Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners. Monitors patient safety and comfort, and views images of area being scanned to ensure quality of pictures. May administer gadolinium contrast dosage intravenously. May interview patient, explain MRI procedures, and position patient on examining table. May enter into the computer data such as patient history, anatomical area to be scanned, orientation specified, and position of entry.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Conducts screening interviews of patients to identify contraindications, such as ferrous objects, pregnancy, prosthetic heart valves, cardiac pacemakers, or tattoos.
  • Operates Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.
  • Selects appropriate imaging techniques or coils to produce required images.
  • Inspects images for quality, using magnetic resonance scanner equipment and laser camera.
  • Takes brief medical histories from patients.
  • Positions patients on cradle, attaching immobilization devices if needed, to ensure appropriate placement for imaging.
  • Explains magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures to patients, patient representatives, or family members.
  • Injects intravenously contrast dyes, such as gadolinium contrast, in accordance with scope of practice.
  • Provides headphones or earplugs to patients to improve comfort and reduce unpleasant noise.
  • Creates backup copies of images by transferring images from disk to storage media or workstation.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI Specialist --
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI Supervisor --