How Long Does It Take To Become An MRI Tech?

In the medical industry, working as an MRI technician is a fantastic career choice. If you’re thinking about becoming an MRI tech, it is quite interesting to ask the question: how long does it take to become an MRI tech?

It is also a field that is expanding, offering excellent employment prospects and high earnings.

Typically, training to become an MRI technologist doesn’t take too long. Licensing, certifications, and other kinds of experience are nevertheless necessary.

The eight to nine years of school demand a large financial commitment, which typically necessitates students taking out sizable student debts. 

This Article however contains detailed information on the question, how long does it take to become an MRI Tech?

Check this out: How Long Does It Take To Become An EMT?

What is an MRI Tech School like?

The most sophisticated diagnostic imaging method used today is an MRI, commonly known as magnetic resonance imaging. 

The MRI scanners are operated by MRI technologists, who also create the diagnostic pictures. 

A Radiologist (Doctor) will read these photos and make a diagnosis (find the cause of a disease). 

To aid in the pathology diagnosis, some MRI examinations call for the application (injection) of contrast material.

MRI is a field that uses cutting-edge science and technology to assist in patient diagnosis. 

For those who enjoy using technology and working with patients, MRI positions are ideal.

How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? The whole process usually takes more than 7 years.

A person must attend medical school, fulfill additional criteria, and obtain a license before becoming an MRI Tech.

However, before that, MRI Tech school can be quite stressful due to the debt and stress you accrue at the beginning of your profession.

Due to the outrageously high cost of medical school tuition, books, bank fees, living expenses, application-related costs in your final year of medical school, and travel-related costs throughout your degree, the majority of MRI technologist students find themselves with a sizable amount of debt upon graduation.

Some MRI Tech aspirants may wonder whether it is worthwhile to pursue their goal given the demands of residency and the necessity to “penny-pinch” and carefully plan their finances for the first few years.

As if the financial burden of obtaining a MRI Tech degree weren’t enough, the pressure to match and obtain one’s desired specialty, and even in their desired/close to desired institution/location as well as the life of a medical resident itself is enough for some hopeful MRI Tech to give up on the field altogether

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become An X-ray Technician?

Is Attending MRI Tech School Worth it?

Let’s begin by detailing some of the main advantages of selecting MRI Tech as your medical school major.

First and foremost, MRI tech are held in the highest regard and regard by the general public.

Second, MRI Tech humbly acknowledges that they can start and end each day with the knowledge that they are actively and favorably enhancing the general health, well-being, development, and improvement of their communities.

There are clearly a number of other advantages to attending MRI Tech colleges.

Is MRI Tech school worthwhile? This ultimately comes down to your personal priorities, the reasons you want to become an MRI technologist, and your ability to handle the challenges that come with making this particular career choice.

Despite the fact that the advantages and benefits of pursuing a career in medicine vastly exceed the drawbacks and disadvantages, it is foolish to think that an MRI Tech life is unicorns and rainbows.

MRI Technologist job and medical school education are unquestionably valuable and desirable.

because it makes it possible to live the most genuine and contented life. But because each person’s path, desires, objectives, and pursuits of happiness are distinct.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Sonographer?

What Schooling Do you need to Become an MRI Tech

In order to operate the MRI equipment that helps doctors diagnose or rule out medical disorders, MRI techs must undertake specialized responsibilities. 

The minimum educational qualification for this position is an associate’s degree, but it may go as high as a bachelor’s degree. 

How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? After being exposed to a thorough curriculum, they can start operating the MRI equipment for the diagnosis of medical disorders.

A bachelor’s degree in magnetic resonance imaging or a graduate-level certificate program in this field are also options for those seeking this specialization in fields like mammography.

Here are several colleges that have received accreditation from an ARRT-approved body, albeit this is not an exhaustive list.

1.  Rhode Island College (RIC)

RIC provides a bachelor of science (BS) in medical imaging in collaboration with Lifespan School of Medical Imaging. 

Students can specialize in diagnostic medical sonography (84 credits), magnetic resonance imaging (84 credits), nuclear medicine technology (86 credits), RT computed tomography (82 credits), medical imaging management (60 to 92 credits), or radiologic technology thanks to the program’s diversity. 

It is located in Providence, Rhode Island (87 credits). 

Students must take general education liberal arts classes to finish their degree because it is a BS program.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Paramedic?

2.  West Virginia University Hospitals

From its campus in Morgantown, West Virginia, WVU offers a certificate program in magnetic resonance imaging as a component of the Center for Advanced Imaging. 

How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? Students must dedicate just one year to comprehensive training that incorporates both didactic and clinical education, as opposed to four-year bachelor’s programs. 

Students who complete this program are qualified to take the ARRT primary certification examination.

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Therapist?

3.  University of Nebraska Medical Center

From its campus in Omaha, Nebraska, the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions provides a post-baccalaureate certificate in magnetic resonance imaging. 

To be eligible to apply for the program, candidates must have graduated from an accredited radiography institution and hold their primary ARRT certification in radiography or another discipline. 

It is not necessary to complete the radiography program at UNMC, although it is an option.

4.   Casper College

This radiography program is situated in Casper, Wyoming, with clinical sites in Douglas, Gillette, Sheridan, Lander, Rawlins, and Casper. 

It is designed to accommodate any student’s needs.

How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? Wyoming credits Candidates who already possess an associate’s degree are eligible for Casper College’s 10-month MRI certificate program. 

Since the ARRT has designated the MRI program as a primary pathway program, students will have fewer clinical exam requirements. 

The primary pathway program’s graduates are qualified to take the ARRT MRI certification test.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Commercial Pilot?

5.  Galveston College

How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? The two-semester GC MRI Technology certificate program can be finished online or on campus in Galveston, Texas, and is intended to be finished after earning an associate’s degree. 

There may be less of a wait between finishing one’s AS degree and becoming certified to do magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) because of the online program’s flexibility in starting in either the fall or spring semester.

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer?

How Long Does it Take to Become a Licensed MRI Tech in 2023?

Before you can start working as an MRI Tech, you must complete a number of courses, exams, and training programs. 

How long does it take to become an MRI Tech?


How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? Students who wish to enroll in MRI tech programs must normally have graduated from high school or hold a GED in order to be considered for enrollment. 

In high school, students who want to become MRI technicians should concentrate on their science and math courses. 

Students will also get a head start on their college studies by finishing AP courses and earning college credit by passing the associated AP exams.


How long does it take to become an MRI tech? A bachelor’s degree may be desirable, however, candidates often complete an associate degree and an authorized MRI tech certificate program as a minimum. 

A bachelor’s degree program can improve employment prospects and leadership potential.

The accreditation of the MRI tech program a student completes is important since it guarantees a minimum level of education and is frequently needed for certification. 

The American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (AMRIT), the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs are among the organizations that accredit MRI Tech programs (CAAHEP).


How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? For those aiming to earn their ARMRIT certification, a clinical MRI technician apprenticeship may be used in place of formal schooling. 

Applications must provide proof of the 2,000 hours spent in an approved apprenticeship. 

An apprenticeship or clinical work experience can still be an advantage for those who are not pursuing ARMRIT when they are looking for employment.


Although certification is not necessary to work as an MRI technician, very few businesses actually do. 

There are two main certifications: ARRT and ARMRIT (described below). 

For both certificates, candidates must finish their MRI tech coursework and succeed in their exams.


Only New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, and West Virginia require MRI technicians to be licensed. 

State-by-state licensing is the norm, therefore prospective licensees should get in touch with their local boards to find out about the necessary training and exams.

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists are the two main organizations that certify MRI technicians (ARMRIT). The prerequisites for each certification differ.

How Much Does it Cost to become a licensed MRI Tech

The price of an MRI technician program can vary depending on the program’s length, level of specialty, whether you live in the state where the institution is located or are an out-of-state student, and the state.

How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? A two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree are the two alternatives available to those who desire to become MRI technologists.

To be eligible for MRI certification and registration recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, it’s crucial to enroll in an accredited program (ARRT).

For the academic year 2021–2022, the average tuition and expenses for the MRI technologist program are $4,900 for residents of the state and $18,000 for out-of-state students.

After completing the training, you must pay around $250 to become certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. 

Additionally, MRI techs can earn qualifications from organizations like the American Registry of Magnetic Imaging Technologists.

Software for MRI scanners can cost $250.

Each year, uniforms and books may cost around $300.

Salary and Job Outlook for MRI Tech After Study

Salary: Between 2018 and 2028, it is expected that the employment of MRI technicians will increase by 11% nationwide. 

The US’s aging population and rising rates of diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s are the main causes of this growth.

Job Outlook: The median annual wage for MRI technicians is $74,270, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2019). The pay percentiles in this industry are as follows:

  • 10th percentile: $51,150
  • 25th percentile: $61,030
  • 50th percentile (median): $73,410
  • 75th percentile: $87,280
  • 90th percentile: $101,580

Good MRI technicians can move up to more senior positions in the hospital or clinical context, such as lead MRI technologist, MRI supervisor, or senior staff technologist, with some experience. 

Technologists in these advanced jobs could oversee other MRI technicians and assume greater administrative responsibilities at their facility. 

Compared to smaller outpatient clinics and private physician offices, larger hospital settings with a larger workforce make it simpler to identify these more specialized titles and roles. 

Additionally, because of their experience, MRI technicians may have better schedules as they develop in their careers, spending fewer nights, weekends, and days on call.


The most sophisticated diagnostic imaging method used today is an MRI, commonly known as magnetic resonance imaging. 

How long does it take to become an MRI Tech? Shouldn’t be the question that should discourage you in that career because the time is really worth it.

Then, it is crucial to follow the right procedures, make a goal-setting strategy, and be committed to realizing your ambition of being an MRI Tech.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is MRI Tech hard to learn?

A PhD or postdoc is a great time to learn more about the valuable and well-liked technique of brain imaging using MRI. 
Conducting MRI research requires a variety of abilities, making it challenging to master rapidly.

Is MRI Physically Demanding?

Radiologic and MRI techs must be able to lift and move patients who require assistance because they spend a lot of their shift standing up.

WHy can’t I drink water before the MRI?

Urine incontinence may become more difficult due to this sense of urgency. 
Even though you could still feel some urgency before the procedure, abstaining from alcohol for a few hours beforehand can reduce your risk of incontinence during the scan.

Does MRI Tech work alone?

Most engineers will occasionally work alone, regardless of their location, style of workspace, or workplace size. 
MRI techs are intensely aware of the inherent safety dangers associated with the technology and are aware of how risks increase when operating alone.



Leave a Comment

Scholarsly is an educational blog which aggregates study abroad, scholarships update, VISA application and and other important info for our readers. We do not offer direct employment, scholarship, VISA procurement or offer physical travel assistance. We also do not charge you or request money and would not refer you to any agent either. Find more info on our Privacy policy page below and kindly contact us if you need further information.