MRI Tech School in Florida

Modern technology gives health professionals a wide range of tools to evaluate patient health and diagnose illness. Magnetic resonance imaging is one tool commonly used today, and MRI technicians are responsible for safely using this technology to obtain images of internal organs or other parts of the body.

Inside MRI tech school in Florida

MRI technicians may follow several education paths, and Florida MRI technician schools may offer certificates, associate degrees and bachelor's degrees in this specialty. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) notes an associate degree is the most common education level for professionals working in the field.

Florida schools may offer associate degrees in the broader field of radiologic technology with a specialization in MRIs rather than a dedicated degree program. If a concentration in MRI studies is not available, students may choose to pursue an MRI certificate in addition to their degree. The actual curriculum will vary depending on the program chosen, but future MRI technicians may take the following classes among others:

  • Introduction to magnetic resonance imaging
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology for medical imaging
  • Advanced medical imaging
  • MRI clinical experience

When comparing Florida MRI tech schools, students should look for an accredited program. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the regionally accrediting body for Florida institutions, but MRI and radiology programs may also be accredited or approved by organizations such as the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMIT) and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

Licensing requirements for Florida MRI technicians

Under Florida law, only technicians who administer ionizing radiation, such as that found in x-rays, must be licensed by the state. That means individuals who work solely as MRI technicians do not need a license.

However, graduates with an associate degree in radiologic technology may find state certification increases their employment prospects since it will allow them to perform other types of imaging in addition to MRIs. Individuals seeking certification in Florida must be 18 years old, of good moral character, complete an approved educational program and pass a certification exam.

In addition to state certification, MRI technicians can purse voluntary certification through ARMIT and The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

Florida career outlook and salary data for MRI technicians

The BLS reports Florida employed more MRI technologists in May 2013 than any other state. What's more, job openings for these professionals should continue to grow steadily during the next few years. According to Projections Central, a website compiling employment data, job growth in Florida for MRI technologists should be nearly 26 percent from 2012-2022. That's higher than the 21 percent job growth expected nationwide during that same time period, per the BLS.

Florida MRI technicians may have more job opportunities, but they could also earn slightly less than those employed elsewhere. As of May 2013, the average annual wage for MRI technologists in Florida was $61,950 while the average for technologists nationwide was $65,960.

Sources:

Accredited MRI Programs, American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists, http://www.armrit.org/schools.shtml

Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certification, The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, https://www.arrt.org/Certification/Magnetic-Resonance-Imaging

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

May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Florida, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_fl.htm#31-0000

Radiologic Technologist FAQs, Florida Department of Health, http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radiation-control/radtech/radtech-faq.html#question_18

Radiologic and MRI Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-1

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