What Does an MRI Tech Make?

MRI technologists use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to take pictures of patients’ internal body structures. They may also help doctors during MRI procedures.

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Job Description

MRI techs are health care professionals who operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create images of patients’ internal body structures. MRI techs work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and diagnostic imaging centers. They typically work full time, and some positions may require evening, weekend, or holiday shifts. SomeMRI techs may rotate among these facilities.

Duties of an MRI Tech

An MRI tech is responsible for performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. These scans are used to diagnose and treat a variety of medical conditions.

As an MRI tech, you will work with patients of all ages. You will need to explain the procedure to them and help them remain still during the scan. You will also be responsible for operating the MRI machine and ensuring that the images are of high quality.

In addition to performing MRI scans, you may also be responsible for other imaging modalities such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and ultrasounds.

Education and Training

MRI technologists typically have an associate’s degree in radiologic technology; however, some jobs may require a bachelor’s degree. Those interested in this field can take courses in MRI technology at many community colleges and vocational schools. Schools that offer MRI technology programs are typically accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

How to Become an MRI Tech

MRI technologists typically need an associate’s degree in radiography or a related field, although some jobs may only require a certificate or postsecondary non-degree award, and some may require completion of a bachelor’s degree program. Common coursework for aspiring MRI technologists includes anatomy, physiology and medical imaging. Once they have completed an accredited program, technologists must obtain licensure or certification in order to practice.

Although certification is not required for all positions, employers may prefer or require it. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers certification in radiography, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy and magnetic resonance imaging. To earn ARRT certification in magnetic resonance imaging, technologists must complete an accredited educational program and pass a qualifying examination. Those who seek magnetic resonance imaging certification from the ARRT must also adhere to the organization’s ethics and continuing education requirements to maintain their credential.


The average salary for an MRI Tech is $33.78 per hour. Most people in this profession are paid hourly, and the median hourly wage is $33. The highest 10 percent of earners make more than $44.62, while the lowest 10 percent make less than $24.

How Much Does an MRI Tech Make?

The median salary for MRI techs was $71,674 in 2017, meaning that half of techs earned more than this amount while half earned less.MRI techs in the 10th percentile saw a salary of $52,490 or less annually, while those in the 90th percentile saw annual salaries of $96,630 or more.

Job Outlook

The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $74,320 in May 2019. Job prospects should be good for those with training in diagnostic medical sonography. The aging Baby Boomer population is expected to lead to greater demand for diagnostic medical procedures, including MRI procedures.

The Future of MRI Techs

The MRI tech job outlook is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for MRI techs will grow by 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The aging Baby Boomer population will need MRI scans to diagnose health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. An increase in the number of MRIs performed to diagnose concussions will also contribute to job growth.

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