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MRI Certificate Salary and Career Opportunities

January 14, 2022  |  Category: Imaging

An MRI technologist views images of the brain.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an effective medical imaging technology that saves lives. Before MRI machines and other advanced imaging methods, surgery and X-rays were the only ways for clinicians to see inside the human body. Because of MRI technology, technologists can safely operate advanced scanners that provide high-quality images of the human body for use in diagnosis and treatment.

By becoming an MRI technologist, individuals can help patients and physicians along the pathway to better health. The role of an MRI technologist includes operating MRI equipment, positioning patients correctly within the MRI scanner, ensuring patient safety and comfort, and sending images to radiologists for interpretation.

Imaging technologists interested in advancing their careers in this area should consider an Advanced Imaging Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging. An MRI certificate can help imaging professionals earn a salary commensurate with the expertise required to operate sophisticated MRI machines.

Career Opportunities with an MRI Certificate

MRIs are extremely effective and noninvasive, and technologists who know how to operate these machines safely are in high demand. Earning an MRI certificate can prepare radiographers for roles in this field, such as MRI technologist and lead or chief MRI technologist.

MRI Technologist

MRI technologists operate MRI scanners to produce detailed images of internal organs and tissues to help with the diagnosis of a host of medical issues, including cancer and heart problems.

On a day-to-day basis, MRI technologists prepare patients for MRI procedures and adjust and maintain imaging equipment. They may also administer contrast media in patients. Additionally, MRI technologists work with physicians to ensure correct images are produced.

Chief MRI Technologist

Chief MRI technologists oversee operations at an MRI imaging facility or department. Their responsibilities include overseeing the quality assurance and maintenance processes of the MRI machines as needed, managing the schedules of MRI technologists, and training and mentoring new employees.

How to Earn an MRI Certificate

The minimum educational requirement for MRI technologists is an associate degree. Many MRI technologists also earn a bachelor’s degree or an advanced certificate in MRI technology from a higher education institution.

Before moving into the MRI technologist role, professionals often gain experience by working in roles such as a radiologic technologist or nuclear medicine technologist.

Though most states don’t require MRI technologists to gain licensure, many employers prefer to hire technologists with certification from a professional national organization such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certification is also available from the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT), though it is not quite as common.

Completing an advanced online education program such as an Advanced Imaging Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging gives technologists the necessary online classroom and clinical experience to sit for the ARRT exam. Students who are interested in an advanced imaging program should explore admission requirements; for instance, some MRI programs may require students to have an associate degree in an imaging field and hold current registration in a field such as radiologic technology or nuclear medicine technology.

ARRT Certification in MRI

Individuals who seek MRI certification from the ARRT must meet certain educational and clinical experience requirements and comply with the organization’s ethical standards. The exam consists of 200 questions in the following categories:

  • Patient care
  • Safety
  • Image production
  • Procedures

Sitting for the MRI registry exam costs between $200 to $400 depending on the eligibility requirements pathway they choose. ARRT certified MRI technologists must periodically apply for renewal and meet certain renewal requirements.

MRI Certificate Salary

For technologists who have earned an MRI certificate, salary expectations are strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the 2020 median annual wage for magnetic resonance imaging technologists was $74,690. PayScale estimates a similar salary of approximately $74,000 for MRI technologists as of September 2021.

The BLS projects that MRI technologist employment will grow 9% between 2020 and 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increasing demands for MRIs from an aging population combined with the expected replacement of retiring professionals should drive this growth.

Advance Your Career in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Do you want a career that pays well and helps people? With a certificate in MRI, you can impact patients and physicians with expertise in medical imaging.

AdventHealth University Online’s Advanced Imaging Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) program offers students real-world education. With a curriculum developed by recognized leaders in the field, students will take essential courses, including Physics and Instrumentation of MRI, MRI Imaging Procedures, and MRI Pathology and Case Studies.

In addition, AHU provides internship opportunities that combine online learning with clinical practice to prepare students for certification exams. Learn more about the Advanced Imaging Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and pursue a career as an MRI technologist today.


The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
American Society for Radiologic Technologists, “Careers in Radiologic Technology”
Indeed, “Learn About Being an MRI Technician”
PayScale, Average Chief Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist Hourly Pay
PayScale, Average MRI Technologist with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Skills Hourly Pay
Scrubs, “11 Reasons to Become an MRI Technologist
SHRM, “Radiology Chief Technologist”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Radiologic and MRI Technologists: Occupational Outlook Handbook