Because of the common industry they’re affiliated, radiation therapists and diagnostic medical sonographers aren’t viewed quite differently by people in terms of functions. However, their contrasting functions are already evident in their very job titles. As radiation therapists, they are primarily focused on performing treatment procedures while ultrasound technicians are essentially concerned with assessment of medical conditions. Besides their job descriptions, these two medical specialists differ in other aspects, particularly in terms of educational requisites, salary rates, and job outlook.
The main job of radiation therapists is to facilitate and conduct radiation treatments to patients suffering from a particular disease, mostly cancer. Since they provide direct care to patients, radiation therapists often perform their duties at hospitals. There are also cancer treatment facilities that employ a significant number of radiation specialists.
In 2010, people in this profession receive a median annual salary totaling to $74,980. At an hourly rate, they earn approximately $36.05. In addition, the future of radiation therapists looks very promising as with a projected outlook of 20% from 2010-2020. Along with the rise of patients seeking radiation therapy, the industry can reasonably expect more medical institutions to seek the expertise of radiation therapists.
Meanwhile, diagnostic medical sonographers are mainly tasked to assess and diagnose various health problems. They’ve been specifically trained in the use of special imaging tools that utilize sound waves to determine and identify medical conditions. In more common terms, sonographers are specialists who conduct sonogram, echocardiogram, and/or ultrasound to patients.
Between 2010 and 2020, employment of sonography technicians is expected to grow by 44%. This foreseen employment growth is attributed to the evolution of ultrasound technology into the most preferred diagnostic methods in many cases. More clients and doctors recommend less or non-invasive procedures.
The similarities between a radiation therapist and diagnostic medical sonographer generally lie on their entry-level education. Both require an associate’s degree to get enter their respective occupations. Radiation therapists will have to completely undergo formal training. Getting a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in radiation therapy is easier now since most training programs lead to them. Meanwhile, sonographers will have to receive formal ultrasound education, either an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. They’re often asked by employers or hiring companies for a professional certification.
In conclusion, radiation therapists and diagnostic medical sonographers differ primarily in terms of roles. And though they’re both required the same entry-level education and even bound to similar working environments, radiation therapists and ultrasound technicians are set to earn different income rates.