How to Become an MRI Tech in California

You can become an MRI tech in California by completing an accredited MRI training program and passing the required exams.

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Introduction

Medical imaging is a rapidly growing field, and MRI technicians are in high demand. If you live in California and want to become an MRI tech, there are a few things you need to do. First, you need to complete an accredited MRI program. Next, you need to obtain a license from the California Department of Public Health. Finally, you need to pass the national certification exams administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians (ARRT).

What is an MRI Technician?

An MRI technician is a specialized medical professional who operates magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the human body, which are then used by physicians to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

MRI technicians must complete an accredited MRI training program and obtain a valid license from the state of California in order to practice. This article will provide an overview of the steps necessary to become an MRI technician in California.

The Role of an MRI Technician

MRI technicians, also called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists, operate MRI scanners to create diagnostic images. MRI is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the human body. These images can be used to diagnose a wide range of conditions, from cancers and infections to fractures and degenerative diseases.

MRI technicians work in hospitals, clinics and private medical practices. They typically work full time, although some MRI technologists may work part time or on call. evening and weekend shifts are often required.

Education and Training
In most states, MRI technologists must be licensed or certified. Licensure generally requires completing an accredited MRI technology program and passing a state-administered exam. Certification is generally voluntary, but it may be required by some employers. Certification is available from several organizations, including the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and the American Registry for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (ARMRIT).

Most MRI technology programs take two years to complete and result in an associate’s degree. Admission to these programs typically requires completing prerequisites in mathematics and science. Coursework generally includes anatomy, physiology, radiation physics, medical ethic and patient care. Students also complete clinical rotations to gain hands-on experience using MRI equipment.

Education and Training Requirements

An MRI tech in California must complete an accredited educational program and earn certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). There are several schools that offer MRI technician programs in California, and many of these programs can be completed in less than two years.

To become licensed as an MRI tech in California, you must:
-Complete an accredited MRI program
-Pass the ARRT national examination for certification
-Submit a state application for licensure to the California Department of Public Health, Radiology Section
-Have your fingerprints and criminal background checked
-Be at least 18 years old

Job Outlook

In California, employment of MRI technologists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. population growth and the associated rise in chronic conditions—such as obesity and diabetes—are expected to increase the demand for diagnostic imaging procedures, including MRIs.

ABOUT THIS GUIDE
This guide provides information on how to become an MRI technologist in California. It includes information on education and training requirements, job outlook, and earnings.

Salary and Wages

Income varies depending on geographic location, employer and years of experience. As of May 2013, the nationwide average salary for MRI techs was $63,420 per year, or $30.49 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). California MRI techs averaged $38.78 per hour, or $80,630 per year as of May 2012, according to the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD).

Becoming an MRI Technician in California

MRI technicians, also known as radiographers, are health care professionals who use MRI machines to create images of patients’ internal organs and tissues. MRI machines are large, powerful and expensive, so it takes special training to learn how to operate them safely and effectively.

If you want to become an MRI technician in California, you’ll need to complete an accredited radiology program and obtain a license from the state. Read on to learn more about how to become an MRI tech in California.

Accredited Programs
The first step to becoming an MRI technician is completing an accredited radiology program. Radiography programs are offered at many community colleges and technical schools across the state. Most programs take two years or less to complete and include both classroom and clinical instruction.

During your radiography program, you’ll take classes such as human anatomy, medical ethics, patient care and imaging physics. You’ll also get hands-on experience using X-ray machines and other imaging equipment. Once you complete your program, you’ll earn an associate degree or certificate in radiography.

Licensure Requirements
In California, all MRI technicians must be licensed by the state before they can begin working. To obtain a license, you must first pass the national American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam. Once you pass the exam, you can apply for a license from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The CDPH offers two types of licenses for MRI technicians: limited X-ray technologist (LT) licenses and general X-ray technologist (GT) licenses. To qualify for an LT license, you must have completed a radiography program that included at least 15 hours of instruction in MR safety procedures. If your program didn’t include this instruction, you can still qualify for a GT license by completing a 15-hour MR safety course approved by the CDPH.

Once you have your license, you must renew it every two years by completing 24 hours of continuing education credits and paying a renewal fee. You can renew your license online through the CDPH website or by mail using the forms available on the website.

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