MRI techs, also called magnetic resonance imaging technologists, are allied health professionals who specialize in using MRI scanners to perform diagnostic imaging on patients. They produce images of brains, organs, tissues, muscles, and bones, which doctors use to detect diseases and diagnose a variety of medical problems. MRI techs play an essential role in diagnosing various ailments.
MRIs are extremely informative and provide greater insight into patients’ issues than can be obtained otherwise. This keeps MRI techs in high demand and employment is projected to grow another 7% between 2019 and 2029.
Magnetic resonance imaging technologists are in-demand specialists on NurseFly, where you’ll find numerous MRI tech jobs at renowned facilities across the country, or create a profile and let the job offers come to you.
MRI tech salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for MRI technologists in May 2019 was $73,410. This yearly wage breaks down to about $1,412 per week or $35.30 per hour in a 40-hour workweek.
Per 2019 NurseFly salary data, the average gross weekly pay for travel MRI techs was $1,797. Travel allied health professionals who can claim a permanent tax-home often earn a taxable salary and non-taxable compensations for housing, meals, and living expenses.
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MRI Tech FAQs
What are the best agencies for MRI Tech jobs?
The agencies on NurseFly that currently have the most MRI Tech jobs are Cross Country Allied (37), Fusion Medical Staffing (35), and TotalMed Allied & Therapy Staffing (25).
What does an MRI tech do?
MRI techs operate magnetic resonance imaging scanners to create important diagnostic images, which may require injecting patients with contrast dyes to ensure images show up well on the scanner. Some common tasks an MRI tech typically performs include:
Maintaining and adjusting imaging equipment
Preparing patients for procedures and educating them on what will take place
Positioning patients and equipment to capture the appropriate image(s)
Following doctors’ orders on which areas of the body to capture in images
Shielding exposed parts of patients’ bodies that don’t require imaging
Reviewing images to ensure they produced quality scans for doctors to evaluate
Working with doctors to determine whether additional scans are required
Keeping detailed patient records
Collaborating with an anesthesiologist to provide procedural sedation
Where do MRI techs work?
The largest employers of MRI techs are private and public hospitals, where they can work in various capacities, such as cardiovascular MRI or interventional MRI. Techs also find employment in cancer centers, heart clinics, outpatient care centers, medical and diagnostic laboratories, physicians’ offices, women’s clinics, and other healthcare facilities that utilize MRI scanning.
What skills make a good MRI tech?
Good MRI techs have in-depth technical skills that allow them to operate complex MRI equipment, take high-quality scans, and judge whether scans are clear enough to be read. They also have thorough knowledge of the intricacies of human anatomy and keen attention to detail, which are essential to effectively interpret the images they produce. As a vital part of a patient’s medical team, good MRI techs are team players. They possess excellent communication and other interpersonal skills that help them build a good rapport with patients and put them at ease during scans. Because patients may already be in extreme discomfort, MRI techs also have a healthy dose of compassion and empathy.
How to become a Travel MRI Tech
The first step to becoming a travel MRI tech is earning an associate degree, which is the most common educational requirement. The American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) accredit MRI programs. Some states require completion of an accredited program for licensure.
Radiologic techs must be licensed or certified in most states, but only New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, and West Virginia currently require MRI technologists to be licensed. However, employers often prefer or require applicants to be certified, even if it’s not required by the state.
The ARRT offers certification and registration for MRI technologists, which requires an associate degree, completion of an educational program in the MRI discipline, and passing an exam. ARMRIT offers Certified MRI Technologist credentials to qualified technologists in all imaging fields with documented MRI clinical experience and/or formal education at a school dedicated to MRI techs, once they pass a certification exam.
Travel MRI tech jobs typically require one year to 18 months of MRI tech experience and some require ARRT registry. Some positions also require Basic Life Support certification so techs can effectively recognize and respond to life-threatening situations.