Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technician Certification and Degrees

Welcome to the most complete directory on the Web of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technician programs. It contains all the nationally accredited programs, from 178 schools across the country. You can scroll down to see the school listings.

Here at UltrasoundTechnicianSchools.com we have gathered all of the information you need to research and compare MRI technician schools in your area. We want to make it easy for you to begin a new career in this the medical field which is why we work closely with individual schools, to get you quick and accurate information.

How to Choose an MRI Technician School

If you are wondering how to become an MRI tech, we’ll show you how to compare your training options. Once you review the tips and information in the following sections, take a look at the ‘day in a life’ and career outlook sections to learn what these careers are really like.

Sometimes students who pursue MRI training, also look into CT scan training. CT technology uses X-rays to produce images. Although this is different from the magnetic fields MRI’s use, considering both paths can be a smart move.

Choosing the right MRI tech school is where your real journey begins. If you’re already prepared to compare your options, use the quick search options on this page to choose your state or preferred ultrasound specialization, such as MRI tech training.

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists

The first step when choosing any kind of program is checking out their credentials. In most occupations, there is a nationally-recognized accrediting body to ensure consistent standards for quality education across the states. Before you consider the curriculum of any program, check to see if it is approved by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). They are the world’s largest organization that offers credentials for radiology programs. Plus, they administer the test you will need to pass to receive your certification.

Find the Right Program Options

Many students pursue an associate degree in an allied health area, and then pursue MRI certification. However, if you are just starting your education, you can take an associate program geared towards radiology, making you eligible to take your exam upon completion of your classroom and clinical requirements.

How Long Does it Take to Become an MRI Technician?

You can expect to spend anywhere from two to four years in school, depending on the path you choose. If you already have a degree and some experience in radiology, you can probably qualify for a certification program right away. This could take one to two years to complete. If you haven’t yet completed any level of degree, you should look at pursuing an associate in radiology, and then enroll in a certification program.

Are There Online MRI Technician Program Options?

It is possible you may be able to find a blended on-campus and online program. But, since this is such a hands-on career, it’s best to learn in the classroom with face-to-face instruction. Sure, some courses might work fine in an online format, such as anatomy and physiology. But don’t expect to find 100 percent online programs – or be very skeptical if you do.

Financial Aid Options for MRI Techs

It only makes sense to round out our tips for choosing the right MRI or CT tech school with financial advice. The cost of school is an unavoidable expense, but can be well worth it, if you make smart choices.

Develop a strategy with advisors at your chosen school that will help you pay for school without acquiring too much debt. And, look for a mix of federal and private loans, as well as scholarship and grant opportunities.

You can also apply for our scholarship to help you cover tuition costs.

A Day in the Life of an MRI Technician

Most MRI technicians work in hospitals, while the rest typically work in offices of physicians, laboratories, and outpatient care centers. This job will require you to be on your feet throughout the day. While you might not need to be in competition-level form to work in this position, it helps to be in shape. You might have to physically help patients get situated before the procedure. This is especially true when you work with disabled patients.

Being an MRI tech goes beyond handling the imaging scanners. You may be required to take patient histories, analyze test results, speak with patients about their condition, and record information for physicians to review. This type of job works best for students who are detail-oriented and organized. Of course, a love of the life sciences and an innate desire to help others is vital to enjoying a career in healthcare.

Many MRI procedures can take about an hour, a long time for some patients to feel comfortable lying still in that semi-enclosed space. It will be your job to help every patient feel at ease during this experience. This can be an especially stressful time for them as they are they are in the dark about their prognosis. When you learn from experienced instructors, pay special attention when they talk about personal experiences, which can help you improve your interpersonal skills.

Salary & Job Outlook for MRI Technicians

Like most prospective students, you should discuss salary potential and job growth in your area before enrolling in any program. Why? All you have to do is look at the data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to see how these career opportunities can vary, depending on a number of factors. According to the BLS, the median salary for an MRI technician in May 2017 was $69.930.

The BLS anticipated that job growth for this field would be 13 percent between 2016-2026. This is a little faster than the national average. But, if you look at the field of healthcare overall, the future looks bright. The average growth for all healthcare occupations is expected to be 18 percent over the same period.

State Data for MRI Technicians

Your state’s employment landscape may be the biggest factor in your job outlook. Let’s look at the top five states for employment in this occupation.

The states with the highest rate of MRI technician employment and average mean wages are:

  • Florida – $63,020
  • California – $87,520
  • Texas – $70,570
  • Michigan – $61,500
  • New York – $78,930

Interestingly, a high rate of MRI tech employment doesn’t always correlate with the highest pay rates. The top five states for MRI technician average mean salaries are:

  • California – $87,520
  • Nevada – $86,260
  • Hawaii – $86,260
  • Washington – $85,820
  • Oregon – $85,010

To learn how to become a CT tech or find an MRI school, use our simple search tools to narrow your options.

More Information on MRI Technician Training and Education

Certificate Programs for MRI Technicians

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician certificate programs are not only offered through community colleges and universities, some hospitals offer training programs. If your goal is to become an MRI Technician, an Associate degree in Radiological Technology or the completion of training as a radiological technician is necessary.

Degrees are offered at the certificate, diploma and graduate levels. Coursework includes training in scanner operation, MRI procedures, imaging laws and ethics, patient care, anatomy and musculoskeletal physiology. After graduation or obtaining your certificate, to officially become a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician, you will also need to obtain a special license in most states before being allowed to practice. To obtain your license, you can take and pass the national AART exam or a state exam, either way you will be required to maintain the AART license for the duration of your career as an MRI Technician.

Associate Degree for MRI Techs

The most common route for beginning a career as a MRI tech is obtaining an associate degree in the medical field. With an associate degree as a stepping stone, you can earn an MRI technician certificate and become licensed.

A few common associate degrees that you can start with are:

  • Associate of Science in Allied Health Sciences
  • Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Associate of Science in Radiography
  • Associate of Science in Radiology Technology

Whichever associate degree you get, your basic core classes will all cover similar materials. Some of these will include: overview of the U.S. healthcare system, medical terminology, anatomy, biology, chemistry, customer care, medical law and ethics.

To ensure you are eligible for certification, choose an associate degree program that is properly accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If you are getting your associate degree in radiography or radiology, you should be in a program accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging

Earning a Bachelor of Science in medical imaging can increase your salary and qualify you for promotions. Your degree will include MRI classes along with education in other kinds of radiation imagery including x-rays, mammography and computerized tomography (CT scans). You will take basic core education courses like english, math, and sociology. The rest of your program will include coursework and lab work in each area of radiation imagery. You’ll learn how to operate the machinery and administer prescribed tests, as well as how to interpret and report the results. When you finish all of your classes, you will finish your schooling with a clinical internship. When you have completed the degree, you will be eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ national certification examination.

MRI Technician Certification

The next step is to earn your certificate in magnetic resonance imaging. When you are choosing your MRI certification program, check to make sure the institution you received your education from is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The specific program should be certified by the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT).

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