Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technician Careers and Degrees in South Dakota

South Dakota doctors, nurse practitioners, and physicians’ assistants use the services of many different health care specialists to help patients get the best care possible. If you go to school in South Dakota and earn an MRI technician degree, you can become an important part of a health care organization’s team.

If you’re going to start working in this field, you may want to connect with other medical imaging professionals to learn more about what it’s like to work in the field, what is expected of students, and what opportunities may be available to you after you graduate. Joining the South Dakota Society of Radiologic Technologists can give you the chance to interact with peers, get additional training, and find out more about the medical imaging community in your area.

As you begin to explore this exciting field, you may find that MRI research is always finding new ways to use this technology. Alzheimer’s News Today reports on new research that shows how MRI imaging can be used to track the progression of this disease. According to Medscape, MRI technology can also be extremely helpful for doctors performing biopsies for prostate cancer.

MRI Education in South Dakota

Education may be one of the most important parts of your growing career in MRI technology, so make sure you choose the right school and program for you. South Dakota is home to a wide range of schools with MRI technician programs, ranging from one-year diploma/certificate programs to two-year Associate’s degree programs.

When you start your program, regardless of which degree path you choose, you’ll need to take some core courses that give you a broad understanding of MRI technology and using this technology. Early lower-level courses may include Patient Care Medical Imaging, Radiographic Physics, and Anatomy & Physiology.

As you move from the lower-level courses to higher-level courses, you may take classes that delve more into advanced imaging techniques and uses. High-level classes in this program include MRI Clinical Education, MRI Instrumentation, Anatomy & Pathology, and MRI Procedures. Clinical courses tend to take you into local medical care facilities, where you work under the watchful eye of an instructor and licensed MRI professional. By the time you complete your curriculum, you may have over 500 hours of clinical experience.

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Patient safety is one of the most important subjects in this degree, so be ready to spend lots of time learning about maintaining a safe work environment.

MRI Careers in South Dakota

Though MRI professionals in most states must pursue state-approved licensure or certification before they begin working as MRI technicians, South Dakota has no MRI technician laws on the books. This means that you can begin your career as soon as you graduate. However, if you’re interested in proving your skills via an optional certification program, you may want to pursue licensure through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. They require you to pass an exam and register with them before you get your license. After that, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years to keep your license.

South Dakota has a relatively stable job outlook for MRI technicians. O*Net predicts a 13 percent increase in MRI technician jobs between 2012 and 2022. This may be due to the amount of medical employers in South Dakota. Major medical imaging employers include Prairie States Surgical Center, Edgewood Vista Memory Care, and Donatelle Medical.

Salaries in this field vary greatly. O*Net reports an average salary of $49,700 per year for South Dakota MRI technicians, although those with experience may earn more than $69,600 per year.

Are you ready to take the next step in your medical career? Contact MRI schools in South Dakota to get started.