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Radiation TherapistAlternative titles

Kaihaumanu Pūhihi

This job is sometimes referred to as:

Therapist (Radiation)

Radiation therapists are part of a team that uses radiation equipment to treat diseases, mostly cancers, in patients.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733

What are the chances of getting a job?


Chances of getting work as a radiation therapist are good due to a shortage of people in the role.

There are 250 qualified radiation therapists in New Zealand, but more are needed.  

Because of this, medical radiation therapist appears on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list, which means the Government is actively encouraging skilled radiation therapists from overseas to work in New Zealand.

Demand for medical radiation therapists expected to keep growing

Demand for medical radiation therapists is likely to increase because:

  • only about 30 radiation therapy students a year are accepted for training
  • many radiation therapists leave New Zealand to get experience overseas
  • about 10,000 New Zealanders need radiation therapy for cancer each year. As the population grows and ages, the number of people needing treatment will increase

Most medical radiation therapists work for public hospitals

Most medical radiation therapists work in the oncology (cancer) departments of the six public hospitals offering radiation treatment. Others work at two private cancer treatment centres in Auckland and Christchurch.


  • Coleman, K, director and head of radiation therapy department, University of Otago – Wellington, Careers New Zealand interview, November 2013.
  • De Ridder, J, team leader, radiation therapy, Capital and Coast District Health Board, Careers New Zealand interview, January 2012.
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Long-term Skill Shortage List', accessed November 2013, (www.immigration.govt.nz).

Current vacancies

Clinical Nurse Specialist | Radiation Oncology Listed: 09 Oct 2014 Auckland
Radiation Therapist Listed: 24 Sep 2014 Wellington

Other vacancy websites

Progression and specialisations

Radiation therapists can progress into management roles or teach in a hospital or university. Many radiation therapists work in hospitals overseas to gain further experience.

Radiation therapists may also move into roles working in sales and marketing of radiation equipment and cancer drugs, or developing new radiation technology.

Radiation therapists can specialise in:

  • treatment planning
  • simulation/CT scanning
  • giving treatments
  • clinical education and research.

How many people are doing this job?

Year 2012
Source: Medical Radiation Technologists Board.

Fliss Redfern looks at a computer generated image of a patient's body.

Demand for radiation therapists is likely to increase

Updated 16 Dec 2013