MRI Technologist Salary Guide

MRI technologists are allied health professionals who operate magnetic resonance imaging equipment. This type of imaging uses strong magnets and a radio frequency current to take three-dimensional images of the human body. Before imaging, the MRI technologist must ask questions about the patient's medical history and then position the patient in the MRI scanner. When necessary, the technologist injects contrast media into an intravenous line to enhance the appearance of specific structures. After performing the scan, an MRI technologist reviews the images to confirm they meet the ordering physician's requirements.

How do you become an MRI technologist?

To become an MRI technologist, you must obtain an associate degree in radiologic technology or MRI technology. This 2-year degree includes coursework in anatomy and physiology, radiation physics, patient care and other relevant topics. Accredited programs also include clinical experience requirements to ensure you know how to operate MRI equipment safely. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, as of April 3, 2023, six states require MRI technologists to be licensed, which include:

  • New Hampshire

  • New Mexico

  • North Dakota

  • Oregon

  • Tennessee

  • West Virginia

If you intend to start as a radiologic technologist and become an MRI technologist later, you may need to obtain a license before you start working, as 42 states require a license to work as a radiologic technologist. Check with your state licensing body to learn exactly what you need to work as an MRI or radiologic technologist in your area.

What credentials/licensing does an MRI technologist require?

Many employers prefer to hire certified MRI technologists, as getting certified demonstrates that you have in-depth knowledge of MRI equipment operation and patient care. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists offers an MRI certification to individuals with an associate degree from an ARRT-approved educational program. You must meet the ARRT ethical standards and pass an exam to obtain this credential. The American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) also offers an MRI technologist certification. To earn the ARMRIT credential, you must pass a 225-question exam on MRI physics, patient care, cross-sectional anatomy and clinical applications of MRI.

Average MRI Technologist Salary

$49.53/hour

The average salary for a MRI Technologist is $49.53 per hour. This is 18% higher than the practicing US average of $40.70.

Last updated on June 18, 2024. Based on active jobs on Vivian.com.

Salaries for MRI Technologist compared to Allied Health Professional National Averages

$49.53/hour

18% higher than the practicing US average.

$40.70/hour

United States

Where do MRI Technologists get paid the most?
StateAverage Hourly SalaryMax Hourly Salary
California$67$87
Virginia$51$70
North Carolina$41$48
Texas$39$52
Oklahoma$37$43
New York$33$100
Washington$32$100
Georgia$32$42
Florida$29$38
Michigan$27$100
What are the highest paying Employers and Agencies for MRI Technologist jobs?

Last updated on June 18, 2024. Information based on active jobs on Vivian.com and pay data from BLS and around the web.

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MRI Technologist Career Guide

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How can you increase your pay as an MRI technologist?

To increase your earnings, consider returning to school and completing a bachelor's degree in radiologic science, imaging sciences or another related discipline. According to BLS data from May 2022, Americans in any profession with 4-year degrees have median weekly earnings about 38.5% higher than those of Americans with 2-year degrees.

Consider obtaining the ARRT or AMRIT certification. Some employers pay more to hire MRI technologists who have demonstrated their knowledge by passing a national certification exam.

How much does an staff MRI technologist make?

Staff MRI technologists earned an average of $52.98 per hour, according to Vivian Health's salary data for the week ending April 8, 2023. That corresponds to a weekly salary of just under $2,120 if you work 40 hours weekly.

Is MRI technologist a growing career?

Analysts with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expect the demand for MRI technologists to increase by 7% between 2021 and 2031. This represents a net increase of about 3,000 jobs. Baby boomers are getting older, increasing the demand for healthcare services. As a result, hospitals and other medical facilities need more MRI technologists to perform scans. Employers also need new MRI technologists to replace the ones who have retired or transitioned to other careers.

What types of employers/facilities have the most MRI technologists employed?

According to BLS data, MRI technologists held approximately 41,200 jobs in 2021. State, local and private hospitals accounted for 57% of all employment in this field, while medical and diagnostic laboratories accounted for another 18%. About 14% of all MRI technologists worked in physician offices, and another 3% worked in outpatient care centers.

Which employers/facilities have the highest pay?

According to the BLS, outpatient care centers tend to offer the highest wages to MRI technologists, paying about 30% more than medical and diagnostic laboratories, physician offices and hospitals. Of course, how much you earn depends on many factors, such as where you live, your experience and whether you work for a for-profit or nonprofit organization.

How does MRI technologist pay compare to similar healthcare jobs?

MRI technologists earn more than many other allied health professionals. For example, if you compare the average hourly rate for staff MRI technologists against the average wages for certified surgical technologists, MRI techs earn about 45.2% more. MRI technologists average $52.98 per hour, while certified surgical technologists average $3,647. Travel MRI technologists earn approximately 19.2% more, averaging $2,497 per week compared to the $2,094 weekly average for certified surgical technologists. All the above salary data comes from Vivian Health and is current as of April 8, 2023.

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