MRI is a diagnostic medical imaging technique that uses magnetic fields and radio frequencies to capture photographs of patients' internal organs. The field of MRI technology employs technologists rather than technicians.
Radiology technologists who are interested in gaining certification in MRI might consider enrolling in an MRI technologist certificate program, which, along with passing scores on a competency exam, is required for professional certification in the field.
MRI technologist certificate programs are only open to licensed, technologists who've earned American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification in radiation therapy, radiography, or nuclear medicine. To earn ARRT certification, students must complete a certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree program in radiologic science or a similar field.
Additionally, enrollees to an MRI certificate program must have CPR certification and previous clinical experience. They might also be asked to submit to a physical examination and background check, and show proof of immunizations.
Certificate in MRI Technology
These programs are designed to build upon previous knowledge in radiologic science and diagnostic medical equipment. Students are expected to learn the specific procedures necessary to use MRI technology. Programs are 18 to 24 hours long and require completion of a practicum for graduation.
Some examples of core courses are listed below:
- Principles of MRI imaging
- Imaging procedures
- Computers in radiology
- Physics lab
- Sectional anatomy
Popular Career Options
Certified MRI technologists can gain employment in a variety of locations. Many individuals who enter MRI technologist certificate programs are already employed at one of the types of health care facilities listed below:
- General or surgical hospital
- Diagnostic imaging laboratory
- Trauma center
- Physicians' office
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for radiologic and MRI technologists were expected to grow 9% between 2014 and 2024. This is a faster-than-average rate, and job growth could be attributed to an increase in the elderly population. MRI technologists earned an average of $68,340 per year as of 2015, reports the BLS.
Individuals who graduate from an MRI technologist certificate program are eligible to sit for a post-primary certification examination given by ARRT. Post-primary means that a candidate earned certification as a radiology technologist before gaining further education in a specialization.
MRI technologist certificate programs prepare experienced radiology technologists for the field, as they'll be trained in in procedure and equipment usage. MRI technologists are expected to see faster-than-average employment growth in the coming years.