How to Become a Radiation Therapist

How to Become a Radiation Therapist

Most employers like to hire applicants who have an associate’s degree or a bachelor's degree in radiation therapy.

However, candidates can qualify for some jobs by completing a 12-month certificate program. Radiation therapy programs include courses in radiation therapy procedures and scientific theories.

These programs include clinical training and courses in human anatomy, physiology, physics, algebra, computer science, and research methodology.

1. Finish High School & Earn Prerequisites

To become a radiation therapist, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent with two years of math and two years of lab science. In order to get into the proper schools, you must take a drug test, get a criminal background check done, and show record of current immunizations.

Being CPR certified is also a plus and a must for becoming a radiation therapist.

2. Complete a Radiation Therapy Training

Many colleges offer radiation therapy programs that award certificates, associate's degrees, and bachelor's degrees.

The lengths of these programs vary by program: certificate programs take a year; associate's degree programs require two years; and bachelor's degree programs take four years to complete.

In addition to coursework and lab studies, students complete clinical training at hospitals to get hands on training in their field.

After you complete whichever program you choose, you are awarded with your certificate or degree and can sit for the licensing exam.

3. Earn the Required License & Certification

You must earn state licensure to be a radiation therapist. The requirements to obtain licensure vary by state, but many require candidates to pass a certification exam through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

The exam consists of a written test and a practical skills test and a total of 220 questions. The entire test is 4 hours long and has computer based tests in multiple-choice format.

Once you pass the test, you are eligible to practice as a radiation therapist in your location.