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22 Reasons Why You Should Become an MRI Technologist

Reasons Why You Should Become an MRI Technologist - AIMS Education

Ever wondered what’s going on inside a person’s head? Have you always wanted to help save lives? Are you a big fan of medical television shows?

If you’ve answered “yes” to these three questions, congratulations! You might be MRI technologist material!

What Is an MRI tech?

A magnetic resonance imaging technologist is an allied health professional who assists and guides patients through MRI scans. From the moment you step into the examination room, you’ll be in their hands.

It may sound like a complicated job – and sometimes it can be – but a career in diagnostic imaging is a great choice. Let’s take a look at the top reasons why and how to become an MRI tech.

1. It’s Great for Social People

Pursuing an MRI tech position is excellent for anyone who wants a patient-facing career – you just need the right healthcare degree or certificate.

You’ll be spending lots of time working with new people from all walks of life. As patients share tidbits about their lives, you’re sure to hear some pretty interesting stories.

2. You’ll Feel Like You’re the Boss

Many of your patients will have little to no experience with MRI machines, so they’ll rely on you for guidance before, during and after the procedure.

Once a person enters the examination room, you’re responsible for making sure they follow the rules. Just be sure to remember that physicians have the final say.

3. You’ll Never Be Bored

MRI technologists face a lot of challenges. You’ll be working with many different types of people while operating sophisticated, expensive pieces of equipment. This is a profession that will keep you challenged and excited throughout the working week.

4. No One Can Hide Anything from You

This profession is great for anyone who has a fascination with human biology. You get the chance to really see what’s inside people – there’s not much you can hide when you’re inside an MRI machine!

5. Great Positions for Tech Lovers

If you’re a tech geek, you’ll definitely appreciate working with sophisticated equipment and computers all day long. When you sit down with your engineer buddies, you’ll definitely have a few things to say about electromagnetic fields (and other interesting physical phenomena). As you improve your skills, you’ll also become more computer and tech-savvy.

6. Become an Expert of Human Anatomy

Become an Expert of Human Anatomy - AIMS Education

MRI tests are able to reveal detailed 3D images of even the most hidden, unreachable parts of the human body. If you’re fascinated with anatomy (and biology in general), the field of medical imaging could be right up your alley.

7. You’ll Learn to Understand People Better

MRI certification programs will provide the skills you need to give effective, clear instructions for patients to follow.

It’s common for patients to experience claustrophobia (a fear of tight spaces). You’ll need to understand the root of their problem in order to calmly handle more high-maintenance patients.

8. You’ll Have Great Stories

People have done some really crazy things in MRI scanners. Here are just a few examples of experiments that have been conducted. There’s a fairly good chance that you’ll get to witness some strange patient behavior, too. Just be mindful of HIPAA laws: A violation of patient privacy will cost you your job.

9. MRI Tech Salaries Are Super Rewarding

As of May 2018, the average MRI tech salary was more than $71,000, and it’s only set to increase over the coming years. It’s no coincidence that this is one of the best top-paying allied health careers!

10. You’ve Got Excellent Job Security

The US healthcare sector has been slowly expanding in the last decade, and MRI technology is following suit. In fact, through 2026, employment is expected to grow by 14%.

Because most MRI certification is accepted throughout the country, you’ll have the opportunity to transfer to new cities or states with relative ease.

11. Expect New Developments Every Few Years

Closed scanners are still widely used, but recent discoveries in the MRI field have also led to improvements in open air MRI models.

To meet patient demands, manufacturers are constantly working on increasing the efficiency and comfort of MRI machines. As technology develops, you can expect to see new and more advanced models every 5-6 years.

12. Develop a Magnetic Personality

The main part of any MRI machine is a huge, powerful magnet. Some scanners have a maximum magnetic strength of nearly 3.0 Tesla, meaning that you’ll be exposed to a very strong (but completely harmless) magnetic field. You’ll probably never learn how to manipulate magnetic fields like this guy though:

As long as you stick to the safety protocol, this shouldn’t have any effect on your life (but it does make for a pretty cool job description).

13. There’s No Pressure to Wear Nice Jewelry

Since you’ll be exposed to a strong magnetic field, any piece of worn metal can attach itself onto the huge magnet when it’s turned on.

MRI techs aren’t allowed to wear any jewelry or piercings, so if fancy trinkets aren’t your thing, the examination room is a safe place for you.

14. You Can Avoid the Typical Hectic Hospital Workflow

There are times when a medical facility may look like a beehive, with people rushing through the narrow corridors, shouting orders, and patients shifting in their seats while waiting their turn.

For the MRI technologist, a busy day is a busy day, but you’ll be spared from all the chaos raging outside your examination room door. Instead of multitasking and rearranging your schedule, your attention will be focused on a single task in your own space.

15. You’ll Work in a Neat and Clean Environment

MRI Technologists - AIMS Education

The whole process of MRI scanning is very clean and fairly straightforward. You’ll be spending a large portion of your time in front of the computer and less time physically interacting with the patients (compared to some other great healthcare professions).

16. You Won’t Be Run off Your Feet

Compared to nurses, medical assistants, and nursing aids, your job will be downright relaxing. Nurses, for example, have far more physically demanding daily shifts. Most MRI techs don’t spend much time lifting, moving, or transporting patients and equipment.

That said, you won’t be spending all of your working hours in front of a computer giving instructions to patients. You’ll also need to assist them to get into a comfortable position before each scan takes place.

17. You Can Avoid Long Night Shifts

MRI scans need to be planned well in advance, and it usually takes around a week for a patient to be approved. This means that an MRI technologist work schedule is relatively well-organized and evenly-paced.

18. You’ll be a Certified Allied Health Professional

As an MRI technologist, you’ll be a certified healthcare specialist. At the end of your training, you can earn a degree or certificate and become eligible for the ARMRIT and/or ARRT certification exams.

19. Completing an MRI Program is Actually Pretty Fun

Apart from classroom instruction, you’ll also have to complete nearly 1000 hours of a clinical internship. Under the guidance of an experienced mentor, you’ll apply what you’ve learned about MRI physics and instrumentation, human anatomy, and physiology.

By working alongside trained professionals, you’ll learn more useful information (and fun stories) from their years in the industry.

20. Start Working Without Major Student Loans

You don’t need years of medical school and tens of thousands of dollars to find excellent work in a hospital. With great MRI tech career opportunities across America, you’ll have enormous freedom to choose where you work (and for a salary you deserve).

21. Impress Your Friends and Family With Fancy Medical Terms

During classroom instruction, you’ll be introduced to a range of medical terminology and conditions. Next time you’re watching your favorite medical flick or show, you’ll understand almost every medical term they use.

Be sure to share the knowledge with your friends and offer to decipher all the strange medical jargon they can’t figure out themselves.

22. Complete Your Education in 2 Years

Program length can vary, but it should take around two years to complete your course and obtain a degree or certificate.

If you decide to join the MRI workforce, you’ll discover a field with a high demand and great salaries for qualified individuals.

To find out more about MRI education in New Jersey – and all the necessary requirements – check out AIMS Education’s MRI program page.

MRI Technologist Training Program - AIMS

14 thoughts on “22 Reasons Why You Should Become an MRI Technologist

  • Amanda Shepard says:

    Great post! As Simon sinek says, one has to answer three basic questions before making a decision.. Why? Who? and What? This post answers the first question. Learn more about the second question, Who should become MRI Technician?

  • […] An above-average wage and plenty of employment opportunities are just two of the many reasons to choose an MRI tech career. […]

  • Kristi says:

    This is great info! Are the typical hours 8-5 or is there room to do part time?

  • C B says:

    As an MRI tech I can tell you its not all that. You can constantly stressed by people not knowing what is in their body and want YOU to find out. Or they lie and say they don’t have anything. And it iS VERY physically demanding, and I work 13 hours day, yes 13 hours until 11 pm. Where I work they have overnight shifts or you can get a job with call. Then there’s radiologists who forget we deal with real human beings and want perfection. Sorry, but the money doesn’t always make it wonderful. Think about job shadowing before going into debt to get into this field. You get the real deal from techs what its like.

  • Dennis PLATANIA says:

    Although I have only been an MRI tech for 3 years, I can honestly say that I LOVE IT!
    I think the reason I love it so much is because I spent the last 20 years as both an X-Ray and CT Tech.(Mostly CT). With CT you are constantly on the move scanning patients. When you are finished one patient another is coming in the door. Talk about being over worked! But MRI is different. Yes there is stress and hard work. But it is at a different pace. When you set your patient up you have a few minutes to, “CHILL.” Something I could rarely do as a CT tech. The pay is also much better in MRI. If you are thinking of MRI I recommend working as a CT for a few years first. Not only will this give you a good foundation of cross sectional anatomy, but it will help you appreciate the MRI pace so much more.

    • mri tech says:

      I agree with Dennis, you appreciate working in MR if you have experience working in CT and xray. There may be some not so nice places to work, but once you gain experience you have more options.

  • Arlyn says:

    This is a very interesting topic. I wasn’t aware that an MRI tech is actually a great job until I read this article. Thank you for sharing.

  • Chrissy says:

    Where do I find one of these “high paying” not working long shifts, no call, scheduled a week in advance MRI positions? This must be a joke article. I work through lunch almost every day and they still want to suck more scans out of us because this guy who has had back pain for months comes to the ER and they just have to get a super stat MRI scan. If you’re considering doing MRI…don’t.

    • LL6791 says:

      I actually work as a Patient Services Rep for a MRI facility, and the STAT MRIs because a parent wants to have their child cleared to play in a soccer game over the weekend, or someone has had pain for months and now all of a sudden it’s super urgent. Or the patients who laugh when you ask if they’ve ever had metal shavings in their eyes or been shot and have any possible shrapnel, pellets, or bullets in their body. Lie to us if you want, but if you have any of the above, and do not tell us, there’s a good chance the metal fragments will migrate and that is something I hope to never see. The patients don’t understand that we ask these questions for THEIR safety, not ours. I’m still amazed at how many times a patient will have sx, especially cardiac, brain, and/or ear sx and have NO CLUE if anything was implanted in their body. I’m gonna need patients to be a bit more proactive in their medical care.

  • Nance says:

    I want to make a career change but I also need to pay bills. Can I work and be on the program?

  • Sis says:

    Absolutely love to scan, working as a technologist, to study anatomy and the freedom to make decisions. It’s very demanding, you must be a multi tasker. You must be able to think creatively and quickly. The safety aspect is mind blowing complicated. It’s a constant run to get “numbers” Doctors pushing for stat exams that delay scheduled patients, who are angry your behind. 13 plus hours with no breaks, just to try to get caught up and then taking call. Unless you find a day clinic job it’s not a 9 to 5 position. And if the patient cannot cooperate per pain, dementia, illness the doctor blames the tech. If you dont have a problem being set up to fail you will be fine.

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