What Does An MRI Technologist Do? To properly diagnose some patients, doctors need a series of diagnostic tests including an MRI, which is an acronym for magnetic resonance imaging. It takes a professional who is qualified to operate the machine to perform this non-invasive procedure.
MRI Technologist duties will include:
- Injecting dye into the patient so the images will show up on the screen
- Properly using the MRI machine
- Following the doctor’s directions on where the imaging needs to be done
- Preparing the patient for the procedure. Some patients will become nervous; talk them down.
- Instructing the patient on positioning in order to get the best possible image
- Collaborating with the patient’s medical team
- Keeping records on each patient
You may be expected to work irregular hours, depending on where you’re employed. Some weekends, holidays, and evenings may be on your schedule.
How to Become a MRI Technologist
In order to be qualified to work as an MRI technologist, you’ll need to have a degree and the appropriate certifications and licensing.
- Get your high school diploma or GED.
- Enroll in a MRI program through a community college or technical school. Make sure it’s accredited through the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists, because in many states, this is the only way you can become licensed and certified.
- Take the courses; both classroom and on-the-job training will be required.
- Get your certification or associate’s degree. There are also bachelor’s degree programs.
- Not all states need you to be licensed, so check with yours now so you know what to expect.
- One thing to note is that most employers want their candidates to have that certification, even if your state doesn’t require it of you.
Salary and Job Outlook
Once you’ve gotten your first job as an MRI tech, you can expect to start out with a salary of over $46K. Within a couple years, you’ll start earning the median, $69K. After you’ve worked about five years, you’ll join the top 10 percent of your colleagues who earn a median of over $97K. Outpatient care facilities pay the most, on average. Physicians’ offices offer the lowest pay.
Faster than average employment growth is predicted for the career of MRI technology. Five thousand new jobs will be available through 2026. To make yourself the most competitive for the position, graduate from an accredited program and get those certifications and licenses, even if your state doesn’t require it.