MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, and it is a notion used to describe the state of the art medical equipment used by professionals to have a closer look at the organs, bones and blood vessels of patients. MRI technicians are trained specialists who know how to operate these machines in order to detect tumors and other serious illnesses. MRI technicians are part of the radiologic technologist branch, and they are an important part of the team of sonographers, mammographers, radiation therapy technicians as well as X-ray technicians. The salary of MRI technicians can vary from one state to another, but the median yearly salary is usually between $50,000 and $55,000 across the United States of America.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
The payment of magnetic resonance imaging technician varies greatly from one state to another, and the highest paying state for these specialists is currently considered to be the state of California, where the MRI technician salary is usually of over $98,000 a year. Other high paying states are those of Washington, Rhode Island, Connecticut as well as the state of Massachusetts, where the median yearly salary for these professionals usually ranges between $80,000 and $85,000 a year. At the opposite end, there are the states of Arkansas, Alaska and Iowa where the MRI technicians are paid a median yearly age under the national average.
MRI Technician Job Description
As you may have figured out from the name, the MRI technician is a professional who is highly trained in operating magnetic resonance imaging scanners. These are high end medical machines used to produce 3D images of the body organs, bones and tissues of the patient, in order to diagnose illnesses and conditions that can be life-threatening, such as tumors and other types of cancers. These professionals work closely to nurses and other physicians when it comes to diagnostic testing, and they are hired in different medical settings, from state owned hospitals and private clinics to physician’s private practices, diagnostic imaging centers and many others.
The duties and responsibilities of MRI technicians are many, as they need to thoroughly explain the MRI procedure to the patient, to select the suitable software parameters depending on the individual measurements of each patient, operate the machine, keep the patient records and discuss the test results with the physician. These professionals also prepare the patient for the scanning procedure, and it is also their duty to properly position them for the imaging test.
MRI technicians use computerized MRI scanners and they usually work under the close supervision of other medical personnel – they interpret the instructions of the physician, they view and review all the images provided by the scanners and they also operate the examination equipment.
How To Become A MRI Technician?
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MRI technicians, more commonly referred to as MRI technologists, must be very well-trained in order to operate the expensive high-end medical equipment and get the best and most accurate results. The first step towards pursuing a lucrative career as a MRI technician is to find a reputable, trustworthy and renowned training program that specializes in magnetic resonance imaging. These programs are typically offered by private universities, hospitals as well as community colleges, and they have training programs that last from 24 months (usually those that result in an Associate’s Degree) to as much as 48 months (those that result in a Bachelor’s Degree). Nonetheless, those who already have some degree of training and expertise in the field can always opt for shorter training programs as well.
However, locating a good MRI training program is not enough, as you need to make sure that the program in question is also reviewed and accredited by the Joint Review Committee that targets Education in Radiologic Technology. If you do not enroll in a training program provided by an accredited institution, then your degree may not be recognized by some employers. During the two to four years of training, you will get a deeper insight into fields like physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry as well as sciences.
Once you have graduated from the training program, it is important to move on to getting all the practical, hands-on experience that you will need later on, for the certification. That being said, it is important to work under the close supervision of a skilled MRI technician and get at least one thousand hours of practical training. During this time, you will understand the mechanism of action of magnetic resonance imaging devices, you will learn how to operate and move the machines and you will also improve your interpersonal and communication skills, given the fact that part of your daily duties and responsibilities include educating the patient about the MRI procedure.
Once you have received all the theoretical and practical training that you need, it is important to take your education a mile further and to opt for the ARMRIT certification, which although is voluntary, it will undoubtedly help you advance in your career. The certification requires continuing education once every two years in order to keep your credentials valid, and this will lead to higher paying jobs. In other words, if you plan to climb to the top of your career as a magnetic resonance imaging technician, then getting your certification is certainly the best way to do that.
However, it is important to mention that the certification requirements are not the same from one state to another, although most states in the United States of America do require their applicants to possess a license prior to applying for a certification. If you do, all you need to do is to sit for the voluntary AART national certification examination and to pass it.
MRI Technician Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
In Canada, a MRI technician can make around $C61,000 a year, while an Australian one should expect to get between Au$70,000 and Au$90,000 a year. A MRI technician who works in the United Kingdom typically gets a median yearly wage of around 35,000 pounds.
Verdict On MRI Technician Salary
To sum it all up, the salary of a MRI technician is very encouraging, even for those who are at the beginning of their career.