Jobs in Radiology

Radiation Oncology: Job Description and Salary

Many of us have had to deal with different forms of cancer, whether personally or in the life of a family member, loved one, or friend.

In the medical field, research and scientific studies continue to be carried out in an attempt to increase our understanding of the various types of cancer, as well as improve our ability to combat its effects.

Radiation oncology is one of the treatment techniques used today to eradicate specific cancers in the body.

The Job of Radiation Oncologists

Radiation oncologists’ duties will include the analysis and confirmation of cancer-related diagnoses from a physician or diagnostic radiologist. They are part of the process of determining the results of an imaging examination performed on a patient.

Radiation oncologists also must figure out the best treatment or therapy to recommend to a patient with cancer. This treatment will attempt to eradicate the cancerous cells in the patient’s body, but maintain the healthy state of the other cells around the cancerous area.

Using advanced imaging techniques and three-dimensional equipment, radiation oncologists determine where cancerous tumors and cells are located, and then map out a treatment strategy that will minimize the risks of radiation.

Radiation Treatment Strategies

One example of radiation treatments is stereotactic radiosurgery, a minimally invasive procedure that locates specific areas of the body through high-powered X-rays. This technique then performs actions such as lesions, biopsies, injections, implantation, and other procedures.

Radiation therapy can also be combined with chemotherapy, another form of treatment which uses chemical agents to eliminate cancer in the body.

Radiation oncologists have the serious responsibility of discussing with the patient the extent of the cancer in his or her body, and then going over treatment plans and strategies that will have to be undertaken, as well as how much drugs or radiation the patient will have to undergo.

Radiation Oncology: Job Description and Salary -

It is a must for radiation oncologists to have very strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to calmly and clearly discuss medical conditions and treatments with patients, provide motivation and leadership, share encouragement, and give emotional support.

Training to Become a Radiation Oncologist

Training to become a radiation oncologist starts with a bachelor’s degree in a medical or science-related field of study.

Applying to medical school is the next step, which is another four years, followed by a 12-month internship and four years of resident training. Residency is particularly important because students will learn and master both clinical and radiation oncology.

In the United States, radiation oncologists seek certification from the American Board of Radiology, and are licensed after passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

Expected Salary

As with most careers related to radiology, the average salary for a radiation oncologist is generally higher compared to other peers in the medical field due to the demand for medical professionals who are skilled in the different areas of radiology. In 2010, the average annual salary for a radiation oncologist stood at $151,000.

Employment opportunities are also abundant, with a 22 percent increase between 2002-2018 projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the population ages and requires radiation treatments.

Jobs in Radiology

Radiology Jobs: Where to Apply for a Career in Radiology

Despite the many challenges facing the medical industry in general, it is no surprise that health care professionals are still very much in demand today. Health care services and treatment facilities are always a necessity especially in the next few years as an aging population continues to grow.

Ever since the introduction of X-rays, MRI, CT scans, and other imaging technologies, radiology jobs have continued to be among the more stable and well-paid professions in the medical industry.

Radiology professions

Radiology Jobs: Where to Apply for a Career in RadiologyWithin the field of radiology, there are various professions you can consider pursuing, and the opportunities for each also vary. Radiologists, or those who specialize in analyzing the images and diagnosing illnesses, are among the best-paid in the medical community.

General diagnostic radiologists averaging an annual salary of $470,939. Interventional radiologists, or those who specialize in the use of radiation in the treatment of certain illnesses, particularly tumors and growths, command even higher salaries, with an average annual pay of $507,508.

Look into job options

The trade-off, of course, is that it takes many years of undergraduate and medical school, not to mention residency and fellowship training, to become a practicing radiologist. This may not be an option anymore for those who are already in the middle of a career and thinking of switching to a radiology-related profession.

Fortunately, there are other careers in radiology that are also in demand, such as that of a radiology technician. Radiology technicians assist radiologists in the examination procedures. In hospitals and clinics, the technicians are the ones who help to prepare the patients for the actual testing, and they are also trained to operate the testing equipment and analyze results.

Radiologic technologists and radiology technicians are not required to undergo the same rigorous and long medical training as radiologists. While they still go through the right training and practice, the length of the education is much shorter, with many learning institutions offering associate’s degrees and certificate programs for radiology technicians.

Two-year radiology technician course

After a two-year program, you can already be a certified radiology technician and find employment at hospitals or medical facilities. On the average, the annual salary of radiologic technicians and technologists is 54,340 per year, and the job outlook for this area of radiology is very positive, with an expected growth of 28% up to 2020.


With the advancements continually being made in technology, another interesting facet of radiology that may very well be a major force in coming years is the rise of teleradiology. There has been a recent trend among hospitals to outsource their radiology needs to contractors and companies working remotely.

Teleradiology companies and providers are sprouting up, usually staffed by recent radiology graduates who provide digital imaging analysis to hospitals and physicians remotely. These teleradiology companies first started as a response to the need for nighttime demand, but because of their cost-efficiency they are now also being used for daytime loads.

If you are considering a radiology job, you could also look into working with one of these teleradiology providers, which will allow you to work from home and have a more flexible schedule.