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Certified MRI Technologist: Job Description and Salary Information

MRI technologists use specialized equipment to create cross-sectional image scans of patients to help doctors diagnose and treat patients. They interact directly with patients and may administer intravenous injections of contrast dyes. Many MRI technicians choose to become certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART).

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Certified MRI Technologist Job Description

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologist, also known as a radiologic technician, administers image scans on patients to produce quality images of designated areas of the body. They operate an MRI scanner, which takes several cross-sectional scans and combines them into one to form a 3-dimensional image that assists doctors in diagnosis and treatment of patients. This position involves direct contact with patients, including interviewing them, explaining the scanning process and positioning them on the examining table. Some MRI technologists give patients intravenous injections of gadolinium, a contrast agent that increases visibility of internal body areas.

MRI technologists typically work in a hospital setting with physicians and nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 61% of all radiologic technician jobs were in hospitals in 2010; other options include medical and diagnostic labs, physicians' offices, federal government and outpatient care facilities (www.bls.gov). MRI technologists may choose to receive voluntary certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Certified MRI technologists must maintain annual registration of their certification, which requires compliance of the AART rules, regulations and ethics standards, as well as fulfill 24 hours of continuing education courses every two years.

Certified MRI Technologist Salary Information

The BLS reported that the median salary, as of May 2012, for radiologic technologists was $54,620. Colleges, universities and professionals schools paid the highest salary for radiologic technicians, offering a mean wage of $66,810 per year, although it employed a small number of radiological technicians compared to other industries. Physicians' offices offered a much lower mean wage at $55,070 per year. The BLS also projected job growth for radiologic technologists, including MRI technologists, to increase by approximately 28% from 2010-2020.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics