Medical dosimetrists are experts in the effects of radiation therapy for treating cancer. It is their job to choose the correct dose of radiation to treat each individual patient in ways that minimize the impact on vital organ function. This career usually requires an associate or bachelor's degree. Many states require dosimetrists and other radiation therapists to be certified and licensed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
National Average Pay
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiation therapists, including dosimetrists, earned an average income of $80,410 as of 2012. However, a 2010 salary survey conducted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) found that dosimetrists tended to earn a higher average income than most types of radiation therapists, with an average annual salary of $95,279. The ASRT salary survey also revealed that, on average, dosimetrists can expect to work for between 16 and 20 years before they start earning $95,000 or more.
Pay by State
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, earnings for dosimetrists tend to be highest in the west and northeast. As of 2010, the ASRT reported that medical dosimetrists working in Idaho reported the highest average income at $148,700 per year. Other high-paying states for this occupation included New Mexico at $134,160, California at $121,295 and Washington at $116,296. Massachusetts reported the lowest average salary at $40,560.
Pay by Experience and Education
According to the ASRT, the average starting pay for dosimetrists was $54,528 as of 2010. After 20 years of experience in the field, average pay rose to $101,976 per year. Those who held a high school diploma and post-secondary certificate averaged $87,391 per year. Dosimetrists with an associate's degree earned an average salary of $94,616; those with a bachelor's degree earned an average salary of $98,003.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects dosimetrists and radiation therapists to experience a generally positive employment outlook through at least 2020. While this is a relatively small field, the need for trained dosimetrists is growing in line with the large aging population in the U.S. The American Association of Medical Dosimetrists reports that the job outlook for aspiring dosimetrists is strong.