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With an expected growth of 13% over the next decade per bls.gov, becoming a radiologic or MRI Technologist is a great idea for a career! In the article below we are going to cover what radiologic technologists and MRI technologists do, how to become one in your state, where to find the best accredited training and what the career outlook is for the future.

MRI technologists and radiologic technologists are some of the most understated jobs in allied health and many do not even realize how important the career is. We are going to change your view on the career in a hurry!

How to Become a Radiologic or MRI Technologist

In most cases, MRI techs and radiographers will need to earn an associate’s degree. Also, it is also very common for MRI technologists begin their careers as radiologic technologists. The next natural step is to MRI technology. Radiologic technologists must earn licensure and certification. There are a few states in the nation that require a license for their MRI techs. That being said, most employers will require it and it is becoming more and more common to prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state they live in does not mandate certification.

How Long Does it Take to Become an MRI Technologist or Radiographer?

It is standard for an associates degree to take 2 years on average. So considering that both career require an associates degree, be prepared to go to school for at least 2 years. During your training you will have classroom and clinical training. Classroom studies will most likely have courses in pathology, patient care, anatomy, radiation physics, and image evaluation. Clinical training is where the hands on training is done.

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What do Radiologic and MRI Technologists do?

Radiologic technologists and MRI technologists have slighlty differing duties. Radiologic technologists, who can also be called and known as radiographers most common duty is to exam diagnostic imaging like x-rays. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists operate MRI scanners to create diagnostic images of patients who go in an MRI machine. We will get in to more detail about each career below.

Both radiographers and MRI techs have some similar duties, which we list here:

Radiologic and MRI technologists typically do the following:

Maintain image equipment
Follow orders per physicians for imaging
Prep patients for procedures
Shield patients exposed areas that do not need to be imaged
Position patient and the equipment for correct imaging
Operate imaging equipment
Work with physicians to evaluate images
Detail and maintain patient records

Radiologic Technologist – Radiologic technologists handle x-rays and (CT) computed tomography imaging in most scenarios. Radiologic technologists may also work in the field of mammography. A mammographer will use a low-dose x-ray system for the production of images of the breasts.

MRI Technologist – MRI Technologists work with magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanning equipment. In most cases they they will inject their patients with a contrast dye to allow the images to show up on the scanner equipment. The MRI scanner uses magnetic fields in combination with the injected contrast agent for the production of images that can be used by a doctor or physician to diagnose medical issues and problems.

Select From Approved Radiographer and MRI Tech Programs

It is of extreme importance to only select from accredited and approved training programs for either MRI technology or radiologic technology. All programs must be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). JRCERT oversees and regulates all programs for Radiographers. The American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) regulates and oversees all MRI tech training programs.

To choose from the accredited programs from both accrediting bodies see the links below.

JRCERT Accredited Radiologic Technology Programs

ARMRIT Accredited MRI Technology Programs

Radiographer and MRI Technologist Certification

To become certified and licensed, radiologic and MRI technologists must graduate from an accredited training program (see our list above) and then successfully pass the certification exam. The certification will either come from the from the state you live in or from a certifying body. Certifying bodies for radiologic technologists is from the (ARRT) American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. MRI technologists certification is from either the ARRT and from the (ARMRIT) American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists. If you want to see if your state requires licensing from the state you live see your state’s health board. But, most situations they will allow your certification from the bodies mentioned above to work for you.

What are Some Skills of Successful Radiographers and MRI Techs?

Detail oriented
Personal communication skills
Mathematics skills
Above average physical stamina
Technical skills

Radiographer and MRI Tech Salary and Career Outlook

The average salary for radiologic technologists is $58,440, with the highest 10% earning $84,110 and the lowest 10% earning $39,840. The average salary for MRI technologists is $69,930, with the highest 10% earning $97,460 and the lowest 10% earning $48,600. The career is going to grow an expected 13% as mentioned above over the next decade and that will mean an added 30,000 jobs for the career as a whole per bls.gov’s latest data.

Radiographers get paid at differing levels based on where they work. Below are examples from bls.gov.

Government – $63,040
Hospitals – $59,800
Medical Labs – $59,570
Outpatient Centers – $58,020
Physicians Office – $52,620

MRI Technologists get paid at differing levels based on where they work. Below are examples from bls.gov.

Outpatient Centers – $77,140
Hospitals – $69,800
Medical Labs – $69,700
Physicians Office – $69,020

Radiographer and MRI Tech Salary by State

Radiographer Salary by State

StateAvg. Salary
Alabama$47,530
Alaska$68,520
Arizona$63,250
Arkansas$47,750
California$76,060
Colorado$63,650
Connecticut$66,150
Delaware$60,980
Florida$52,960
Georgia$51,910
Hawaii$67,090
Idaho$53,080
Illinois$62,630
Indiana$54,950
Iowa$50,410
Kansas$52,490
Kentucky$50,600
Louisiana$48,230
Maine$57,870
Maryland$65,160
Massachusetts$71,100
Michigan$53,020
Minnesota$63,830
Mississippi$47,430
Missouri$53,340
Montana$54,420
Nebraska$52,030
Nevada$68,590
New Hampshire$61,730
New Jersey$64,750
New Mexico$58,170
New York$67,400
North Carolina$56,860
North Dakota$53,040
Ohio$53,390
Oklahoma$51,450
Oregon$68,780
Pennsylvania$56,880
Rhode Island$64,410
South Carolina$51,210
South Dakota$49,440
Tennessee$50,770
Texas$55,680
Utah$55,890
Vermont$59,540
Virginia$58,890
Washington$68,830
Washington DC$76,270
West Virginia$47,080
Wisconsin$56,980
Wyoming$55,590

MRI Technologist Salary by State

StateAvg. Salary
Alabama$62,890
Alaska$69,500
Arizona$68,370
Arkansas$60,157
California$69,500
Colorado$65,601
Connecticut$67,897
Delaware$67,204
Florida$69,500
Georgia$63,144
Hawaii$69,500
Idaho$69,500
Illinois$60,340
Indiana$64,221
Iowa$64,047
Kansas$69,500
Kentucky$64,849
Louisiana$69,500
Maine$59,632
Maryland$70,927
Massachusetts$75,437
Michigan$60,232
Minnesota$66,257
Mississippi$60,978
Missouri$60,081
Montana$69,500
Nebraska$68,822
Nevada$69,500
New Hampshire$67,509
New Jersey$65,226
New Mexico$62,529
New York$75,751
North Carolina$55,166
North Dakota$69,500
Ohio$64,037
Oklahoma$64,487
Oregon$65,515
Pennsylvania$66,002
Rhode Island$69,500
South Carolina$65,345
South Dakota$64,034
Tennessee$69,500
Texas$62,475
Utah$64,161
Vermont$69,507
Virginia$68,100
Washington$68,676
West Virginia$69,469
Wisconsin$63,279
Wyoming$69,500

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