Healthcare MRI Technician
Salary Range Jobs Available
$61,700 - $101,200 3,400+

MRI Tech: Job Description & Career Information

If you like helping people and the challenge of mastering complex medical equipment, consider a job as an MRI technician.

What does an MRI technician do?

An MRI tech operates a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to create several cross-sectional images of an area of a patient’s body. These are combined to create a 3D image, which is used as a diagnostic tool.

The technician, also called an MRI technologist, explains the procedure and places the patient in a specific position. For some scans, the technician administers a contrast dye intravenously to improve the quality of the image. (The dye is used to see vascularity in masses or tumors.)

Be warned that MRI technicians spend a lot of time on their feet. But with a good pair of shoes, a willingness to learn and strong communication skills, you can find yourself in an in-demand, well-paying medical career.

How much do MRI techs make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average MRI tech in the U.S. makes $65,140 annually. However, the wage range is fairly broad, with the 10th percentile making $47,760 and more experienced MRI techs making closer to $97,940 per year. MRI tech salary variables include experience, skill level and other achievements, such as certifications.

MRI technicians prepare a patient for a scan
MRI technicians thrive in a fast-paced environment, working with patients to ensure their scans go smoothly and communicating constantly with other medical personnel. (Credit: VILevi/Shutterstock)


From maintaining communication with radiologists and other professionals with clinical experience, to paying close attention to detail during scans, an MRI specialist or technician has a variety of job responsibilities. In a typical day, an MRI tech will:

  • Consult with the radiologist
  • Calibrate and adjust equipment for each image
  • Communicate with patient to go over medical history and answer questions
  • Make sure the patient gets into and maintains the right position using immobilization or support devices
  • Prepare contrast agent and inject via IV
  • Minimize radiation exposure to patient, self and other staff
  • Monitor patient’s well-being during scan
  • Evaluate MRI scan for quality 
  • Maintain imaging equipment
  • Assist with clerical functions

Becoming an MRI Technician: FAQs

The bottom line:

If you think you would enjoy working directly with patients and want to be a part of a fast-paced medical environment, consider this career. You’ll get the satisfaction of helping doctors diagnose medical conditions while earning a good salary as an allied health professional. That's why it's one of SkillPointe's top-paying trade jobs. And we can help you find an MRI tech program or job that makes sense for your life.

Joseph Seibert, MRI tech ambassador, stands in front of an MRI machine

How I became an MRI technician

Joseph Seibert admits he had "no clue" what he wanted to do when he was a younger man. Then he learned about medical imaging technology and shadowed technicians at a local hospital.

"I was amazed with the whole process," he says. "The patient interaction and the tech's ability to calm a person who was hurt and scared, having doctors and nursing staff all working together to treat someone ... After one day, I knew I wanted to spend my life doing it."

Read more about how one visit changed his career path.

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