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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiation Therapists in Lubbock, Texas

There are many career and education opportunities for radiation therapists in the Lubbock, Texas area. Currently, 830 people work as radiation therapists in Texas. This is expected to grow by 41% to about 1,170 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for radiation therapists are expected to grow by about 27.1%. Radiation therapists generally provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.

Radiation therapists earn about $36 per hour or $76,480 yearly on average in Texas and about $35 hourly or $72,910 per year on average nationally. Incomes for radiation therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Radiology in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Radiology category nationally. People working as radiation therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: radiation therapy technologist , registered radiation therapist, and radiologic therapist.

There are nine schools of higher education in the Lubbock area, including two within twenty-five miles of Lubbock where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Lubbock include:

  • Emergency Medical Technician. Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.
  • 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

Covenant School of Nursing and Allied Health - Lubbock, TX

Covenant School of Nursing and Allied Health, 2002 West Loop 289, Suite 120, Lubbock, TX 79407. Covenant School of Nursing and Allied Health is a small school located in Lubbock, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 298 students. Covenant School of Nursing and Allied Health has a two to four year program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

South Plains College - Levelland, TX

South Plains College, 1401 S. College Ave, Levelland, TX 79336. South Plains College is a medium sized college located in Levelland, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,714 students. South Plains College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated one student 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.


Lubbock, Texas
Lubbock, Texas photo by Voltin

Lubbock is situated in Lubbock County, Texas. It has a population of over 220,483, which has grown by 10.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lubbock, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Lubbock are priced at $171,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, nine hundred twenty-nine new homes were constructed in Lubbock, up from eight hundred eighty the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Lubbock are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 26.6% of Lubbock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lubbock is 5.3%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Lubbock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Pentecostal Holiness Church, Philia Temple Church of God and Christ and Pilgrim Baptist Church are all churches located in Lubbock. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Lubbock is home to the South Overton Residential Historic District and the Kress Building as well as Lowery Field and Rocky Johnson Field. Visitors to Lubbock can choose from Barcelonacourt of Lubbock, Circus Inn and Carriage House Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.