How Do I Become an MRI Technologist? A Step-By-Step Guide
Future MRI techs will be happy to learn that, after graduation, they’ll be entering into an extremely strong job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the MRI field is expected to grow by 12% from 2016 to 2026
MRI training programs are designed to give you the skills you need to find work in the allied healthcare workforce. An MRI technologist program is an affordable education option for most, but is typically selective in its application process.
Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the steps to help you apply and enroll with ease. Depending on the school you choose, these steps may vary slightly.
1. Plan Your Visit to a Technical School or College Campus
Before you can apply to an MRI technologist training program, you need to decide where you want to go. This can be a formidable task, as there are quite a few MRI programs throughout the United States.
Many students love the option of staying near to – or in – their hometown. On the other hand, quite a few want a new beginning in a new area. Because you’ll be spending a lot of time here, it’s important to check out the school’s campus and/or location to see if it’s an excellent fit.
Once you know where you’d like to study, you can start to make application preparations.
Before applying, be sure to make an appointment with an admissions team member who will help you determine how to achieve your personal goals. You should go over your past educational and student performance, as well as the structure of courses, pricing, and financial aid opportunities (should they exist). This is also the time to discuss any and all application and enrollment procedures.
2. Apply for FAFSA
We cannot recommend completing a FAFSA application enough. Most MRI students are able to help fund their education through financial aid programs. Ensure that your FAFSA application has been submitted no later than four business days before you apply to your MRI program.
Registering for federal student aid is easier than most people think. In fact, it takes less than an hour to submit a FAFSA.
3. Complete Your MRI Tech Application
Ask your school’s representative if they have rolling admissions. If so, there is no deadline to enroll. You can apply at any time.
Students are often required to apply for a magnetic resonance imaging program in person. During this appointment, they should be prepared to submit all required documents, pass an entrance exam, and complete an interview with a school representative.
What Exactly Is the Entrance Exam?
You shouldn’t be nervous about taking the entrance exam. Most healthcare training programs require applicants to take an entrance exam before they are admitted.
These exams are designed to help determine how a prospective student will perform academically. In a nutshell, the exam determines a candidate’s general mental competence, if the student can handle the school’s educational requirements, and whether he or she is able to retain new knowledge.
By assessing prospective students, schools can determine whether or not they mesh with the program they’re applying for. This also helps improve retention rates and reduce frivolous student loans.
4. Wait for the Decision
Awaiting a school’s decision is likely the most nerve-wracking part of the entire application process. The silver lining here is that many schools tend to fast-track their decisions, and you should hear if you’ve been accepted within a few weeks.
How Is Acceptance Determined?
There are usually a variety of factors considered when a school reviews MRI technologist applications. These likely include the highest level of education successfully completed, GPA, healthcare experience, references, entrance exam scores, and how you performed during the entrance interview.
Strong student candidates will have already completed college courses in health sciences. Due to the competitiveness of MRI Technologist programs, schools usually recommend that applicants hold an associate degree before applying to an MRI program. An associate degree will later help with certification as well.
5. Finish Your MRI Tech Course Enrollment
Students accepted into an MRI Technologist program may be required to set up an additional appointment to complete the enrollment process. This often include signing an enrollment contract as well as other documents required by the school.
6. Attend Orientation
Before or on the first day of classes, students in MRI Tech programs will likely attend a mandatory orientation. Though it’s required, the orientation is a great chance to learn more about the policies and procedures of your school.
7. Start Your MRI Program
During the course of any first-rate MRI program, you’ll learn how to perform MRI scans through a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on MRI training, and a clinical internship. You’ll also explore patient procedures, the physics of your technological procedures, proper evaluation of MRI images, cross-sectional anatomy, and much more.
While studying, be sure to stay abreast of any technological changes in your field. Not only is this a fascinating and ever-changing sector, but extra studying will keep you ahead of the curve.
8. Complete Your Clinical Internship
After class and lab hours are completed, students are required to participate in a clinical internship. Internships can range from 5 to 8 months in duration. Students are placed with a seasoned allied healthcare mentor, who assists them with invaluable, real-world experience.
9. Pass Your MRI Tech Examinations
MRI technologist certificate programs should be accredited by the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) and/or recognized by The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Students who graduate from an ARMRIT accredited program are eligible to take the ARMRIT national certification exam for MRI. If you are an MRI graduate with an associate degree, you may also be able to pursue primary pathway certification through The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Apply to an MRI Technologist Training Program Today
You’ve made the right choice to pursue a healthcare career. If you live in the New Jersey area, make an appointment with an AIMS representative to start your MRI tech career today!