Radiation therapy is an exciting career in the medical and healthcare field. Radiation therapists, who often work with oncologists, treat cancer and other diseases with equipment such as linear accelerator (LINAC) machines.
To become a radiation therapist, a person will need to complete a program for either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s in radiation therapy or a related field. Therapists will then need to meet the requirements of the state they’re living in to receive a license or a certification. This will also include passing a national certification exam. There are some programs that are for individuals who already have experience or even degrees in the field of radiation therapy. A person will usually need to complete clinical requirements in person, with the didactic courses available for online study. The following describes detailed information regarding ARRT accredited radiation therapy schools.
What Is Radiation Therapy Accreditation?
Radiation therapy accreditation involves several steps including earning the skills to obtain the accreditation, taking the exam, and meeting all competency requirements.
What Organization Accredits Radiation Therapists?
AART, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, is the largest organization in the world that offers credentials in radiation therapy as well as medical imaging and interventional procedures. The organization certifies and registers different types of technologists. They oversee the different education and examination requirements for each of the disciplines, including radiation therapy.
What Are the Competency Requirements?
The competency requirements for radiation therapy that are effective through December 31, 2021 will change after the end of the year. The new requirements will go into effect on January 1, 2022. The process for receiving accreditation includes earning an associate’s degree or higher, meeting the ethics requirement, and then passing the necessary examinations.
What Degrees Can a Person Earn?
Individuals can earn either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s in radiation therapy. A person may also earn a degree in a related field. According to MTS, individuals may complete their degree before, during, or after completing an accredited radiation therapy program. Those who earn a bachelor’s degree might specialize in and sit for examinations in the areas of magnetic resonance imaging, cardiac intervention, or medical sonography.
What Other Career Paths Are Available?
Often, a bachelor’s degree will offer courses in management and business as well as courses regarding the specific technology the student is studying. This is because those who earn higher degrees may want to move into an administrative or management position. AART accredited radiation therapy schools can start an individual on the path to a variety of career options.
What Is an Online Accredited Radiation Therapy Program?
An online accredited radiation therapy program is one that provides curriculum and classes online. Since radiation therapy is a hands-on career, it is sometimes difficult to find a program that is completely online. There are, however, a variety of programs that provide hybrid options. This often includes taking didactic courses online and completing clinical courses at a radiation therapy center.
What Are the Admission Requirements?
Admission requirements for AART accredited radiation therapy schools include having an associate’s degree or higher. An individual doesn’t always need a degree specifically in radiation therapy, but must complete some type of associate’s degree before taking the specific courses for certification. Some programs, however, require a degree in a radiologic technology program. Other requirements often include having a GPA of 2.5 or higher, passing a drug test, and undergoing a criminal background check.
What Are the Curriculum and Courses?
Courses usually take place in a sequence that progressively builds a person’s experience and expertise. Beginning courses might include classes such as introduction to radiation therapy, radiation oncology physics, pathology, and anatomy. More advanced classes could include operational issues in radiation therapy, classes that include research projects, and clinical practicums. It’s also important to note that radiation therapists must continue their education in order to maintain certification throughout their careers.
What Do Radiation Therapists Do?
Radiation therapists prepare patients to undergo radiation treatment, operate machinery that treats the patient with radiation, keep records of all treatments, and monitor patients after treatment. Therapists also have the knowledge to answer questions a patient might have regarding the treatment. Radiation therapists often work with patients who have cancer, although there are other types of patients and conditions they treat.
What Are the Benefits of an Online Accredited Radiation therapy Program?
There are several benefits of enrolling in an online AART accredited radiation therapy school.
A student can receive a high-quality education online. The curriculum will often include classes such as microbiology, physiology, anatomy, general psychology, radiographic pathology, and imaging informatics. When studying online, a student can receive this quality education from virtually anywhere there is internet and WiFi service.
Expertise of Instructors
An online program allows an individual to receive instruction from a variety of qualified instructors. Professors who are at different locations across the country can deliver instruction to students who also are at different locations. This is one of the significant benefits of online education.
Preparation for Profession
An online education can help a person adequately prepare for a career in radiation therapy. An Associate’s Degree in Radiation Therapy is the minimum level of education necessary to work in the field of radiation therapy. Many employers, however, will require a Bachelor’s degree. After meeting ARRT accredited radiation therapy schools requirements, a person will need to apply to take the examination for certification. After ARRT approves the application, an individual has one year after applying to take and pass the test.
ARRT Accredited Schools in the US
|Alberta Schl Radiation Therapy||Edmonton||AB|
|Arkansas State University||State Univ||AR|
|Austin Peay State University||Clarksville||TN|
|Baptist Health Sciences Univ||Memphis||TN|
|Bellin College||Green Bay||WI|
|Bergen Community College||Paramus||NJ|
|British Columbia Inst of Tech||Burnaby||BC|
|Broward College||Coconut Creek||FL|
|Cambridge Coll of Hlth & Tech||Delray Beach||FL|
|Cambridge Coll of Hlth & Tech||Atlanta||GA|
|Cancer Centre of Se Ontario||Kingston||ON|
|Carolinas College of Hlth Sci||Charlotte||NC|
|Cegep De Sainte-Foy||Quebec||QC|
|Center For Allied Health Educ||Brooklyn||NY|
|Central Ark Rad Therapy Inst||Little Rock||AR|
|Chattanooga State Comm College||Chattanooga||TN|
|City of Hope||Duarte||CA|
|College of Dupage||Glen Ellyn||IL|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas||NV|
|Comm Coll of Allegheny County||Pittsburgh||PA|
|Comm Coll of Baltimore County||Baltimore||MD|
|Delgado Community College||New Orleans||LA|
|El Paso Community College||El Paso||TX|
|Erie Comm College- City Campus||Buffalo||NY|
|Florida State College||Jacksonville||FL|
|Forsyth Technical Comm College||Winston Salem||NC|
|Gateway Community College||Phoenix||AZ|
|Gateway Community College||New Haven||CT|
|Georgia Southern Uni Armstrong||Savannah||GA|
|Grady Health System||Atlanta||GA|
|Grand Valley State University||Grand Rapids||MI|
|Gwynedd Mercy University||Gwynedd Valley||PA|
|Hamilton Regional Cancer Ctr||Hamilton||ON|
|Hillsborough Community College||Tampa||FL|
|In Univ Dept of Rad Oncology||Indianapolis||IN|
|Indiana Univ Nw Coll Hlth & Hs||Gary||IN|
|Ivy Tech Community College||Bloomington||IN|
|John Patrick Univ of Hlth&Ap S||South Bend||IN|
|Kent State University||Salem||OH|
|Loma Linda University||Loma Linda||CA|
|Manchester Community College||Wethersfield||CT|
|Mayo Clinic School of Hlth Sci||Rochester||MN|
|Mem Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr||New York||NY|
|Miami Dade College||Miami||FL|
|Mitchell Technical College||Mitchell||SD|
|Mohawk College of Applied Arts||Hamilton||ON|
|Nassau Community College||Smithtown||NY|
|National University||Los Angeles||CA|
|Nhti-Concord’s Comm College||Concord||NH|
|Northwestern Health Sci Univ||Bloomington||MN|
|Northwestern Memorial Hospital||Chicago||IL|
|Ohio State University||Columbus||OH|
|Or Health & Science University||Portland||OR|
|Pitt Community College||Greenville||NC|
|Queensland University of Tech||Brisbane||OU|
|Saint Louis University – Doisy||Saint Louis||MO|
|Saskatchewan Cancer Agency||Regina||SK|
|Saskatchewan Schl of Rad Ther||Saskatoon||SK|
|Southern Illinois University||Carbondale||IL|
|St Barnabas Medical Center||Livingston||NJ|
|St Catherine University||Saint Paul||MN|
|St John Schl of Radiation Thpy||Saint John||NB|
|Suny Upstate Medical Univ||Syracuse||NY|
|Texas State University||San Marcos||TX|
|The Michener Inst – Laurentian||Toronto||ON|
|The Michener Institute||Toronto||ON|
|The University of New Castle||Callaghan||OU|
|The University of Sydney||Lidcombe||OU|
|Thomas Jefferson University||Philadelphia||PA|
|Thunder Bay Regional Health||Thunder Bay||ON|
|Umass Memorial Medical Center||Worcester||MA|
|Univ of Nebraska Medical Ctr||Gretna||NE|
|Univ of Oklahoma Hlth Sci Ctr||Oklahoma City||OK|
|Univ Tx Md Anderson Cancer Ctr||Houston||TX|
|University of Alabama||Birmingham||AL|
|University of Alberta||Edmonton||AB|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City||IA|
|University of Michigan||Flint||MI|
|University of North Carolina||Chapel Hill||NC|
|University of South Alabama||Mobile||AL|
|University of South Australia||Adelaide||OU|
|University of St Francis||Joliet||IL|
|University of Vermont||Essex Junction||VT|
|University of Wisc Lacrosse||La Crosse||WI|
|Ut Southwestern Medical Center||Dallas||TX|
|Va Commonwealth University||Richmond||VA|
|Virginia Western Comm College||Roanoke||VA|
|Wayne State University||Detroit||MI|
|Weber State University||Ogden||UT|
|West Virginia Univ Hospitals||Morgantown||WV|
The following information summarizes the program options, benefits, and costs of obtaining an accredited radiation therapy degree or certification.
- Programs Available – Standard and accelerated programs are both available. There are also a variety of hybrid programs for people who want to take as much coursework online as possible but are still able to take some in-person classes.
- Degree Requirements – A student may choose to work toward an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Individuals might already have a degree in a medical or health-related field before starting a curriculum that will enable them to earn certification in radiation therapy. Other’s may earn their degree specifically in radiation therapy after high school.
- Time to Complete Programs – After receiving an associate or bachelor’s degree, certification programs typically take one to two years to complete. It will depend on whether the program is an accelerated program, a general program, or if the student is going part time. It will also depend on whether a person is working toward an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.
- Career Options – This training prepares students for a wide variety of careers working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and different types of outpatient centers.
- Prepares for Board Certification – This education prepares graduates to sit for board exams to earn certification.
- Provides Essential Training – AART accredited radiation therapy schools will offer the essential training for careers in radiation therapy.
- Above Average Salaries – According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2020 for radiation therapists was approximately $86,800 per year. This averages over $41 per hour.
- Good Job Growth – The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the need for radiation therapists to grow 9 percent from 2020 through 2030.
- Quicker Completion Time – When completely a program, even partially online, most students will finish more quickly than when taking traditional classes.
- Bachelor’s Degree Program Costs – Costs are highly variable from school to school. If a person is obtaining a radiation therapy degree via a Bachelor’s program this will cost approximately $9,000 to $30,000 per year, depending on several factors including if the school is public or private.
- Associate’s Degree Program Costs – Since a person must acquire at least an associate’s degree, it is necessary to include yearly costs at a university in the overall price. Receiving an associate’s degree in radiation therapy will normally include taking an average of 70 to 80 credits. If a school charges $500 per credit, this would come to approximately $40,000 for an associate’s degree.
- Certification Costs – After receiving an associate or bachelor’s degree, an individual will need to apply to receive certification in radiation therapy. At the College of DuPage in Illinois, it takes 39 credits to receive radiation therapy certification at a cost of approximately $11,000. ARRT application fees for registration and certification cost approximately $200.
Scholarships – There are several scholarships available for individuals to earn both degrees in radiation therapy and specialized certifications. Scholarships might come from industry groups such as the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. Pell Grants, FAFSA, and Federal Direct Student Loans can also provide financial support for radiation therapy students. Sometimes the radiation therapy schools will offer student scholarships.