Should You Become an MRI Technologist? Things to Know

by | Oct 30, 2020 | MRI

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI technologists use a scanner to take pictures of the internal body using radio waves, which a machine transfers into three-dimensional images. These 3D renderings of a person’s internal organs help doctors diagnose a condition. MRI scans can help detect spinal cord, brain, lung, chest, and joint problems. The scanning procedure is painless and takes 20 to 90 minutes.

Certified technologists are familiar with the different MRI parts, how various scanners differ, and how to operate this equipment. Here are other things to know about this healthcare role


What do you need to become an MRI technologist?

MRI Technologist - Scanning Patient with Knee Coil

A fundamental requirement for this role is an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in radiologic sciences or radiography from a school accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. After completion, the student should get a certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

A bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree in nuclear medicine technology can help someone become an MRI technologist if he obtains certification from the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. In addition to these first level certifications, the AART and the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists or ARMRIT have structured clinical training programs leading to advanced credentials.


Why should you pursue this as a career?

MRI Technologist talking to patient

Becoming an MRI Technologist lets you work with people, helping them have better and healthier lives. Apart from the non-material rewards you get from serving others, you will also develop professionally. You have various tasks, from talking to patients to knowing how to troubleshoot MRI parts and calculating the correct contrast media dosage.

If you’re someone who excels in organizing information and treatments, this could be a role for you. Those who don’t mind being available for night shifts or weekends would also thrive in this role. One upside to being an MRI technologist is that you could fit your other life responsibilities around your work tasks.

If you’re someone who likes continually challenging yourself with new tasks, or if you’re quickly bored with an occupation that offers the same thing every day, being an MRI technologist could be the best role for you. When you’re a technician, you’re usually the first person a patient speaks to about the procedure they’re about to undergo. You have to prepare them for the scan and operate the machine properly. Afterward, you must also give them an initial interpretation of the results.

Each appointment and scan will be different, and the patients you encounter will have different personalities, cases, and diagnoses. You will not be bored with the number of people you could interact with regularly.

Finally, radiography students have bright prospects if they want to pursue being MRI technologists. Job security is an essential consideration for many people today. If you choose to be an MRI tech, you’ll be entering a field that is in high demand; according to experts on the job market, there will be an overall 9 percent growth in the field in the next ten years. 



Being an MRI technologist offers plenty of options for growth, career satisfaction, and personal fulfillment. If you’re someone who enjoys a technical challenge, can work outside the traditional nine to five, and likes interacting with different people, this could be an excellent role for you.

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