As of 2015, the necessary training to be an MRI technician is a minimum of a two-year associate degree in MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. However, for individuals that already have a degree in radiology or another related health field, there are shorter one-year certification programs.
The associate degree in magnetic resonance imaging begins with courses in humanities and many different basic science fields, including biology, anatomy and physics. Then the student progresses to more MRI specific courses, such as pathophysiology, MRI imaging analysis, MRI procedures and MRI physics. Most courses include both classroom and laboratory work, giving students a chance to perform imaging work in an actual clinical setting.
In order to obtain a certification as an MRI technician, the college attended must be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Upon graduation, the student is
eligible to take the national certification exam, which is provided by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The AART exam must be taken within five years of graduation, and is a requirement to work as an MRI technician in many states. Still, there are a number of states that have their own specific licensing examinations, and there are others that have no licensing or certification requirements.