There are currently 18 million healthcare workers employed in the United States. While this seems like a large number, estimates show at least two million workers are needed in this industry over the next seven years to meet rising demand.
If you think you have what it takes to work in healthcare, now is the time to get started. While many opportunities exist for healthcare specialists, MRI technologist is one of the best options available.
MRI technologist training allows you to work in a growing industry and earn competitive wages.
What is an MRI Technologist?
An MRI tech is a specialist within the radiology diagnostic team. An MRI tech deals with magnetic resonance imaging scans. These MRIs use magnets and radio waves to create computer images of a patient’s internal parts.
The MRI technologist places patients into the MRI unit and scans the parts of the body that need a diagnosis. This includes keeping the patients comfortable and answering their questions about the scan.
These scans are used by physicians to help diagnose diseases or injuries. They’re also used to check on how a patient responds to treatment.
Benefits of an MRI Career
As an MRI tech, you are responsible for ensuring that these MRI scans are high-quality. You run the scan based on the instructions from a physician so they can get accurate information about the patient’s needs. This job requires specialized training but offers many benefits to trained techs.
1. Get Started in Your Career Quickly
To get started as an MRI technologist, all you need is an Associate’s degree and certification. You complete the degree program within one to two years, then you can get started on certification. This means you can get started on your MRI career within two-years.
2. Training Costs Less than Other Careers
You can complete your Associate’s degree at a community college. This costs less than a university degree.
Once you complete these educational requirements, you just have the cost of the certification program. The certification exam costs less than $200 for course materials and the exam fee. The cost is reduced if you don’t have to purchase books to study.
3. Better Shift Management
Unlike other healthcare professionals, you can expect regular working schedules. MRI scans usually get scheduled during regular business hours, however there are exceptions.
This means you don’t have to worry about late-night shifts. Since scans are scheduled ahead of time, you don’t have to worry about constant schedule changes, either.
4. Choice of Work Environment
As an MRI tech, you can choose your work environment. Technicians are needed in all medical settings.
This means you can choose whether you want to work in a physician’s office, a hospital or outpatient center, a lab, or a government agency. This choice will depend on how much work you want and in what setting makes you feel most comfortable.
5. Good Job Security
MRI techs have one of the fastest job growth rates of any healthcare occupation. Through 2026 MRI tech jobs are expected to grow 13%. This growth rate is higher than average for all tracked occupations, not just healthcare.
6. High Wages
MRI techs can expect more than job security. You can also expect higher wages than many in the allied health industry.
The average wage for an MRI tech can be as high as $71,670 per year. This is $12,150 more than general radiologic technologists.
7. Play a Vital Role
We all know job satisfaction is about more than the pay. We also want to feel like we add value with the work we do. As an MRI tech, you can know you play a vital role in the healthcare industry.
The images you take are an important aspect of diagnosing patients. What you do as an MRI tech helps physicians take better care of their patients.
8. A Chance to Play with New Technologies
New advances happen regularly in imaging technology. This means you get the chance to experience new and exciting technological advances in the healthcare industry.
You’ll get the chance to try out new advances in computers and imaging systems. It’s your job to keep the systems running, so you get hands-on time with these new technologies.
9. Work Anywhere in the United States
Courses for an MRI technologist are certified by an RCEEM or RCEEM+ for The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists® (ARRT®).
Your training prepares you to work anywhere in the United States. If you need to move to another state, your certification goes with you.
10. Less Hectic Work Environment
Since you specialize, you’ll work within specific parameters. This means you always know what to expect from your job.
You’re not responsible for every patient, just the ones scheduled for scans. This makes the job of an MRI tech less physically and emotionally demanding than other healthcare professions.
11. You Get to Work with Patients
Some healthcare professions keep you behind the scenes. This is not the case for an MRI tech. You get to work one-on-one with patients as you complete scans.
Part of your job is comforting patients who are dealing with health problems. You also help answer questions about the procedures. This allows you to take a more active role without the demands of some of the other hands-on careers.
Get Started with Your MRI Career or Other Radiology Specialty
An MRI technologist is one of many radiology careers needed in the healthcare industry. Technologists are needed for different types of scans and diagnostics. This means more opportunities to advance your healthcare career.
Do you want to learn more about the options available in radiology? Check out the courses available for MRI techs and other diagnostic professionals.