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Become A MRI Technologist

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Working As A MRI Technologist

  • 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

  • $50,000

    Average Salary

What Does A MRI Technologist 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 MRI Technologist

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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MRI Technologist Jobs

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MRI Technologist Career Paths

MRI Technologist
Application Specialist Project Manager General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
PRN Nurse Manager Medical Director
Chief Medical Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Travel Technologist Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Director Of Nuclear Medicine
8 Yearsyrs
Clinical Education Specialist Adjunct Faculty Psychotherapist
Health Unit Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Radiology Manager Director Of Radiology
Imaging Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Technologist Lead Technician Technical Supervisor
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Technologist Mammography Technician CT Technologist
Lead CT Technologist
7 Yearsyrs
Lead MRI Technologist
8 Yearsyrs
MRI Chief Technologist
7 Yearsyrs
MRI Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
Radiology Manager CT Technologist
Manager Of Imaging
9 Yearsyrs
Staff Technologist Clinical Instructor Assistant Professor
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Facilities Manager Case Manager Patient Care Manager
Medical Manager
6 Yearsyrs
PRN Registered Nurse Case Manager Nursing Director
Patient Relations Director
10 Yearsyrs
Application Specialist Business Analyst Business Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
PRN MRI Technician CT Technologist Radiology Supervisor
Radiology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Security Officer Case Manager
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Property Manager Home Health Aid
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Facilities Manager Registered Nurse PRN
Rehab Director
6 Yearsyrs
Chief Technologist Maintenance Technician Controls Technician
Senior Radiologic Technologist
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a MRI Technologist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
MRI Technologist 5.0 years
CT Technologist 4.9 years
MRI Supervisor 4.8 years
PRN MRI Technician 2.2 years
Top Careers Before MRI Technologist
Internship 2.5%
Supervisor 1.5%
Top Careers After MRI Technologist
Manager 2.2%
PRN 1.4%
Supervisor 1.3%

Do you work as a MRI Technologist?

MRI Technologist Demographics

Gender

Female

54.5%

Male

43.7%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.4%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

9.1%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.3%

Hindi

5.5%

Russian

5.5%

French

4.7%

Arabic

3.9%

Chinese

3.1%

Mandarin

2.4%

Ukrainian

2.4%

Tagalog

2.4%

Portuguese

2.4%

Polish

2.4%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Gujarati

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Romanian

0.8%

Sanskrit

0.8%

Bosnian

0.8%

Armenian

0.8%
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MRI Technologist Education

Schools

Casa Loma College - Van Nuys

8.0%

West Coast Ultrasound Institute

7.6%

Quinnipiac University

6.3%

Weber State University

6.3%

University of Pennsylvania

6.0%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

6.0%

Thomas Jefferson University

5.3%

Midwestern State University

5.0%

Ferris State University

4.7%

Forsyth Technical Community College

4.7%

Emory University

4.7%

Community College of Rhode Island

4.7%

Greenville Technical College

4.3%

Keiser University

4.3%

Triton College

4.0%

Ottawa University

4.0%

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

3.7%

University of South Alabama

3.7%

Northeastern University

3.7%

Prince George's Community College

3.3%
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Majors

Medical Technician

53.6%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

13.5%

Business

6.0%

Military Technology

5.7%

Health Sciences And Services

3.2%

Clinical Psychology

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Education

2.0%

Management

1.7%

Biology

1.2%

Military Applied Sciences

1.0%

Medicine

0.9%

General Studies

0.9%

Liberal Arts

0.8%

Nursing

0.8%

Medical Assisting Services

0.8%

Public Health

0.7%

Psychology

0.7%

Hospitality Management

0.7%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

0.7%
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Degrees

Associate

29.2%

Bachelors

24.6%

Other

20.5%

Certificate

15.9%

Masters

6.3%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.3%
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Real MRI Technologist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
MRI Technologist Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Philadelphia, PA Oct 11, 2015 $69,075
MRI Technologist Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Philadelphia, PA Oct 11, 2012 $64,459
MRI Technician Ross Orthopedic Group PC Mineola, NY Apr 08, 2012 $62,610
MRI Technologist University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Jan 01, 2016 $55,872

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Top Skills for A MRI Technologist

  1. Patient Care
  2. Exam Rooms
  3. MRI
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided quality patient care services by explaining procedures to patients to reduce anxiety and obtain patient cooperation.
  • Escorted patients to and from exam rooms and ensured patients were properly prepared for the exam to be performed.
  • Developed and enhanced MRI imaging protocols.
  • Established and maintained effective communication with coworkers, radiologists, company leadership and support staff at clinical sites.
  • Performed Radiography, Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in US Naval Hospitals.

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Top MRI Technologist Employers

Jobs From Top MRI Technologist Employers

MRI Technologist Videos

A Day in the Life - Radiological Technician

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Radiology Technician: Career Training & Salary Overview

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