Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technician Careers and Degrees

(found programs from 33 schools)

A degree in MRI technology could be your ticket to an exciting new medical career! Here at UltrasoundTechnicianSchools.com, we have all the information you need to find out if this is the right career path for you. Let us help you get started!

MRI Technician Training in California

There are several educational avenues you can follow to get a thorough education in MRI technology. Perhaps the most popular choice is a certificate program, which are often offered by community colleges, technical colleges, and hospital-based schools. A certificate can generally be completed in one year or less. An associate degree is another common choice and takes most students two years to complete.

In order to succeed in this field, it's important to cultivate a thorough understanding of MRI techniques, human anatomy, and human physiology. To that end, you take theoretical courses like radiation physics and protection, radiographic principles, and radiographic equipment. In addition, most programs require core science courses like Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, and Chemistry.

You should expect to spend several hundred hours getting hands-on experience. Your school will likely want you to be completely comfortable working with MRI technology and patients before you graduate. Throughout each semester, plan on completing clinical hours. The majority of your clinical hours should be completed in your final semester.

MRI Technician Licensing/Certifications in California

Since doctors and other medical professionals will rely on your medical imaging skills to diagnose, treat, and monitor disease, most states require MRI technicians to pursue licensure before starting their career. In California, you must be licensed by the Radiologic Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health.

The first step to getting your license is applying to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists exam. Once the Radiologic Health Branch receives proof that you have passed this exam, you can get your license. Your license is good for two years, and you must renew it by the end of each two-year period to keep it valid. To be eligible for renewal, you must meet continuing education requirements. California requires MRI technicians to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years; four of these hours must be in digital radiography.

Career and Employment Information for MRI Techs in California

Starting your career as an MRI technician will be the exciting culmination of all the hard work you will put into your degree! It's important to complete your licensure requirements before working as an MRI technician, although many employers will still hire you if they know you are in the process of obtaining your license. You may find job listings at hospitals, since hospitals tend to have medical imaging departments that are staffed around-the-clock. These positions may require night or weekend hours. Standalone medical imaging center jobs may be harder to find, since they often offer more conventional Monday—Friday hours. In California, some of the largest MRI technician employers are Antelope Valley Hospital, Imaging Partners of Orange County, and RadNet Management.

The salary you earn as an MRI technician depends on several factors, including your experience  and educational levels. Career One Stop reports that the average salary for an MRI technician in California is $43,700 per year. They anticipate a 24 percent increase in demand going forward. The demand may increase more quickly however, as researchers find new uses for MRI technology. Karger, which covers stereotactic and functional neurosurgery, reported in 2018 on the positive results of a study in which 133 brain cancer patients were treated using MRI-Guided Interstitial Laser Ablation.

This field goes through regular technology changes and legislative changes, so it's important to continuously improve your education and work on your professional development. You can meet your professional goals by taking advantage of services offered by the California Society of Radiologic Technologists.

Featured Online Schools:

Online programs may not be available in all areas

Traditional On Campus Programs:


American Career College (Long Beach, CA / Los Angeles, CA / Lynwood, CA / Ontario, CA / Orange County, CA)
Programs Offered:
Dental Assisting
Medical Assistant
Medical Billing and Coding
Optical Technician
Vocational Nursing
Vocational Nursing

Ashford University Online (San Diego, CA)
Programs Offered:
BA Complementary and Alternative Health
BA Gerontology
BA Health and Human Services
BA Health and Wellness
BA Health Care Administration
BA Health Education
BS Health Information Management

ATI College (Norwalk, CA / Santa Ana, CA)
Programs Offered:
Completion Certificate in Ultrasound Technology
Brightwood College (North Hollywood, CA / Palm Springs, CA)
Programs Offered:
Dental Assistant - Diploma
Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography - Associate (North Hollywood)
Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Diploma (North Hollywood)
Diagnostic Vascular Sonography - Certificate (North Hollywood)
Medical Assistant - Diploma
Radiologic Technology - Diploma (North Hollywood)
X-Ray Technician/Medical Assistant Back Office Diploma Program

California College-San Diego (National City - Satellite of CCSD, CA)
Programs Offered:
Respiratory Therapy (AS) - National City Campus
Respiratory Therapy (BS) - National City Campus

Casa Loma College (Van Nuys, CA)
Programs Offered:
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate
Central California School (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Programs Offered:
Accredited Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Program
Accredited Diagnostic Medical Vascular Ultrasound Program
Accredited Diagnostic Radiologic Technology Program
Accredited X-Ray Technician Program
Accredited X-Ray Technician/Medical Assistant Program

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (Los Angeles, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Radiography
Cypress College (Cypress, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate

Everest College (Reseda, CA)
Programs Offered:
Surgical Technologist
Foothill College (Los Altos Hills, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology
Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Certificate of Achievement in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

(San Jose, CA)
Programs Offered:
Certificate in MRI Technology
Ultrasound Technologist Program

Laurus College (Atascadero, CA / Oxnard, CA / San Luis Obispo, CA / Santa Maria, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Medical Billing and Coding
Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Medical Radiography
Certificate in Computed Tomography
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Certificate in Imaging Informatics
Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Master of Science in Radiologist Assistant

Merced College (Merced, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Associate in Science in Diagnostic Radiologic Technology
Certificate of Completion in Diagnostic Radiologic Technology

Modern Technology School (Fountain Valley, CA)
Programs Offered:
Accredited Program in X-Ray Technician/Medical Assistant
Ultrasound/Vascular Technician Program

Mount San Jacinto College (San Jacinto, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Newbridge College (Long Beach, CA / Santa Ana, CA)
Programs Offered:
Ultrasound (Diagnostic Medical Sonography) Diploma Program
Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology (Diagnostic)

PCI College (Cerritos, CA)
Programs Offered:
Abdominal Sonography Program
Obstetrical and Gynecologic Sonography Program
Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation Program

San Joaquin Valley College (Bakersfield, CA / Delano, CA / Fresno, CA / Hanford, CA / Hesperia, CA / Lancaster, CA / Madera, CA / Modesto, CA / Ontario, CA / Porterville, CA / Temecula, CA / Visalia, CA)
Programs Offered:
Certificate - Dental Assistant
Certificate - Medical Assistant
Certificate - Medical Assistant
Certificate - Medical Office
Certificate - Medical Office
Certificate - Pharmacy Technology
Degree - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Degree - Medical Assistant
Degree - Medical Office
Degree - Pharmacy Technology
Degree - Respiratory Therapy

San Joaquin Valley College - Online (Visalia, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associates - Information Technology
Santa Barbara City College (Santa Barbara, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science in Radiography
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

UEI College (Anaheim, CA / Bakersfield, CA / Chula Vista, CA / Encino, CA / Fresno, CA / Gardena, CA / Huntington Park, CA / Morrow, CA / Ontario, CA / Riverside, CA / San Marcos, CA / Stockton, CA / West Covina, CA)
Programs Offered:
Dental Assistant
Medical Billing & Insurance Coding
Medical Office Specialist
Pharmacy Technician

Unitek College (South San Francisco, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Nursing
West Coast Ultrasound Institute (Beverly Hills, CA / Ontario, CA)
Programs Offered:
Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Associate Degree
Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Bachelors Degree
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate Degree
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Bachelors Degree
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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