Facts about Radiation Oncologist Jobs

Radiation oncologist jobs are some of the most prestigious in the medical industry. Radiation oncologists are typically highly sought after in the industry and have good job security. Here is what is involved with being a radiation oncologist and what you can expect to get out of the job.

Becoming a Radiation Oncologist

The road to becoming a radiation oncologist involves a great deal of education and patience. You will first have to start out by obtaining a bachelors degree in college. After college, many people decide to volunteer in a hospital or some other medical facility. This will give them a good understanding of how the medical industry works before they go into medical school. From there, you will need to attend an accredited medical school. Medical school should take you four years to complete. You will then need to complete an internship that takes an additional year. At that point, you will undergo a residency graduate education process that takes another four years. 

Basic Tasks

Radiation oncologists will spend a majority of their time treating tumors and cancer. Radiation oncologists will consult with other doctors in order to determine a correct diagnosis for their patients. They will frequently have to examine x-rays and other forms of medical imaging in order to determine a patient's condition. From there, they will come up with a plan of treatment. Radiation oncologists have to be able to convey this information directly to their patients and consult with them about their options. This can require a very delicate touch when conveying news that can change their patient's lives. After the patients have been consulted, they will begin a regimen of treatment. This can involve radiation and other methods of nuclear medicine. It will often be a long battle for them and their patients. Radiation oncologists will then monitor and track the progress of their patients as well as adjust the treatments as necessary.

Work Schedule

Radiation oncologists will typically have a very hectic work schedule. They tend to be very in demand and could potentially take on a number of different cases at once. While they might try to adhere to a normal 40 hour work schedule, this often is not enough time to complete their necessary tasks. They might have to consult with patients at odd hours in order to assist them properly.


The median salary for a radiation oncologist is approximately $385,000 per year. As you gain more experience in this industry, your salary could rise to as much as $800,000 per year.

Opportunities for Advancement

The position of radiation oncologist is a very specialized one. Therefore, most people set out with the ultimate goal to achieve this position. However, radiation oncologists can eventually move into larger roles in their industry. Some radiation oncologists choose to get into hospital administrator positions at some point. Others devote much of their time to cancer research and learning about new technologies. Other radiation oncologists get involved in consulting as well.