Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

radiation therapists
$80,090 Median Wage (2022)
2,600 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
7.70% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree)

Related Work Experience: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Up to and including 1 month

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Prepare patients physically for medical procedures.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Process x-rays or other medical images.
  • Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
  • Administer medical substances for imaging or other procedures.
  • Check quality of diagnostic images.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Create advanced digital images of patients using computer imaging systems.
  • Repair medical facility equipment.
  • Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Review technical documents to plan work.
  • Review work orders or schedules to determine operations or procedures.
  • Follow protocols or regulations for healthcare activities.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Review physicians' orders to confirm prescribed exams.
  • Conduct screening interviews of patients to identify contraindications, such as ferrous objects, pregnancy, prosthetic heart valves, cardiac pacemakers, or tattoos.
  • Select appropriate imaging techniques or coils to produce required images.
  • Operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.
  • Provide headphones or earplugs to patients to improve comfort and reduce unpleasant noise.
  • Position patients on cradle, attaching immobilization devices, if needed, to ensure appropriate placement for imaging.
  • Take brief medical histories from patients.
  • Inspect images for quality, using magnetic resonance scanner equipment and laser camera.
  • Intravenously inject contrast dyes, such as gadolinium contrast, in accordance with scope of practice.
  • Test magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment to ensure proper functioning and performance in accordance with specifications.
  • Create backup copies of images by transferring images from disk to storage media or workstation.
  • Instruct medical staff or students in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures or equipment operation.
  • Write reports or notes to summarize testing procedures or outcomes for physicians or other medical professionals.
  • Comfort patients during exams, or request sedatives or other medication from physicians for patients with anxiety or claustrophobia.
  • Explain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures to patients, patient representatives, or family members.
  • 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.
  • Connect physiological leads to physiological acquisition control (PAC) units.
  • 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.
  • Attach physiological monitoring leads to patient's finger, chest, waist, or other body parts.
  • Conduct inventories to maintain stock of clinical supplies.
  • Place and secure small, portable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners on body part to be imaged, such as arm, leg, or head.
  • Develop or otherwise produce film records of magnetic resonance images.
  • Schedule appointments for research subjects or clinical patients.

Work Styles

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.