MRI technician schools include offerings by technical schools, community colleges and four year colleges and universities. These MRI schools offer programs leading to certificate, associate's and bachelor's degrees. An associate’s degree is the most common educational requirement.
According to O*Net Online, the distribution of MRI technician education is as follows:
- Associate's degree 61%
- Some college, no degree 26%
- Bachelor's degree 9%
MRI technician programs vary in length. MRI certificate programs can range from one semester to one year. MRI associate degree programs can take up to two years and generally require a hands-on clinical training component. MRI programs at the associate's degree level require the student to participate in clinical hands-on experience at a hospital or medical clinic. MRI bachelor's degree programs generally require completion of bachelor's programs in radiologic science with training and specialization in MRI procedures.
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredits most formal MRI technician courses. Completing an accredited MRI program is required for licensure in some states. Prospective students should make sure their chosen MRI school program or courses are accredited by the JRCERT in order to be eligible for certification. For more information on certification see the MRI Technician Certification page on this site.
Given the hands-on nature of the occupation you cannot become an MRI technician entirely online. Online MRI technician programs are available but typically they are in a hybrid format. That is, they combine distance learning classes with hands-on on-site clinical requirements. Online MRI programs also generally require as a prerequisite that you be a certified diagnostic imaging professional such as a Registered Radiologic Technologists or Registered Sonographer. Online MRI continuing education classes are also available for practicing professionals.