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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 average, and are better if you are prepared to be flexible about where you work.

 Demand for radiation therapists is reasonable 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, and as the population grows and ages, the number of people needing treatment will increase.

Most radiation therapists work for public hospitals

Most radiation therapists work in the oncology (cancer) departments of the six public hospitals offering radiation treatment in:

  • Auckland
  • Hamilton
  • Palmerston North
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin

Others work at the three private cancer treatment centres in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch.


  • Coleman, K, director and head of radiation therapy department, University of Otago – Wellington, Careers New Zealand interview, October 2014.

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
  • CT scanning
  • treatment delivery
  • clinical education and research.

How many people are doing this job?

Year 2012
Source: Medical Radiation Technologists Board.

A computer image of a scan of a patient.

Radiation therapists only work in certain locations in the country (Photo: University of Otago).

A patient's head prepared for scanning

Chances of getting work are best if you are flexible about location (Photo: University of Otago).

Two radiation therapists looking at a computer image of a person's head.

About 30 radiation therapists are trained each year (Photo: University of Otago).

Updated 30 Oct 2014