MRI Technology Masters Degree Program Information
Master's degree programs are not likely to be offered in MRI technology. Instead, students who are interested in pursuing a career in this field can earn an associate degree or certificate, followed by taking the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists Certification (ARMRIT) examination.
Students seeking to become an MRI technologist typically earn an associate degree in MRI technology. Upon completing an education program, technologists may need to secure licensure or certification before practicing. While the MRI Technology associate degree programs are often available to those with just a high school diploma, entrance into the certificate programs may require applicants to have a 2-year degree. Additional program requirements vary by school but may include CPR certification or current American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification.
- Program Levels: Certificate, Associate's degrees
- Prerequisites: High school diploma for Associate's programs; Associate's degree for certificate
- Program Length: Six to twelve months for certificate; two years for Associate's degree
Associate Degree or Certificate in MRI Technology
Programs in MRI Technology tend to be very selective. Both types of programs prepare students to take the AART or ARMRIT examination and become certified. Some individuals who are already certified also enroll in certificate programs to advance their knowledge. Both programs involve classroom instruction and clinical rotations. Associate degree programs also require that the student takes general education courses, while a certificate program only requires courses related to MRI technology. Some of the core classes that students in both the associate degree and certificate programs may take are:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Radiographic and MRI physics
- MRI instrumentation
- MRI pathology
- MRI cross-sectional anatomy
- Imaging ethics
Popular Career Options and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2014, MRI technologists earned a median annual wage of $67,090 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2012, employment of radiologic technologists and MRI technologists was predicted to increase 21% between the years of 2012 and 2022, a growth rate that the BLS defines as faster than average. Some settings where aspiring MRI technologists may seek employment include:
- Outpatient clinics
- Emergency care centers
- Physician's offices
- Private MRI labs
Continuing Education and Career Information
After completing an associate degree or certificate program, students are prepared to take the AART or ARMRIT exam. Upon passing, they become certified and registered as MRI technologists and can seek employment. AART certified MRI technologists are required to complete education courses every couple years to maintain certification. Students may find that the credits from certificate or associate degree programs transfer to bachelor's degree programs in related radiologic fields. According to the BLS, MRI technologists may advance in the field to supervisory positions through experience or through continuing education, like a master's degree program in health policy or business administration.