But there is a saying that MRI tech school is hard. Is that true? We can’t say yes or no because there’s so much to discuss. What are the pros and cons of becoming one?
However, if you keep scrolling down your screen, you’ll get all the answers you seek and even more. Let’s begin by reviewing who these practitioners are.
Is Becoming an MRI Tech Difficult?
Do you want to become an MRI tech? Then, know that you’re making an excellent choice. The profession is among the most lucrative in the allied health industry.
Experts in this area typically analyze various medical conditions. They also provide outstanding healthcare by working directly with patients and taking scientific images.
However, the field requires significant dedication and perseverance.
But it’s worth the sacrifice, as you’ll have access to the tools you need to ace the professional test. Once you pass the exams, you’ll be issued your certification to bolster your employment odds.
Who is an MRI Tech?
You may have heard the word MRI tech, but you need to know who these experts are. Don’t worry; we’re about to enlighten you on that.
Such practitioners are professionally called Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists. They are practitioners who work with various sophisticated scientific technologies to support patients’ medical needs.
An MRI often uses radio waves and magnetic fields to photograph the body’s internal parts. Doctors will use the pictures to diagnose certain conditions in the body.
The duties of these practitioners are enormous. A few include assisting physicians in examining the images to figure out diagnoses and giving clients contrast media via IVs to enhance image visibility.
Others include helping patients stay relaxed during MRI procedures, positioning clients to allow for clear photographing images, and more.
The Best MRI Schools
Now that we’ve looked at whether this program is complex and the cost of obtaining one, you must know the best school to get trained in this field.
Some reputable institutions that offer these offline and online MRI tech programs include the American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education, Apprenticeship USDOL, and Casa Loma College.
Others are Aquarius Institute of Computer Science, CNI College, Med Academy, Midwestern Career College, National Polytechnic College, Tesla Institute of MRI Technology, and more.
Certification for MRI Tech
Unlike MRI tech schools, certification is easy for these experts.
However, some employers prefer to hire those with qualifications from ARRT. Before receiving such credentials, you must be trained in schools certified by this agency.
After receiving the attestation, you must renew it each year. While maintaining this document, you’ll be required to meet specific requirements.
One of them is to finish at least 24 hours of continuing education.
What Does It Take to Become an MRI Tech?
How long it will take you to finish your MRI studies depends on the credential you’re pursuing.
Those in certificate courses typically complete their education within six months or, at most, a year. Then, students pursuing an associate degree may take up to two years to finish.
Within your study period, you should expect numerous coursework. These include classroom, clinical, and hands-on training. Some programs also include shadowing seasoned veterans in the field.
Cost of Finishing an MRI Tech School
Before enrolling in an MRI tech program, you must learn about its cost implications.
Earning a credential requires careful financial planning, considering factors like program type, school, geographical location, and learning format.
But generally, the average tuition and fees for MRI technologists are around $4,900 for state residents. Non-state residents can pay up to $18,000 more or less, depending on the above factors.
Besides tuition fees, other expenses can add up to your overall cost. These include certification, about $250, and MRI simulator software, about $250.
You’ll also need to purchase textbooks and uniforms, which may cost $300 annually.
But is it true that MRI Tech is Hard?
According to experts, this medical field is somewhat complicated. Their reason is that the subject matter involved in radio technology school can be challenging.
Before becoming a certified practitioner, you must fully understand human body parts. Plus, how to use imaging equipment.
For instance, you’ll be expected to learn things like medical terminology and radiographic science during your studies. Others are imaging production, psychology, radiographic physics, anatomy, and physiology.
But while some people find the field challenging, others don’t. It all depends on your level of dedication and passion for the field.
We have people who ace their MRI studies without challenges and are successful in the industry. Your case will be the same if you work hard.
MRI Technologist Pros and Cons
Every profession has its perks and drawbacks. So, before deciding to become a magnetic resonance imaging technologist, you must weigh these aspects.
Knowing what you’ll benefit from and suffer from will help you make informed decisions regarding your career. In the following paragraphs, we’ll review some of the perks and cons of this profession.
Advantages of Becoming an MRI Tech
Becoming an expert in this field means you’re open to wealth of benefits. A few of these are health, insurance, and disability insurance, a decent job outlook, and low barriers to entry.
Others include numerous work settings, less expensive salaries, superb salaries, and more. Let’s review a few of these perks.
Doesn’t Require Extensive Training
Unlike other medical positions, there are few academic essentials to become an MRI. You can enter the industry with an associate degree from a certified program.
It typically takes two years to finish an associate degree in MRI at a community college. Such institutions are cheaper than going to universities.
You can start work immediately after graduation in states that don’t require licensure. But for states that demand credentials, you may need to add another year.
Outstanding Job Outlook
MRI tech has a decent job prospect. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the profession is expected to grow in employment by 9% from now to 20230.
So, pursuing this career path means you’ll be open to many work possibilities after graduation.
This medical field is indeed cheaper than other positions. The reason is that it has a low barrier to entry. As highlighted above, it takes an average of two years to become a practitioner.
Tuition fees for associate degree courses are generally lower than four-year degree programs. So, if you aren’t financially buoyant, you can still finish your studies without seeking financial aid.
What’s more? Because some states don’t require licensing, you only have a few expenses compared to other medical specialties.
This is one of the biggest perks of becoming an MRI. Practitioners in this field often earn a sound living.
Based on BLS reports, the average pay of a magnetic resonance imaging technologist is around $74,690 annually. You can earn as much as $104,210 and as little as $52,880.
While true, certain factors can influence your earnings. These include your level of education, work experience, and employer, among others.
The demand for MRI techs and radiologists is on the rise. Because there are fewer qualified people, the field offers more vacant positions.
It’s virtually impossible to lose a job when there’s no suitable replacement. So, if you have an MRI certificate, most clinical facilities will not want to lose you.
Boost Your Aptitude
Whether you’re a social person or not, working as an MRI technologist will allow you to interact with different kinds of people. These patients come from distinct walks of life.
Therefore, you must be careful when handling them. You can take caution by creating a relaxing environment for anxious patients.
Furthermore, you’ll also be equipped with technical, critical thinking, leadership, and communication skills. Sometimes, you may have high mathematical skills.
Drawbacks of Becoming an MRI Tech
There are benefits and associated disadvantages to becoming an expert in this area. So before joining this industry, ensure you weigh these cons. Let’s briefly take a look at them.
MRI Tech Studies is Highly Competitive
This medical field is in high demand across the country and the entire globe. Thus, it makes MRI tech programs very competitive in most colleges and universities.
The acceptance rate at most schools is meager. That’s why you should focus on your studies and training if you gain admission.
Once you finish, entry-level positions will await you until you gain sufficient experience to advance in your career.
Radiation Exposure is a Real Danger
If you don’t know, too much exposure to radiation waves can pose health risks. This is true if you skip corners for your safety.
That’s why fresh graduates are encouraged to be incredibly careful about protecting themselves and their patients from the harmful effects of radiation.
There are other cons to becoming an expert in this field. They include significant image quality issues, physical tasking, occasional emergencies, and more.
An MRI requires standing, lifting, and moving about in the facility. For instance, you can move from room to room or office to office to make patients comfortable.
You may also be asked to place and receive calls related to patients, among other duties. Before the end of your shift, you might be left with little to zero strength.
Working as an MRI might be challenging if you prefer to avoid socializing. As stated earlier, you might be involved with providing direct care to patients.
There, you’ll meet people from different age groups and backgrounds. Most times, dealing with children is challenging.
Threat of infection
As you offer direct care to patients, you can easily catch infections from them. Mistakes in safety precautions can lead to severe conditions, some less severe and others potentially causing early death.
Is there any Difference Between an MRI Technologist and a technologist MRI Technician?
Oh yes! Even though both professionals perform similar duties, there’s still a slight variation between the two. MRI technologists often receive their certification via ARMRIT and have higher levels than technicians.
However, both experts will be required to take professional exams before practicing. The idea is to improve their ability to conduct diagnostic imaging tests.
How Often Does MRI Tech Work?
Before becoming an expert in this field, you must know the profession’s work schedule. Generally, the MRI work schedule is similar to that of other clinical positions.
The work hours are dependent on the needs of patients. However, those working in hospitals typically work longer or have more unusual shifts, like evenings and weekends.
MRI school is indeed complex because of the intensity of the coursework. As you see above, you’ll offer several courses while undergoing your program.
Among these classes, some are theoretically inclined, while others are practice-based. You’ll need to study well to finish your training successfully.
Yes! Many people attest that MRI tech is hard. The studies include several complex topics you’ll need to learn before graduating. Moreover, working in the field has its drawbacks, as highlighted above.
While true, the field also comes with several perks. Before taking any significant step, ensure you review these aspects critically.
If you still need clarification about this career path, the perks and cons listed above can help you make informed decisions.