How to Become an MRI Tech: A Step-By-Step Guide

December 5, 2019


MRI training programs are designed to give you all the skills you need to find work in the allied healthcare workforce.  An MRI technologist program is an affordable education option for most but is typically selective in its application process. 

Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the steps to help you apply and enroll with ease. Depending on the school you choose, these steps may vary slightly. 

1. Plan Your Visit to a Technical School Campus 

Before you can apply to an MRI technologist training program, you need to decide where you want to go. This can be a formidable task, as there are thousands of MRI programs throughout the United States. 

Many students love the option of staying near to – or in – their hometown. On the other hand, quite a few want a new beginning in a new area. Because you’ll be spending a lot of time here, it’s important to check out the school’s campus to see if it’s an excellent fit.

Once you know where you’d like to study, you can start to make application preparations. 

Before applying, be sure to make an appointment with an admissions team member who will help you determine how to achieve your personal goals. You should go over your past educational and student performance, as well as the structure of courses, pricing, and financial aid opportunities (should they exist). This is also the time to discuss any and all application and enrollment procedures. 

2. Apply for FAFSA 

We cannot recommend completing a FAFSA application enough. Most MRI students are able to pay for their education through financial aid programs. Ensure that your FAFSA application has been submitted at no later than four days before you apply to an MRI program. 

Registering for federal student aid is easier than most people think. In fact, it takes less than an hour to undertake! 

3. Complete Your MRI Tech Application 

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash 


Ask your school’s representative if they have rolling admissions, which means that prospective students can apply for any program if the start dates are updated on the school’s website. 

Students are typically required to apply for a magnetic resonance imaging program in person, with all of the necessary forms. During this appointment, they will need to submit all required documents, complete an interview with their program director, and often have to pass the Wonderlic SLE (or another similar entrance exam).

What Exactly Is the Wonderlic SLE Exam?

You shouldn’t be nervous about taking the Wonderlic. Most educational, nursing, and police training programs give it to applicants before they are admitted. 

In fact, the Wonderlic is widely-regarded as the most precise way to determine a prospective student’s academic success. In a nutshell, the exam determines a candidate’s general mental competence, if the student can handle the school’s educational requirements, and whether they are able to retain new knowledge.

By assessing prospective students, schools can determine whether or not they mesh with the program they’re applying for. This also helps to reduce frivolous student loans. 

4. Wait for the Decision 

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash 


Awaiting a school’s decision is likely the most nerve-wracking part of the entire application process. The silver lining here is that tech schools tend to fast-track their decisions, and you should hear if you’ve been accepted within two weeks. 

How Is Acceptance Determined? 

There are usually a variety of factors considered when a tech school reviews diagnostic MRI technologist applications. These likely include the highest level of education successfully completed, GPA, healthcare experience, points of reference, entrance exam scores, and how you performed during the entrance interview. 

Strong student candidates will have already completed college courses in health sciences. Due to the competitiveness of MRI Technologist programs, schools usually recommend that applicants hold an associate degree before applying to an MRI program.

5. Finish Your MRI Tech Course Enrollment

The students accepted into the MRI Technologist program are often required to set up an appointment to complete the enrollment process. This may include signing an enrollment contract as well as any other documents required by the school.

6. Attend an Orientation 

Before or on the first day of classes, students in MRI Tech programs will likely attend a mandatory orientation. Though it’s required, the orientation is still a great chance to learn more about policies and procedures at your school. 

7. Start Your MRI Technologist Training 


During the course of any first-rate MRI program, you’ll learn how to perform examinations using advanced technology with a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on MRI training, and a clinical internship. You’ll also explore patient procedures, the physics of your technological procedures, proper evaluation of MRI images, cross-sectional anatomy, and much more. 

While studying, be sure to stay abreast of any technological changes in your field. Not only is this a fascinating and ever-changing sector, but extra studying will this keep you ahead of the curve.

8. Complete Your Clinical Internship

After class and lab hours are completed, students are required to participate in a 600-hour clinical internship. Students are placed with a seasoned allied healthcare mentor, who assists them with invaluable, real-world experience.

9. Pass Your MRI Tech Examinations

 Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash 


MRI technologist certificate programs should be accredited with the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT). Once students have fulfilled all of their hours, they are eligible to take the ARMRIT national certification exam for MRI. 

If you are an MRI graduate with an associate degree, you can also pursue primary pathway certification through The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). 

Apply to Our MRI Technologist Training Program Today

Future MRI techs will be happy to learn that, after graduation, they’ll be entering into an extremely strong job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the MRI field is expected to grow by 12% from 2016 to 2026. What’s more, there are great MRI technologist salaries throughout the country

You’ve made the right choice to. If you live in the New Jersey area, make an appointment with an AIMS representative to start your MRI tech career today