MRI Technician Schools in Illinois

How would you like to start a career in the medical field in just one year? At, you can learn all about MRI technician programs and find schools near you.

MRI Technician Training in Illinois

As you start your search for an MRI technician program, you may be wondering what kind of school can give you the education you need. Many technical colleges, community colleges, and hospitals have MRI technician programs. You may be able to attend a certificate program; this is the more popular choice, since it can be completed in one year. You may also earn an associate degree, which takes about two years of full-time work.

Before you dig into your intensive MRI technician courses, your school may require you to take a bevy of science courses. Classes that you may take include Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Chemistry. In addition, you may have to start your program with a radiation safety course; although MRI technology does not use radiation, other types of medical imaging do.

Once you have completed your prerequisites, you can move onto your MRI courses. Most schools require courses like Radiographic Equipment, Introduction to Diagnostic Imaging, and Radiographic Methods. These courses prepare you for your clinical hours, which come at the end of your program. You may complete more than 500 hours by the time you graduate.

MRI Technician Licensing/Certifications in Illinois

Illinois is one of many states that has rigorous licensing requirements for MRI technicians. All licensing goes through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Once you graduate from your program of choice, you must meet the Agency’s exam requirement. You can either take a state-administered exam or an exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. These exams are designed to ensure that you can safely and effectively use medical imaging equipment.

After you pass the required exam, you can receive your MRI technician license. This license has a two-year term, so you must renew it biennially. Medical imaging is constantly undergoing technology updates and new research, so you have to keep up on these changes with continuing education courses. In each two-year period, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education.

Career and Employment Information for MRI Techs in Illinois

As a new MRI technician, you can really benefit from membership in the Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technologists. Finding your first job can be intimidating, but it may be easier with the career resources offered by this group. Additionally, you can enjoy exclusive continuing education opportunities, networking events, and legislative advocacy.

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Your job search may turn up results at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical imaging clinics. Hospitals may require night, weekend, or on-call hours, since their medical imaging departments are typically staffed 24 hours per day. This can be a plus for many people, however—some hospitals offer bonus pay for overnight and on-call shifts. Doctor’s offices and standalone medical imaging centers are more likely to have conventional work hours. Some of the largest MRI technician employers in Illinois are Galesburg Cottage Hospital, Norwegian American Hospital, and Carle Foundation Hospital. Many of these jobs allow you to experience the newest developments in MRI technology. New research indicates that MRI technology could cure some stomach illnesses (Futurity, 2018).

MRI technicians in Illinois can earn very lucrative salaries; while you may start out on the low end of the salary range, your earning potential can increase as you gain experience and seniority. O*Net reports an average annual income of $70,330 per year for MRI technicians in Illinois (2018). They predict a 2% increase in job openings between 2016 and 2026, leading to about 80 new jobs each year (O*Net, 2018).