How do You Become an MRI Technologist?

Whether you are just starting your college career, or you have completed a radiology program and want to increase your knowledge base and marketability, you may want to know how can you become an MRI technologist.

What Is an MRI Technician?

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technician “operates magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images,” per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Part of the radiology family of medical technology and diagnostics, an MRI technical professional works in conjunction with the radiologic technologist, also known as a radiographer.

MRI technicians are the “specialists who operate big tube-like machines that use a magnetic field and radio waves to make images of patients’ organs, tissue and bones,” notes U.S. News Money. Basically, in this career, you get the chance to work with doctors to help diagnose or verify diagnosis of conditions like strokes, aneurysms, tumors, bone injuries, spinal issues that lead to chronic back pain, heart attack damage, and much more.

What Are the Benefits of Becoming an MRI Technician?

Many radiographers who want to add dimension to their career go on to study MRI technology. This supplemental degree or certification enhances the career of a radiologic technician, increasing their earning potential by adding “MRI technician” to their resume. All the while, you do not need to adjust to a new environment and can continue working in a healthcare facility or a hospital’s radiologic department once you earn your MRI associate’s degree.

If you are just beginning your pursuit of your career goals of becoming an MRI technician, consider just a few of the following benefits, as noted by Fortis:

  • Your education will only take two years, so you can start working quickly.
  • Your career involves working with doctors and nurses to help patients who often feel frustrated and are close to losing hope by the time an MRI is ordered.
  • You still have many additional opportunities for advancement in your field.
  • The healthcare field offers job security and benefits that may include health, life and disability insurance.

How do You Become an MRI Technologist?

If you are now convinced that MRI technology is the field for you, it may help to learn what you need to do to become an MRI technician.

1. Earn Your Associate’s Degree

The most common degree level that radiologic and MRI technicians need to obtain is an associate’s degree. Your education in this field, similar to many healthcare fields, will include a combination of classroom studies, clinical and practical work, patient care, pathology, anatomy, image reading, and radiation physics and safety matters for you and your colleagues.

You will need a strong educational background in math and science–or a willingness to work hard–for success in this educational pursuit.

2. Obtain Proper Certifications

You can obtain certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). Check with your state’s medical board to learn more about specific requirements in your area.

Start Your Career in MRI Technology

Your practical clinical work, along with recommendations of clinical leaders and educators, will help you toward landing your first job in radiology or as an MRI technologist where you can learn and grow in your field.

See also: Top 10 Best Online Health Science Degree Programs