Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What is MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is a noninvasive imaging technology using strong magnetic fields to create detailed images of almost every internal structure in the human body. Most MRI machines are large, tube-shaped magnets, used for treatment support, monitoring, diagnosis, and disease detection. MRI technologists are responsible for conducting comprehensive MRI procedures and producing evaluation outcomes of those examinations.

Elgin Community College (ECC) students studying Magnetic Resonance Imaging get hands-on experience operating MRI scanners, and calibrating consoles, or peripheral hardware and test equipment, to ensure functional performance integrity. They oversee all safety measures, qualify and accommodate patient acceptability, manage appropriate imaging techniques, and tend to contrast media.

Candidates for the MRI program must possess the minimum of an associate degree in Radiography consisting of three semesters beginning in the fall semester and ending in the summer. They may enroll part-time (two-year track) or full-time (one-year track) in the Advanced Medical Imaging Programs.

For MRI Technologists, new worker wages start at around $49,418. Normal pay for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists is $74,842 per year, while highly experienced workers can earn as much as $100,460, with annually increasing job demands. See details about the salary and job opportunities on the ECC Career Coach site.

At the Elgin Community College, students will learn hard and soft skills. Soft skills can be self-taught and are essential in many industries and occupations. Students will learn about communications, customer service, scheduling, and quality assurance. Hard skills are specific, learnable, measurable, and often industry-specific related to a position such as radiology, basic life support, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Are you interested in taking your current imaging career to the next level? If you’ve already completed the original program, ECC’s program accepts Nuc Med, Ultrasound, and Radiation Therapy techs and radiologic techs. If you embrace advanced technology and have good communication, empathy, physical stamina, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, you are a great candidate for this field. With this advanced certificate, you’ll have the ability to work in various health care settings to capture and provide high-quality MRI images for interpretation and diagnosis. Magnetic resonance technologists work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, diagnostic imaging centers, outpatient clinics, orthopedic clinics, medical sales, and even educational settings.

MRI Technologist Program Entrance Requirements

Candidate must be ARRT registered in radiography OR radiation therapy, AND a graduate of a JRCERT-accredited imaging program; OR ARRT OR NMTCB registered in nuclear medicine technology, AND a graduate of a JRCNMT accredited nuclear medicine technology program OR ARRT OR ARDMS registered in sonography AND a graduate of a JRCDMS accredited sonography program. In addition, candidates for the MR program must possess the minimum of an associate’s degree.

What makes ECC’s program better?

Graduates of the advanced certificate program at ECC are highly skilled and qualify to sit for advanced certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). ECC’s flexible online and evening curriculum allows students to complete the program full-time or part-time. Courses are offered in online or hybrid formats. You may also take courses to fulfill continuing education requirements for registered technologists.

How long does it take to become an MRI Technologist?

Candidates for the MRI program must possess the minimum of an associate degree in Radiography. The program at ECC consists of three semesters beginning in the fall semester and ending in the summer. Students may enroll either part-time (two-year track) or full-time (one-year track) in the Advanced Medical Imaging Programs.

What do MRI techs do?

  • Operate MRI equipment and select appropriate imaging techniques or coils to produce required images.
  • Obtain IV access for use in injection of contrast media.
  • Intravenously inject contrast media, such as gadolinium contrast, following the scope of practice.
  • Conduct interviews of patients to identify implants, devices, medical hardware, or medical conditions that may interfere with or contraindicate performing the MRI exam.
  • Modify standard procedures to accommodate patient conditions and other variables.
  • Maintain appropriate image quality, determine the need, and adapt exposure factors and/or protocol for various patient conditions, equipment, accessories, and contrast media.
  • Evaluate image quality and make appropriate adjustments to obtain diagnostic images.
  • The technologist is responsible for maintaining a safe MRI environment.

MRI Techs are in demand

Why choose MRI Technologist as a career? Elgin Community College’s advanced medical imaging program in magnetic resonance imaging emphasizes hands-on clinical applications that will prepare you for more advanced jobs in the field and increase your earning potential. The US Department of Labor estimates that Radiologic and MRI Technologist jobs will grow 9 percent by 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Radiologic and MRI Technologists, (accessed December 21, 2021). See details about the salary and job opportunities in medical imaging on the ECC Career Coach site.

MRI Certification Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

Review the ECC catalog for details about the magnetic resonance imaging plan of study and course descriptions.

Basic Certificate

Planning to Transfer

Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer, or dual admissions with a university by visiting University Transfer & Partnerships.

Learn more about MRI certification at ECC!

Earning a certificate at Elgin Community College can set your career in motion.

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