What's the Job Description of an MRI Technician?

Are you interested in helping people by discovering the cause of their illness? Do you want to work in a medical setting? You might consider a career as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technician. Your job would involve using special equipment to capture images inside a patient's body. Continue reading for more information regarding this career. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

MRI technicians are one type of radiologic technician. Your general job duties involve positioning patients to capture the right image as prescribed by the doctor, explaining procedures to patients, imposing safety measures, and using equipment properly. Additionally, you'll maintain patient records, monitor equipment functions, monitor patients while they are being scanned, and ensure the image captured is clear and readable. As a MRI technician, while using an MRI machine, you're required to follow specific procedures to ensure your safety and the safety of other workers and patients. You serve as an assistant to doctors by providing images of a patient's body that the doctor uses to make a proper diagnosis.

Important Facts About this Occupation

Required Education Certificate program, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree in radiography or MRI
On-the-Job Training Many MRI technologists get on-the-job experience before becoming certified
Professional Certification Required by many states
Key Skills Ability to use complex machinery, math skills, attention to detail

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Working Conditions

MRI technicians' work is done under the direction of a doctor. You'll be told what tests to perform and what images to capture by each supervising physician. You will probably work in a radiology department at a medical facility, but you may also work for an independent company that only provides radiology services to multiple medical facilities.

There are some risks when working with radiological equipment, but risks are limited if you follow proper safety procedures. It's part of your job to ensure minimal risk when operating the MRI equipment, and you'll usually have to wear a special device that monitors your exposure to radiation. You'll spend most of your work day on your feet and be required to interact with patients and medical staff throughout the day. You may be required to wear safety gear, such as aprons, masks, and gloves.

Job Outlook and Salary Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were about 33,000 jobs held by MRI technologists in 2014 (www.bls.gov). Of those jobs, around 59% were in hospitals. The BLS projected that job openings would increase by 10% from 2014-2024. This increase is expected to be largely due to an increase in the need and use of diagnostic imaging equipment. Hospitals will still offer the main employment opportunities, but there is expected to be job growth in private practices and imaging centers. The BLS reported in May 2014 that the median salary earned by MRI technologists was $67,090 a year. Those employed by general medical and surgical hospitals earned salaries of $66,620 annually, on average.

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