Imaging technologists use the newest equipment in radiology to learn about the condition or disease of a patient.  The equipment used includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses powerful magnetism to create an image of the inside of the body.  Imaging technologists are also skilled in computerized tomography (CT),  which is an advanced way to create computer enhanced pictures of the body, as well as skilled in vascular imaging, which makes  pictures of the heart and blood vessel system.

Specifically, MRI technician responsibilities include interpreting physicians’ instructions, explaining MRI procedures to patients, selecting imaging parameters and adjusting MRI machines, and viewing images obtained and keeping records of the results. They also may prepare patients for procedures and move and position disabled patients onto examination tables.


A high school diploma or its equivalent (GED) is required.  While in high school courses in mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry are recommended.

Imaging technology is a specialization for radiologic technologists.  To enter a program in imaging technology, you must first be registered (or eligible to be registered) as a radiologic technologist by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART).  The diploma in imaging technology takes one year to complete.

Specific to MRI Technician:

Minimum requirement to becoming an MRI technician is completion of an associate’s degree in radiologic technology or a related field, followed by 1-2 years of additional study in an MRI tech certification program. The institution should be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology or the Commission on Accreditation of the American Registry of MRI Technologists.

Certification programs include hands on training in a variety of clinical settings. Newly hired technicians complete on the job training.

It is not necessary for MRI techs in LA to hold a state license. However, it is important to be certified. National certification is available through the American Registry of MRI Technologists. MRI techs must participate in continuing education to maintain credentials.

The difference between MRI technician I and II is in the level of experience of the technician. Level II technicians have more experience than level I. MRI Technician II was indicated to be one of the top careers for 2014.


  • Cardiovascular/Interventional Technologist
  • Vascular/Interventional Technologist
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist
    •       Most MRI technologists start out as radiologic technologists, and specialize later on in their career
  • Computerized Tomography Technologist


Imaging technologists work in healthcare facilities with the majority working in hospitals. They can also work in physician’s offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories, outpatient care centers or in the federal government. The job will require being on your feet for long periods of time as well as lifting or turning patients who are disabled.  Most imaging technologists work full time with some working during the evenings, weekends or on call.


MRI technician salaries in Louisiana usually fall between $50,000 and $53,000 per year.


The job outlook is good for imaging technologists.  The field is expected to grow 28% from 2010 to 2020 which is faster than the average of all occupations.  This is due to an increase in the aging population which will require more imaging as well as an increase in jobs in outpatient facilities. 


American College of Radiology
1891 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA  20191
(703) 648-8900