Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician (MRI) Associate's Degree

MRI technician education programs contain both classroom and hands-on clinical training in imaging equipment operation. Learn about accredited schools, degree requirements, certification exams and salary info for this field. Find out whether you can study this subject online. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Do I Need a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician Associate's Degree?

Several schools offer associate degree programs in diagnostic medical imaging, which includes training in MRI technology. You could also find radiology programs with an MRI specialization. A 2-year program might consist of 66-95 credits. Depending on the school, you may be able to earn an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. This is a common minimum education requirement for the profession, and it can help to also earn certification, which also requires a minimum level of education.

Common Courses MRI safety, equipment usage, MRI methodology, patient care, pathology
Online Programs Limited due to hands-on nature, but some courses are available online
Job Outlook Projected growth of 10% for MRI technologists between 2014 and 2024*
Mean Annual Salary $72,230 for MRI technologists in 2018*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

A typical program might include courses like introduction to radiology, medical terminology, principles of MRI, MRI safety, equipment usage, MRI methodology, patient care, pathology and human biology. In addition to didactic courses, your program will require a large amount of clinical work, practicums or externships.

What Are Some Online Education Opportunities?

Because of the emphasis and importance placed on in-person training, your online options are somewhat limited. Schools may provide you with the opportunity to pursue didactic and general education courses only online. In other cases, you may be able to pursue an online MRI certificate, but only if you hold ARRT certification. You may also have the opportunity to pursue individual courses such as MRI principles, sectional anatomy or physics online.

What Are Some Career Details?

Following graduation, you may be eligible to sit for a certification exam administered by the ARRT. Though voluntary, the BLS states that not only may certification enhance your chances of employment, but many states use ARRT certification as a requirement for licensure ( While licensure is common for radiology techs, it's not always required for MRI technologists.

In 2018, the BLS stated that employment for MRI technologists was projected to increase 13% from 2016-2026. The latest salary statistics are from 2018. At that time, the BLS stated that the mean annual wage for radiologic technologists and technicians was $72,230. If you become certified in additional areas, such as computerized tomography, mammography or bone densitometry, your chances for employment, advancement and better pay may increase.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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