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MRI Imaging Technician Vs. X-Ray Imaging Technician

MRI technicians operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, which use magnetic fields to create images of organs and anatomical structures. X-ray techs use x-ray machines to take pictures of skeletal structures.

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MRI Technician Description

MRI technicians are healthcare professionals trained to use MRI machines, which are large, tube-like machines that use radio waves and magnetic fields to create images. These professionals work under the supervision of a certified radiologist. MRI technician programs often result in a certificate or associate's degree in MRI technology. MRI techs are trained in MRI exams, pulse sequences, image production and signal-to-noise ratio.

Certification for MRI techs is available through the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). In 2016, PayScale.com reported that MRI technicians, also known as MRI technologists, made a median annual salary of $59,613.

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X-Ray Technician Description

X-ray techs produce high contrast films of bones and skeletal structures. The main use of an x-ray machine is to check for broken or fractured bones. X-ray technicians use these machines under the supervision of a radiologist or physician. They also set up exam tables, adjust equipment and shield patients from the body-damaging radiation given off by x-ray machines.

X-ray technicians typically complete a diploma program or an associate's degree program in radiologic technology or x-ray technology to learn to properly operate the equipment and handle patients. They can become certified through the ARRT as certified radiologic technicians. Job opportunities are available in hospitals, urgent care clinics and physicians' offices. According to PayScale.com, in 2016, certified x-ray technicians earned a median annual salary of $46,121.

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