MRI Technician Schools in California

A degree in MRI technology could be your ticket to an exciting new medical career! Here at, 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.

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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.