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MRI Tech Schools in California

Magnetic resonance imaging technicians perform diagnostic examinations on patients using MRI scanning equipment to produce images of the patient's body. MRI technicians work with patients to ensure they are properly positioned to take the correct image and place shielding in exposed areas that don't need to be scanned. MRI technicians often inject patients with dye so images show more clearly on scanning equipment.

California MRI technician schools

MRI Technician Schools in California typically culminate in either a diploma, certificate or associate degree -- the latter being the most common path to employment in the field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) reports. California MRI technician schools may be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, the BLS notes.

Educational programs vary by institution but typically include study in the following areas:

  • Introduction to patient and medical skills
  • Medical terminology
  • Human and cross-sectional anatomy
  • Radiational physics
  • Clinical externship

Students of MRI technician programs should expect to learn how to properly use MRI scanning equipment to produce cross-sectional images for diagnostic purposes and how to work with patients in a medical setting.

MRI technician credentials

Students who pass an accredited educational program can sit for licensure in the field of magnetic resonance imaging through the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists. Beginning on January 1 of 2015, the ARRT states that candidates for licensure must obtain an associate or higher degree, though it doesn't necessarily have to be in radiologic science and can be earned prior to enrolling or graduating from an MRI technician educational program.

California MRI technician salaries and job outlook

According to the BLS, there were 2,650 MRI technologists working in California in May of 2015, the third-highest number of MRI techs in the country behind Florida and Texas. Wages for all MRI technicians in California - around $42 per hour - are much higher than the national median wage of $32.86.

Employment is heaviest in Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas, the BLS reports. Nationally, the field is expected to grow by 24 percent from 2012 through 2022. Hospitals are expected to continue employing the largest number of MRI technicians, but an increasing number of MRI technicians are expected to be employed at physician's offices and outpatient imaging centers as patient care shifts to a less-expensive out-patient model.

Sources:

Academic Degree Requirement Effective 2015 for Primary Certification, The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, https://www.arrt.org/Certification/Academic-Degree-Requirement

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/CURRENT/oes292035.htm

MRI Technologist, National Polytechnic College, Accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.npcollege.edu/mri-technologist/

Radiologic and MRI Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm

Radiologic Technology, Atlantic Cape Community College, Accessed November 17, 2014, www.atlantic.edu/program/degrees/RadiologicTech.htm

MRI Tech Schools