapy apparatus to insure proper operation. Somewhat less frequently, radiation therapists are also expected to calculate actual treatment dosages delivered during each session.

Radiation therapists sometimes are asked to help in the preparation of sealed radioactive materials. They also have to be able to educate, ready and reassure patients and their families by answering questions, providing physical assistance, and reinforcing physicians' advice regarding treatment reactions and post-treatment care and store or ready the special applicators containing the radioactive substance implanted by the physician. And finally, they sometimes have to ready and construct apparatus, such as immobilization and protection devices.

Like many other jobs, radiation therapists must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cleveland include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Emergency Medical Technician. Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Radiology Technologist. Take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Radiation Therapist Training

University of Akron Main Campus - Akron, OH

University of Akron Main Campus, 302 Buchtel Common, Akron, OH 44325-4702. University of Akron Main Campus is a large university located in Akron, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 24,202 students. University of Akron Main Campus has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

Lorain County Community College - Elyria, OH

Lorain County Community College, 1005 North Abbe Rd, Elyria, OH 44035-1691. Lorain County Community College is a large college located in Elyria, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,242 students. Lorain County Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Cuyahoga Community College District - Cleveland, OH

Cuyahoga Community College District, 700 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115-2878. Cuyahoga Community College District is a large college located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,234 students. Cuyahoga Community College District has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.

Lakeland Community College - Kirtland, OH

Lakeland Community College, 7700 Clocktower Dr, Kirtland, OH 44094-5198. Lakeland Community College is a medium sized college located in Kirtland, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,924 students. Lakeland Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated one and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.


Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.

For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.


Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio photo by FlickreviewR

Cleveland is situated in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. It has a population of over 433,748, which has shrunk by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cleveland, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cleveland are valued at $94,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred nine new homes were built in Cleveland, down from one hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cleveland are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 11.4% of Cleveland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cleveland is 10.5%, which is greater than Ohio's average of 10.0%.

The percentage of Cleveland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Abyssinia Baptist Church and Highland Christian Church are among the churches located in Cleveland. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Cleveland is home to the Mastick Woods Golf Course and the Dock Number 32 as well as Shaker Square Historic District and Newton Avenue Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Shaker-Moreland Shopping Center, Shaker Square Shopping Center and Clark West 30th Shopping Center. Visitors to Cleveland can choose from Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Gateway, Airport Sheraton and Extended Stayamerica for temporary stays in the area.