MRI Technician Job Description

What do MRI technicians do? They operate magnetic resonance imaging scanners and much more.  An MRI technician may also be referred to as an MRI technologist or MRI tech.   Other titles may include  Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI Specialist, Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI Technologist, Staff Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI Technologist or Staff Technologist.

An MRI technician description is provided here to more fully help describe the scope of MRI technician duties

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MRI techs are a subset of a broader radiologic technologist career category.  In fact, many start out as X-Ray/Radiologic technicians and then later specialize as MRI technicians.  MRI technicians operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners  to build a 2-D or 3-D map of different tissue types within the body.  MRI uses non-ionizing radio frequency to generate the image contrast. The captured images are then reviewed by a physician.  The MRI images are used by doctors to assess and diagnose patients.

MRI technician duties can include:

  • preparing patients for the imaging scan including lifting or positioning patients
  • explaining MRI procedures to patients, patient representatives, or family members
  • taking brief medical histories from patients
  • entering into the computer data such as patient history, anatomical area to be scanned, orientation specified, and position of entry.
  • ensuring the equipment is operating properly
  • attaching monitoring leads to patient's finger, chest, waist, or other body parts
  • calibrating magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) console or peripheral hardware
  • conducting screening interviews of patients to identify contra-indications, such as ferrous objects, pregnancy, prosthetic heart valves, cardiac pacemakers, or tattoos

Additional MRI technician responsibilities may include:

  • connecting physiological leads to physiological acquisition control (PAC) units
  • creating backup copies of images by transferring images from disk to storage media or workstation
  • developing or otherwise producing film records of magnetic resonance images
  • selecting appropriate imaging techniques or coils to produce required images.
  • injecting intravenously contrast dyes
  • inspecting images for quality, using magnetic resonance scanner equipment and laser cameras

Information on this page summarized from:
(1)  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Radiologic and MRI Technologists,
(2) "Radiologic technologist." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
(3) O*Net Online,summary report for:29-2035.00 - Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists,
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