For individuals who have a desire to help people, the field of medicine is one of the most gratifying careers they can choose. There is much more to the care of people’s health than just being a doctor or nurse. Many of today’s high tech medical machines require a highly trained operator to be able to provide your health care professionals the information they need to make accurate diagnosis. Of these, the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technician is a high demand and well paying career choice.
The MRI machine is designed to show up both hard and soft tissues within the body for a better look at anomalies and tumors. They are highly sophisticated machines that require a skilled technician to operate. It is a field unto itself, and as such requires a specialized training regimen. It is best to start in high school by preparing oneself with such course work as chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology. A regimen of self-study to familiarize oneself with medical terminology will also help. Beginning these preparatory studies should take place as soon as a person decides they wish to enter the field.
College preparation will include at least a two-year degree in Radiologic Technology from an accredited community college or vocational school. Before applying to any school, check with the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology to find a properly accredited school to attend. They will provide you not only with the names of the proper schools, but also a list of the accredited programs you will have to work your way through. These will include such classes as radiation physics, anatomy, and patient care procedures.
Once you obtain your Associate Degree you should still seek further education through special training in MRI technology and procedures. Eighty percent of the states in the United States require licensing before you can hire on as a medical radiographer. You will need to check the state’s requirements where you wish to work. While further certification may not be required, most hospitals do prefer to only hire those who have further been certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians. This will provide you with your best chance at obtaining a good job as a MRI technician. Once certified by this board you will still have to take extra exams and continuing educational courses at least every two years to keep yourself updated on the most current methods and procedures.
Certified MRI technicians can generally expect a quite comfortable income in this rewarding field of health care support. A recent salary survey made by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists has shown that, depending on the level of training and the geographical area you work in, average yearly incomes for MRI and X-Ray technicians runs from as little as $46,000 to as much as $64,000 annually. Health care is not as subject to the whims of economic fluctuation as many careers so there is less danger of your position being downsized or curtailed by a bad economy. Added to this is the inestimable reward of knowing that what you do will help improve the lives of countless people who have sought relief from illness with the medical profession.