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Vacancy Rates Rise Slightly for Therapists

Oct 20, 2016

After a period of decline since 2012, the vacancy rate for radiation therapists increased slightly to 2.9% in 2016, according to the latest ASRT Radiation Therapy Staffing and Workplace Survey.

Vacancy rates represent the number of positions that are open and actively being recruited. The vacancy rate for radiation therapists increased marginally to 2.9%, up from 1.6% in 2014. Medical dosimetrist vacancy rates during the same period remained steady with a 3.5% rate in 2016 compared to 3.6% in 2014.

“This slight increase in vacancy rates for radiation therapy is similar to the increase we saw last year when we surveyed medical imaging professionals. However, similar to the 2015 survey, people should be cautious when interpreting this data,” said ASRT Associate Executive Director of Learning and Membership Myke Kudlas, M.Ed., R.T.(R)(QM), CIIP. “The increase is just a single data point and doesn’t necessarily indicate a trend. ASRT will conduct the survey again in 2018 to determine if rates continue to rise.”

The staffing survey also provides information about the average number of full-time radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists working in medical facilities. Results show that the average number of budgeted positions per facility in radiation therapy decreased minimally from 8.2 in 2014 to 7.3 in 2016. The average number of full-time medical dosimetrists also decreased by a small margin, from 2.5 per facility in 2014 to 2.2 in 2016.

In addition to staffing and vacancy information, ASRT asked respondents about facility and personnel demographics, equipment use and questions related to staff turnover.

The Radiation Therapy Staffing and Workplace Survey 2016 was emailed in late July 2016 to 4,854 managers of U.S. radiation therapy facilities. At the close of the survey in September 2016, a total of 565 completed questionnaires had been submitted, resulting in a response rate of 11.6%.

The ASRT conducts staffing surveys each year, alternating between medical imaging and radiation therapy practice areas, to monitor workplace and hiring trends in the radiologic sciences. The Radiation Therapy Workplace and Staffing Survey has been completed seven times since it was launched in 2005.

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