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Become A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician

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Working As A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $55,916

    Average Salary

What Does A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician Do

Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images. 

Duties

Radiologic and MRI technologists typically do the following:

  • Adjust and maintain imaging equipment
  • Precisely follow orders from physicians on what areas of the body to image
  • Prepare patients for procedures, including taking a medical history and answering questions about the procedure
  • Protect the patient by shielding exposed areas that do not need to be imaged
  • Position the patient and the equipment in order to get the correct image
  • Operate the computerized equipment to take the images
  • Work with physicians to evaluate the images and to determine whether additional images need to be taken
  • Keep detailed patient records

Healthcare professionals use many types of equipment to diagnose patients. Radiologic technologists specialize in x-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging. Some radiologic technologists prepare a mixture for the patient to drink that allows soft tissue to be viewed on the images that the radiologist reviews.

Radiologic technologists might also specialize in mammography. Mammographers use low-dose x-ray systems to produce images of the breast. Technologists may be certified in multiple specialties.

MRI technologists specialize in magnetic resonance imaging scanners. They inject patients with contrast dyes so that the images will show up on the scanner. The scanners use magnetic fields in combination with the contrast agent to produce images that a physician can use to diagnose medical problems.

Healthcare professionals who specialize in other diagnostic equipment include nuclear medicine technologists and diagnostic medical sonographers, and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists.

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How To Become A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician

Radiologic technologists and MRI technologists typically need an associate’s degree. Many MRI technologists start out as radiologic technologists and specialize later in their career. Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Employers typically require or prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state does not require it.

Education

An associate’s degree is the most common educational requirement for radiologic and MRI technologists. There also are postsecondary education programs that lead to graduate certificates or bachelor’s degrees. Education programs typically include both classroom study and clinical work. Coursework includes anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) accredits programs in radiography. Completing an accredited program is required for licensure in some states.

High school students who are interested in radiologic or MRI technology should take courses that focus on math and science, such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and physics. 

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

MRI technologists typically have less than 5 years of work experience as radiologic technologists.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Requirements vary by state.

To become licensed, technologists must usually graduate from an accredited program, and pass a certification exam from the state or obtain a certification from a certifying body. Certifications for radiologic technologists are available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certifications for MRI technologists are available from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). For specific licensure requirements for radiologic technologists and MRI technologists, contact the state’s health board.

Employers typically require or prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state does not require it.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Radiologic and MRI technologists must follow exact instructions to get the images needed for diagnoses.

Interpersonal skills. Radiologic and MRI technologists work closely with patients who may be in extreme pain or mentally stressed. Technologists must be able to put the patient at ease to get usable images.

Math skills. Radiologic and MRI technologists may need to calculate and mix the right doses of chemicals used in imaging procedures.

Physical stamina. Radiologic and MRI technologists often work on their feet for long periods during their shift and they must be able to lift and move patients who need assistance.

Technical skills. Radiologic and MRI technologists must understand how to operate complex machinery.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician Typical Career Paths

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Do you work as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

50.4%

Female

44.3%

Unknown

5.3%
Ethnicity

White

57.0%

Hispanic or Latino

16.7%

Asian

12.2%

Black or African American

10.8%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.5%

Russian

25.0%

Polish

12.5%

Cantonese

12.5%

Ukrainian

12.5%
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician Education

Schools

Greenville Technical College

8.6%

Triton College

8.6%

West Coast Ultrasound Institute

8.6%

Widener University

8.6%

Cuyahoga Community College

5.7%

Webster University

5.7%

Weber State University

5.7%

Thomas Edison State University

5.7%

Cardinal Stritch University

5.7%

Grand Valley State University

5.7%

Baptist Health System School of Health Professions

5.7%

Cox College

2.9%

Rose State College

2.9%

Hagerstown Community College

2.9%

Community College of the Air Force

2.9%

St. Vincent's Medical Center

2.9%

Thomas Jefferson University

2.9%

Morehead State University

2.9%

Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science

2.9%

University of Nevada - Reno

2.9%
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Majors

Medical Technician

45.7%

Business

9.6%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

7.4%

Health Sciences And Services

5.3%

Education

5.3%

Military Technology

3.2%

Accounting

3.2%

Nursing Assistants

2.1%

Medicine

2.1%

Biology

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.1%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

Chemistry

2.1%

Science, Technology, And Society

1.1%

Management

1.1%

Drafting And Design

1.1%

Public Health

1.1%

Computer Information Systems

1.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.1%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

23.4%

Other

21.6%

Certificate

18.9%

Associate

18.9%

Masters

13.5%

Doctorate

2.7%

License

0.9%
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Top Skills for A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician

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  1. Magnetic Resonance
  2. Tesla
  3. Pacs
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed routine magnetic resonance procedures on trauma and other emergent status patients.
  • Job Duties Include: performing diagnostic imaging on a Siemens Espree and Symphony1.5 Tesla Magnets.
  • Performed PACS & superuser duties.
  • Perform operation of a 1.5 Tesla GE Signa Magnet, for all routine clinic exams.
  • Practiced quality patient care and compassion, ability to adjust to responsibilities and preparation for exams based on age-specific needs.

How Would You Rate Working As a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician?

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Top Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician Employers

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician Videos

Medical Careers : How to Become an MRI Technician

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Explained

Radiology Technician: Career Training & Salary Overview

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