Radiation oncology is a specialised field of medicine that is an important part of cancer treatment and management. Radiation oncologists treat cancer patients with a specific application of ionising radiation, typically as part of a broader, comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment plan, according to the Washington University School of Medicine. Radiation oncologists are highly educated, highly trained professionals who are typically well compensated for their services.
Radiation oncologists may expect to earn higher salaries as they gain experience. According to AlliedPhysicians.com, as of June 2006, a radiation oncologist may expect to earn an average of approximately £156,650 per year during her first two years on the job. Radiation oncologists with three or more years experience averaged approximately £250,250 per year.
The average radiation oncologist worked an average of 58.5 hours per week during 2009, according to Washington University School of Medicine. In return for their service these medical professionals earned a mean salary of approximately £213,005. The median salary for radiation oncologists during the same time frame was approximately median salary £195,000.
Radiation oncology training requires at least five years of clinical training and education beyond medical school. The first year typically involves clinical training at an accredited program that focuses on paediatrics, internal medicine, surgery or family practice. This year is followed by four more years in a radiation oncology residency program, according to the Washington University School of Medicine. Upon completion of the fellowship a radiation oncologist may expect to average earning between £232,050 and £301,140 per year as of 2008, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The growth rate in job opportunities for physicians and surgeons, including radiation oncologists, is expected to expand by 22 per cent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects particularly good opportunities for physicians in speciality fields such as radiology due to the increased risk of cancer in elderly people who make up an increasing percentage of the U.S. population.
Salary accounts for approximately 76 per cent of an oncologist's total compensation. The remaining 24 per cent is typically made up of employer contributions to government and private retirement programs, paid time off, cash bonuses and employer contributions to health and life insurance policies.