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What Does an MRI Technician Do?

If you like helping people and want to learn how to operate complex equipment, a job as an MRI technician or MRI technologist is worth considering. Here’s what the job entails: An MRI technician operates a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to create several cross-sectional images of a designated area of a patient’s body. These are combined to create a 3D image, which is used as a diagnostic tool.

The technician 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, which is used to see vascularity in masses or tumors.

MRI technicians spend a lot of time on their feet. They may work in hospitals, radiology centers or outpatient care centers. Evening, weekend and on-call work is often required.

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Median Salary $
76,000
Jobs Available
700+
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)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • 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
Education + Training

Becoming an MRI technician or technologist requires some formal postsecondary education, including an associate degree and American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) certification. MRI technician certificate programs can last from 18 to 26 months. Associate degree programs in applied science typically last two years. All students are required to complete a clinical internship of about 2,000 hours. Internship hours will vary by program, but the degree track typically requires more hours than the certificate track.

Students learn anatomy, MRI or radiation physics and physiology and take college-level general education courses. Many start out as radiologic technologists but develop specialization in MRIs.

Certified MRI technologists must maintain annual registration of their certification and fulfill 24 hours of continuing education courses every two years.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Communicate well
  • Have a knack for operating complex machinery and computers
  • Are able lift or move patients
  • Like working in a fast-paced environment
  • Are detail-oriented

MRI Technician training in your area

Coordinates

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certificate

College of Lake County
Grayslake (0.0 Miles)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certificate

Bucks County Community College
Newtown (0.0 Miles)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certificate

Harper College
Palatine (0.0 Miles)

Magentic Resonance Imaging, Diploma

Community College of Allegheny County
Pittsburgh (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technology - Magnetic Resonance Certificate

Ivy Tech Community College
Indianapolis (0.0 Miles)

Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology Certificate

Forsyth Technical Community College
Winston-Salem (0.0 Miles)

Radiologic Technology: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certificate

Parkland College
Champaign (0.0 Miles)


Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Modality Education

Montgomery County Community College
Blue Bell (0.0 Miles)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Advanced Technical Certificate

Hillsborough Community College
Tampa (0.0 Miles)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, A.A.S.

Forsyth Technical Community College
Winston-Salem (0.0 Miles)

MRI Technology, A.A.S

St. Clair County Community College
Port Huron (0.0 Miles)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Advanced Placement Diploma

Forsyth Technical Community College
Winston-Salem (0.0 Miles)

Find MRI Technician Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

MRI Technologist - Weekends w/ flexible weekdays

Massachusetts General Hospital
Waltham ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months ago

MRI Tech PRN Rotating North Central Baptist Hospital San Antonio TX

Tenet Healthcare Corporation
San Antonio ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 2 weeks ago

MRI Technologist

Martin Memorial Health Systems, Inc.
Stuart ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 3 weeks ago

MRI Technologist

HCA
Nashville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 months ago

MRI Technologist

Fairview Health Services
Princeton ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

MRI Imaging Technologist- 2nd shift FT 72 hr/pp BBC

Bronson Battle Creek
Battle Creek ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months 1 week ago

MRI Technologist - FT - Rose Hill

Frederick Memorial Healthcare System
Frederick ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 8 months 1 week ago

MRI Tech, Wesley Long

Cone Health
Greensboro ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 10 months ago
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Neil Huber, MRI technologist, founder and CEO of Pulse Radiology Education
Ask the Expert

Neil Huber was an MRI technologist for nine years before he decided to jump into another side of the business — helping radiologic technologists more easily get the training they need to advance. He started Pulse Radiology Education with that goal in mind, and the company has educated hundreds of technologists since. For him, empathy and fast-focus are the skills that helped him and that help technologists reach the next level. Find out why he thinks this is a such a great job.