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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Imaging technicians observe an MRI procedure

Department: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Program Type: Health Professions

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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 for treatment support, monitoring, diagnosis, and disease detection. RAD/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.

Learn more about earning a Bachelor’s degree, earning summer credits for transfer, or dual admissions with a university by making an appointment with an academic advisor.

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 a minimum Associate degree.


The Magnetic Resonance Certificate program is one of only 14 accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology in the nation.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The future employment outlook for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) professionals is positive. The increasing demand for medical imaging to diagnose and monitor chronic conditions, such as cancer and heart disease, is expected to drive this growth. Additionally, the aging population and advances in technology are also expected to contribute to the increased demand for MRI services.

Overall, the employment outlook for MRI professionals is expected to be strong in the coming years. 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. Refer to Career Coach for more information regarding related professions and compensation.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

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

Basic Vocational Certificate

Associate of Applied Science

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 at least 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 part-time (two-year track) or full-time (one-year track) in the Advanced Medical Imaging Programs.

What does an MRI Technologist do?

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, Radiation Therapy, and radiologic techs. You are a great candidate for this field if you embrace advanced technology and have good communication, empathy, physical stamina, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. With this advanced certificate, you can work in various health care settings to capture and provide high-quality MRI images for interpretation and diagnosis. Magnetic resonance technologists work in hospitals, physician's offices, diagnostic imaging centers, outpatient clinics, orthopedic clinics, medical sales, and educational settings.

  • 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 with patients to identify implants, devices, medical hardware, or medical conditions that may interfere with or contraindicate 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.

How much do MRI Technicians make?

For MRI Technologists, new worker wages start at around $49,418. Normal pay for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists is $74,842 annually, while highly experienced workers earn as much as $100,460, increasing job demands annually.

Learn more about the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist department at ECC!

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