Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images.
Radiologic and MRI technologists work in healthcare facilities, and more than half work in hospitals.
How to Become a Radiologic or MRI Technologist
Radiologic technologists and MRI technologists typically need an associate’s degree. Many MRI technologists start out as radiologic technologists and specialize later in their career. Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Employers typically require or prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state does not require it.
Employment of radiologic and MRI technologists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. As the population grows older, there will be an increase in medical conditions that require imaging as a tool for making diagnoses.
This occupation supported 229,299 jobs in 2012 and 230,600 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 0.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 21.2% in 2022 to 278,000 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 239,000, compared with an observed value of 230,600, 3.5% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.0% in 2024 to 251,299 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 287,700 jobs for 2024, 14.5% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.