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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists
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Description: what do they do?
Operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners. Monitor patient safety and comfort, and view images of area being scanned to ensure quality of pictures. May administer gadolinium contrast dosage intravenously. May interview patient, explain MRI procedures, and position patient on examining table. May enter into the computer data such as patient history, anatomical area to be scanned, orientation specified, and position of entry.
Also known as:
Staff Technologist, Lead Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI Technologist, Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI Technologist, Staff Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI Technologist

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center.

Career video
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    Transcript: Using a combination of technical skills, people skills, and physical staminakeeps the job of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists – or MRI - interesting and challenging.MRI technologists put patients at ease and provide essential medical information in acareer focused on operating MRI scanners to create diagnostic images.MRI technologists prepare patients for procedures,taking their medical history and answering questions.They inject patients with contrast dyes that interact with magnetic fields toproduce images that physicians use to diagnose medical problems.During the MRI procedure, technologists correctly position the patient,shield exposed areas, and operate the equipment to take the images.They must follow physicians’ orders precisely to capture the correct images, and keep detailed patient records.MRI technologists put patients at ease, helping them cope with pain or mental stress.They use technical skills to understand and operate complex equipment.They also work on their feet much of the day, lifting and moving patients when needed.MRI technologists work in healthcare facilities; more than half work in hospitals.Most work full time, and may work evenings, weekends, or are on call where emergency imaging is needed.An associate’s degree combining classroom and clinical training is the most common educational path.Coursework should include anatomy, patient care, radiation physics, and image evaluation.Many MRI technologists start out as radiologic technologists who develop specialization in MRIs.Licenses or certification to practice is required in some states.
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Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
California
2,700
2014 Employment
3,100
2024 Employment
15%
Percent change
90
Annual projected job openings
United States
33,600
2014 Employment
37,100
2024 Employment
10%
Percent change
980
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2014, the number expected to be employed in 2024, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions including a 5.2 percent unemployment rate in 2024 and labor productivity growth of 1.8 percent annually over the 10 years. While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central: Long Term Projections, through 2024.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Employment Projections: 2014–24.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists in California
LocationCaliforniaUnited States
10%$53,730$47,960
25%$65,630$56,990
Median$83,290$68,420
75%$110,190$79,660
90%$125,620$95,890


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2016 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Associate's degree
  • Less than 5 years work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Create advanced digital images of patients using computer imaging systems.
  • Check quality of diagnostic images.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Administer medical substances for imaging or other procedures.
  • Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Repair medical facility equipment.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Process x-rays or other medical images.
  • Prepare patients physically for medical procedures.
  • Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment.
  • Train medical providers.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.
  • Far Vision - Seeing details that are far away.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Control Precision - Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
  • Finger Dexterity - Putting together small parts with your fingers.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Conduct screening interviews of patients to identify contraindications, such as ferrous objects, pregnancy, prosthetic heart valves, cardiac pacemakers, or tattoos.
  • Operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.
  • Select appropriate imaging techniques or coils to produce required images.
  • Inspect images for quality, using magnetic resonance scanner equipment and laser camera.
  • Take brief medical histories from patients.
  • Position patients on cradle, attaching immobilization devices if needed, to ensure appropriate placement for imaging.
  • Inject intravenously contrast dyes, such as gadolinium contrast, in accordance with scope of practice.
  • Explain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures to patients, patient representatives, or family members.
  • Test magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment to ensure proper functioning and performance in accordance with specifications.
  • Connect physiological leads to physiological acquisition control (PAC) units.
  • Write reports or notes to summarize testing procedures or outcomes for physicians or other medical professionals.
  • Calibrate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) console or peripheral hardware.
  • Troubleshoot technical issues related to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner or peripheral equipment, such as monitors or coils.
  • Request sedatives or other medication from physicians for patients with anxiety or claustrophobia.
  • Schedule appointments for research subjects or clinical patients.
  • Develop or otherwise produce film records of magnetic resonance images.
  • Operate optical systems to capture dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images, such as functional brain imaging, real-time organ motion tracking, or musculoskeletal anatomy and trajectory visualization.
  • Place and secure small, portable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners on body part to be imaged, such as arm, leg, or head.
  • Conduct inventories to maintain stock of clinical supplies.
  • Attach physiological monitoring leads to patient's finger, chest, waist, or other body parts.
  • Instruct medical staff or students in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures or equipment operation.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.