Radiologic and MRI Technologists: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
An associates degree is the most common educational requirement for radiologic and MRI technologists. There also are postsecondary education programs that lead to graduate certificates or bachelors degrees. Education programs typically include both classroom study and clinical work. Coursework includes anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 12% (Faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Requirements vary by state.
Median pay: How much do Radiologic and MRI Technologists make?
$58,960 Annual Salary
$28.35 per hour

Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images.

What do Radiologic and MRI Technologists do?

Radiologic and MRI technologists typically do the following:

  • Adjust and maintain imaging equipment
  • Precisely follow orders from physicians on what areas of the body to image
  • Prepare patients for procedures, including taking a medical history and answering questions about the procedure
  • Protect the patient by shielding exposed areas that do not need to be imaged
  • Position the patient and the equipment in order to get the correct image
  • Operate the computerized equipment to take the images
  • Work with physicians to evaluate the images and to determine whether additional images need to be taken
  • Keep detailed patient records

Healthcare professionals use many types of equipment to diagnose patients. Radiologic technologists specialize in x-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging. Some radiologic technologists prepare a mixture for the patient to drink that allows soft tissue to be viewed on the images that the radiologist reviews.

Careers for Radiologic and MRI Technologists

  • CT technologists
  • Computed axial tomography technologists
  • Computed tomography (CT) scanner operators
  • MRI technologists
  • Magnetic resonance imaging technologists
  • Mammographers
  • Radiographers
  • Radiologic technicians
  • Registered radiologic technologists
  • Skiagraphers
  • X-ray technicians

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