Growth Trends for Related Jobs
MRI repairers are part of a category of workers known as biomedical equipment technicians. They're responsible for installing, calibrating, maintaining and repairing such imaging equipment as MRI, X-ray and ultrasound machines as well as patient-monitoring devices, laboratory equipment and other machines used in health care environments. The job outlook for MRI and other biomedical equipment repair is excellent; the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 27 percent growth through 2018, which is much higher than predicted growth for all occupations.
According to the Riley Guide, which cites 2008 statistics, just 28 percent of biomedical equipment technicians needed only a high school education. Fifteen percent have a bachelor's degree or higher and 57 percent have some college education but no degree. Individuals interested in pursuing a career as an MRI repairer should have at least an associate's degree; however, higher earnings and job advancement often require at least a bachelor's degree.
Most MRI and other biomedical repair technicians start their careers by training on one piece of equipment at a time. Once they've mastered the first, they progress to others. Thus, MRI repair technicians who also train on other equipment have the best opportunities for better-paying employment. MRI repairers help to advance their careers and their earnings by accepting increasing levels of responsibility and furthering their skills with ongoing training and coursework. MRI repairers may combine education, skills and experience to achieve Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician and Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist designations.
Earnings by Industry
MRI repairers and other biomedical equipment technicians working in hospitals earn the most, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, with salaries averaging $45,990. Salaries are only slightly lower for repairers who work for precision and electronic repair and maintenance companies and equipment wholesalers. Earnings in those industries average $44,740 and $42,950, respectively. The lowest salaries come from health and personal care stores and equipment rental companies. Technicians in these industries earn $32,770 and $29,020, respectively.
Earnings by Geographic Location
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, notes that MRI and other biomedical equipment technicians working in Knoxville, Tennessee, have the highest average salaries: over $65,000 per year. Technicians in Wichita, Kansas, and Dayton, Ohio, earn more than their counterparts elsewhere in the country. Salaries in these two locations average more than $59,000. Cities throughout California, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington state and Wisconsin also have technician who earn above $50,000, on average. Technicians in Kentucky and Pennsylvania earn the least – about $30,000 or less.
MRI repairers in lower-earning industries can increase their salaries by transferring their skills to an industry that pays better. This is especially true of hospitals, where overtime hours -- and pay -- are common, as hospital biomedical equipment technicians often are on call and work odd hours to accommodate emergency repairs. Technicians can also boost earnings by moving from a lower-paying geographic area to a higher-paying one. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree increases opportunities for high pay as well.
Daria Kelly Uhlig began writing professionally for websites in 2008. She is a licensed real-estate agent who specializes in resort real estate rentals in Ocean City, Md. Her real estate, business and finance articles have appeared on a number of sites, including Motley Fool, The Nest and more. Uhlig holds an associate degree in communications from Centenary College.