Now Accepting International Students (F1 Visa)
More details

MRI vs. Radiology Technologist: Key Differences

Are you familiar with the differences between MRI vs. Radiology Technologists? You can read about it here in this brief overview.

In 2019, there have been over 219,000 MRI and radiology technologists in the United States. And studies show that that number is expected to grow over the years. So, for those considering a career in this field, becoming a technologist may be a good idea. 

However, MRI and radiology technologists are often confused to be the same thing. Of course, there are similarities. However, these two occupations have very distinct differences that set them apart from each other.

This guide will describe the job descriptions and requirements of both MRI technologists and radiology technologists

What MRI Technologists Do

MRI technologists work specifically with Magnetic Resonance Imaging. They do this to examine a patient’s anatomical and physiologic body conditions. You will be responsible for positioning the patient and then examining the results.

Unlike radiology technologists, an MRI technologist will have to explain the results to the patient. Because of this, it’s important to develop soft skills like empathy and patience. However, they will still have to consult the patient’s physician for some advice as well as discussions on further treatments. 

Education in MRI Technology

Before applying for the program, you can start by studying subjects about the career you want. First aid is essential to every career in the medical field and so knowing that would help greatly. 

Usually, MRI technologists would need an associate degree in MRI Technology. This can take an aspiring technologist about 1-2 years. But, different institutions will have varying requirements so it’s best to ask for more information. 

Generally, aspiring MRI technicians can expect the program to be 1-5 years depending on which degree they’re aiming for. This is dependent on the education they had before applying for the program. 

Job Outlook for MRI technologists

For both MRI technologists and radiology technologists, their employment rate is expected to rise by 9% from 2020-2030. 

While MRI technicians were more likely to work for private companies, that will soon change. MRI equipment has become less expensive making them an important resource in public hospitals. More and more MRI technologists are being hired in general hospitals and clinics.

Work Environment for mri technologists

MRI technologists can find work in both the public and private sectors of the medical field. They can also work in labs and care centers for patients. 

Rather than stay in an office, an MRI technologist would be expected to stay on their feet for the hours a day. They will also be expected to help assist the patient in moving around to get more accurate data on the MRI machine. 

Salaries for MRI technologists

The mean hourly wage for MRI technologists is $32.36. That means annually, technologists can expect to earn $65,410. This isn’t a set number.

Different states will have varying factors that can change the amount an MRI technologist will get. Sometimes, they base it on the experience and education someone has. Other times, the demand for an MRI technologist can influence the salary. 

What Radiology Technologists Do

Radiology technologists cover several diagnostic imaging examinations. 

Technologists are to know about x-ray technology as well as taking CT scans. Depending on the patient’s medical needs, a mammogram, sonogram, or various other tests may be required. They would take the image and assist physicians in analyzing them. A radiology technologist can also advise the physician when diagnosing and helping with the treatments necessary. 

However, it is the patient’s doctor who would discuss the results with them. 

Education in radiology technology

To become a licensed radiology technologist, you would need to enter an accredited program. Earning an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in Radiology technology can help you qualify to enter these programs.

A bachelor’s degree will take more time at about 4 years compared to the 1-2 years of learning for an associate’s degree. However, having a bachelor’s degree would prepare a future radiology technologist for jobs that have more responsibility.

However, the learning doesn’t have to stop there. Radiology technologists can advance into some specialized fields. One example would be becoming an MRI technologist. Other’s include specializing in CT imaging, mammography, angiography, and more.

Job Outlook for radiology technologists

Almost every year around 20,800 job openings are available for MRI and radiology technologists every year.

General and surgical hospitals employ the most radiology technologists. For those looking for a higher salary, radiology technologists working in home health care services would benefit more.

Work Environment for radiology technologists

Radiology technologists generally have a work environment similar to MRI technologists. They both have to stay on their feet for long periods of time and must interact with patients every day. 

But for those working mostly with radiology equipment, some technologists will have special badges. These badges measure radiation levels and alert the technologist if they are being exposed to too much radiation. Aside from that they also have to take extra safety measures and equipment into account.

Salaries for radiology technologists

Depending on the state that an aspiring radiology technologist plans to work in, the salary will differ. Some factors will affect the amount a radiology technologist is expected to receive.

Generally speaking, the annual average salary for a radiology technologist is $63,120. Those who are more experienced earn almost $90,000 while beginners earn the least amount of $41,180, or less. 

Which of These Healthcare Careers Suit You the Most?

When choosing a career as a technologist, doing some research beforehand can be a lot of help. It assists potential technologists to make more accurate and personalized decisions on what they want to do in the future. 

It will also guide them to the right programs that will help them achieve their goals. 

Whatever occupation is chosen, it’s important to note that the ability to interact with patients and coworkers successfully is a must. Strong communication skills will help patients stay calm. Teamwork will allow for a positive working environment. 

Ready to delve into the world of MRI and radiology technologies?
Contact Med College now for more information!