University of Nebraska Medical Center

What is a magnetic resonance imaging technologist?

The Profession

Magnetic Resonance Imaging students with the MRI machine

A magnetic resonance imaging technologist uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create images of the human body.

The magnetic field causes atoms inside the body to become aligned. After alignment, a radio wave is issued to "excite" the atoms. Once the radio signal is turned off, the atoms give off a small characteristic signal. Those signals are then measured with a sensitive antenna called a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) coil. This process is repeated many times until enough measurements are detected to create a series of detailed images. MRI does not use any ionizing radiation, and can create images of almost any body part oriented in any direction.

MRI technologists use these innovative technologies to create diagnostic images by determining and setting technical parameters, and positioning the patient to create images that accurately display anatomy and pathology. In addition to technical expertise and computer literacy, excellent communication skills are essential for MRI technologists who are responsible for patient education, instruction, and safety.

New technologies and the increased use of diagnostic procedures have created many opportunities in this field. The US Department of Labor projects that the employment of MRI technologists is expected to increase by 9% from 2014-2024.

Starting wage: $58,016
Middle-range wage: $82,395
Job after graduation from our UNMC MRI program: 100%

You may not know us, but health care wouldn’t be the same without us. Learn how vital our profession is to modern health care.

Professional Organization Links

Most health care professions have professional organizations at state and national levels. These provide valuable information for prospective students as well as working professionals.

What can I do next?

Review academic program & requirements
If you'd like to find out about our program to become a magnetic resonance imaging technologist, review the Magnetic Resonance Imaging academics information and requirements.
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