The MRI technician career outlook is expected to be very good. MRI technician employment is expected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. There were about 33,600 MRI technicians on the U.S. in 2016. Projected new additional job openings from 2016-2026 number about 5000.
There will be an increasing demand for MRI technicians as the population grows and ages. With age comes increased incidence of illness and injury, which often requires diagnostic imaging for diagnosis. For example, as the population grows older, there will be an increase in medical conditions, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, which require imaging as a tool for making diagnoses. MRI techs will be needed to maintain and operate MRI scanners. This will be tempered somewhat by encouragement to use less-costly, noninvasive imaging technologies, such as ultrasound.
The MRI technician outlook is also expected to improve as a result of federal health legislation to expand the number of patients who have access to health insurance, increasing patient access to medical care. Job openings also will arise from the need to replace technicians who leave the occupation.
Hospitals will remain the principal employer of MRI technicians. However, a number of new jobs will be in physicians' offices and in outpatient imaging centers. This is due to an expected shift toward outpatient care whenever possible. Outpatient care is encouraged by third-party payers as a cost-saving measure.