Dosimetrists are medical professionals who are knowledgeable in the dosing procedures for radiation treatments. This career path requires either on-the-job training or a bachelor's or master's degree in dosimetry.
Dosimetrists are medical professionals who calculate the dosage used in radiation treatments. Becoming a medical dosimetrist requires a formal education or on-the-job training, along with professional certification. Read on to learn more about the career of a dosimetrist.
|Required Education||Variable; on-the-job training or completion of a bachelor's degree, master's degree or graduate certificate program in radiation therapy|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||9% (for radiation therapists)|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2018)*||$82,330 (for radiation therapists)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dosimetrists are knowledgeable in dosing procedures for radiation treatments. Using computers and other technologies, they deliver treatments that were prescribed by radiation oncologists, in a way that is considerate of a patient's welfare. These treatment plans take many factors into account, including the size and location of a tumor. Dosimetrists might use imaging technologies, such as computerized tomography or medical resonance imaging, to locate the tumor and determine the best way to deliver treatment.
The AAMD indicates that dosimetrists need good math skills for dosing calculations and an understanding of safety regulations associated with radiation. Similar to other medical professionals, dosimetrists need to be comfortable working with patients and explaining procedures to them. Some dosimetrists supervise support staff as they prepare patients to undergo a procedure.
According to PayScale.com, in August 2019, most dosimetrists earned a salary (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay) between $86,079 and $107,950 annually. Dosimetrists who worked in large hospitals had the potential to earn more than their counterparts in smaller hospitals and private practices.
Medical dosimetry programs are offered at the bachelor's, master's and certificate levels. Some programs require applicants to be certified radiation therapists or to have healthcare experience. Master's and graduate certificate programs require an undergraduate degree in radiation therapy, although a related major with coursework in physics, biology and calculus might be accepted. Individuals also can become dosimetrists through on-the-job training.
Dosimetry programs include courses in radiation oncology, radiation therapy physics, cross-sectional anatomy and medical imaging. The capstone requirement of many programs is supervised clinical experience, where students gain experience with radiation equipment and procedures.
The Medical Dosimetrists Certification Board offers a Certified Medical Dosimetrist credential. Applicants must meet educational or experience requirements and pass a certifying exam. Once an individual is certified, he or she must meet continuing education standards to maintain and renew his or her credential.
Dosimetrists are medical professionals who calculate and handle the dosages for radiation treatments. Medical dosimetry programs can be taken at the bachelor's, master's and certificate levels. Individuals with the proper education will be able to work in large hospitals to private practices.