The therapeutic approach to thyroid carcinoma usually involves surgery as initial treatment. The use of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is limited to high-risk patients and depends on clinical stage and histologic type. Different behavior patterns and degrees of aggressiveness of thyroid carcinomas require different management for differentiated, medullary, and anaplastic carcinoma. However, the role of EBRT is an issue of debate. Most clinical studies are retrospective and based on single-institution experiences. In this article, we review the main literature and give recommendations for the use of EBRT in thyroid carcinoma on behalf of the "Radioterapia Metabolica" Group of the Italian Radiation Oncology Association. © 2017 Wichtig Publishing.