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Career profile Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist

Also known as Chief Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist (Chief MRI Technologist), Magnetic Resonance Imaging Coordinator (MRI Coordinator), Magnetic Resonance Imaging Quality Assurance Coordinator (MRI Quality Assurance Coordinator), MRI Specialist (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Specialist), MRI Technologist (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist

Also known as Chief Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist (Chief MRI Technologist), Magnetic Resonance Imaging Coordinator (MRI Coordinator), Magnetic Resonance Imaging Quality Assurance Coordinator (MRI Quality Assurance Coordinator)

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$52,880 - $104,210 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.
  • Select appropriate imaging techniques or coils to produce required images.
  • Intravenously inject contrast dyes, such as gadolinium contrast, in accordance with scope of practice.
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What does a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist do?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.

In addition, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

  • 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.

What kind of tasks does a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist perform regularly?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

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

The above responsibilities are specific to Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists. More generally, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

What is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist salary?

The median salary for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist is $74,690, and the average salary is $75,960. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists earn less than $52,880 per year, 25% earn less than $62,140, 75% earn less than $88,370, and 90% earn less than $104,210.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists is expected to change by 7.9%, and there should be roughly 3,400 open positions for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists every year.

Median annual salary
$74,690
Typical salary range
$52,880 - $104,210
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.9%

What personality traits are common among Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist tend to value Achievement, Working Conditions, and Support.

Most importantly, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and concern for others.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists, ranked by importance:

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.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists need?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists 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 this occupation.

Educational degrees among Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

  • 1.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 6.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 11.5% completed some college coursework
  • 36.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 33.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 8.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.7% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, medicine and dentistry, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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