How to Become an MRI Technician

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technicians are specialized Radiologic Technicians that handle sophisticated medical equipment in order to create images of a patient’s body.

The images are formed by radio frequencies and magnetic fields and show detailed structure of a patient’s body tissues.

These special images help Physicians diagnose or rule out potential health problems.

MRI Technicians help run the heavy equipment and handle the imaging procedures.

They are skilled in not only running the scans, but helping patients overcome the MRI procedure because the process can be an uncomfortable experience for some.

Patients have to remain still in an enclosed space for the duration of the scan while the machine makes some unforgettable sounds and noises.

Patients who are claustrophobic may also have a hard time getting through the process as some MRI machines confine people in into a very small are.

An experienced MRI Technician will need to get the procedure done in a reasonable amount of time and be able to coach the patient throughout the scan.

These professionals can work out of clinics, hospitals or diagnostic labs and are trained to handle the sophisticated equipment.

Education Requirements to Become an MRI Technician

People who are looking into a possible career in the medical field and looking for ways on how to become an MRI Technician need to look into continuing their education.

Candidates need at least two years of continued education with a focus on Radiology.

Some trade schools and community colleges offer an MRI Technology curriculum where candidates who want to become an MRI Technician can work towards certification or an Associate’s degree.

In an MRI Associate’s Degree Program, students will learn a variety of information regarding medical topics such as Pathology and Anatomy.

In addition, they will learn the basics needed in order to perform their job as an MRI Technician.

They will take classes that teach them about patient care and MRI procedures and use.

MRI Technology Programs are also a great choice because they provide people who want to become an MRI Technician with necessary real life training.

This hands-on experience will teach candidates what it is like to be an MRI Technician in which they will work with patients and learn how to use the sophisticated equipment.

In addition to completing an MRI Technology program, candidates will need to seek licensure in order to become an MRI Technician.

This requirement however, does vary by state.

In the states that enforce certification, candidates are able to take a certification exam accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

Visit: American Registry of Radiologic Technologists for specific information.

MRI Technician Job Description

MRI Technicians must have solid communication skills in order to follow instructions from Physicians and relay procedures to patients.

The following are common procedures and tasks an MRI Technician follows and performs:

  • Instruct patients regarding where to lie on MRI stretcher
  • Communicate procedure to patients and provide instructions for them
  • Use MRI scanner in order to perform procedure and take images of patients body
  • Record information such as diagnostic images gathered from the MRI scan
  • Physically move equipment or patients if needed in order to position everything correctly

MRI Technicians use sophisticated equipment in order to scan 3D images of a patient’s body and internal organs.

They are not only trained in operating MRI equipment and documenting the results, they provide coaching for patients who are claustrophobic or anxious about going through the procedure.

They use their communication skills in order to inform the patient about the procedure and give specific instructions on where to lie down on the equipment.

MRI Technician Salary and Career Path

The outlook for any career in the medical field is considered to be strong throughout the next decade.

The demand for MRI Technicians is expected to be even higher because of the improvements in technology.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the increase in job openings for MRI Technicians will increase by 17% in the coming decade.

MRI machines are also undergoing a decrease in cost making them more affordable for private firms.

This decrease in cost will result in a hiring increase for the MRI Technicians that run them.

In addition, the demand for MRI Technicians is expected to grow because of the increase in the aging population who require more medical attention.

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