An MRI technician fulfills the role of handling imaging equipment and protecting, comforting and guiding patients who are the subjects of imaging. In this job, the magnetic resonance imaging technician obtains information that physicians use to spot and diagnose medical conditions, some potentially serious. MRI technicians in the United States earn around $69,240 per year. In Canada, the MRI technician salary runs between C$40,268 (US$32,163) and C$83,208 (US$66,459) per year.
The pay range for MRI techs is £21,909 (US$29,632) to £68,484 (US$92,608) in the United Kingdom, AU$74,542 (US$58,488) to AU$121,947 (US$95,684) in Australia, and NZ$50,000 (US$35,592) and NZ$98,000 (US$69,760) in New Zealand.
How Much Does an MRI Technician Make?
In the following table, we will compare the median MRI technician salary in several countries across the world.
|MRI Technician salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
As you can see, an MRI technician salary varies quite a lot. In the following sections, we will be looking at the factors that account for these variations.
MRI Technician Salary Determinant Factors
Experience plays a significant role in how much an MRI technician earns, with higher pay generally following the accumulation of a work history. Salaries are also shaped by the country of practice, especially where the government either operates the health care system or sets guidelines for pay and employee benefits. MRI technicians generally can earn more by working for private practices or hospitals than in the public sector.
1. How Much Does an MRI Tech Make by Country?
MRI Technician Salary in the US
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that MRI technicians in the United States earn an average salary of $69,240 per year, as of May 2016. The top ten percent of earners make over $96,000 per year.
MRI Technician Salary in Canada
According to PayScale, an MRI technician, or MRI technologist, as they are called in Canada, earns on average C$71,000 per year. Total pay ranges between C$48,939 and C$83,208 per year, depending on work experience.
MRI Technician Salary in the UK
Most MRI technicians, which fall in the category of radiography assistants, generally make between £16,500 and £22,250 per year in the United Kingdom.
MRI Technician Salary in Australia
PayScale reports that MRI technologists in Australia have median earnings of AU$44.36 per hour or AU$92,268 per year. Salaries run between AU$74,542 and AU$121,947 per year.
MRI Technician Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, MRI specialists are generally paid between NZD$50,000 and NZD$98,000 annually.
2. How Much Does an MRI Tech Make According to Experience?
PayScale reports that MRI techs in the United States make around $42,000 at entry-level to five years of experience. At 10 to 20 years of experience, pay reaches approximately $66,000. MRI technologists with over 20 years of experience earn around $85,000 as an annual salary.
In the United Kingdom, radiography assistants make between £21,909 and £28,462 as starters, between £26,302 and £35,225 as experienced, and up to £68,484 as “Highly Experienced.”
According to PayScale, MRI technologists in Australia earn approximately 12 percent above average in mid-career, while those in their late stages make 6 percent below average.
MRI specialists in New Zealand generally start with NZD$50,000 and advance up to NZD$69,000 after five years’ experience. In senior positions with management duties, MRI specialists earn as much as NZD$98,000 per year.
3. How Much Does an MRI Tech Make According to Work Environment?
In the United States, pay for MRI technicians usually depends on the type of employer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, MRI technicians make on average $77,520 in outpatient care Centers, $68,720 in medical and diagnostic laboratories, and $68,650 in offices of physicians.
90% of the radiographers in the United Kingdom are employed by the National Health Service. These health workers start on Band 5, in which annual pay runs from £21,909 to £28,462. Those who work in private practices may earn more.
Generally, being an MRI technician is a full-time occupation. In the United States, this translates usually to 40 hours per week. According to the Australian Government, medical imaging professionals in Australia worked approximately 36 hours per week, which is four hours below the average for all occupations.
In most cases, the periods of work depend on the setting. MRI technicians who work in clinics and offices normally have weekday and daytime hours. Some offices are open evenings and weekends to accommodate patients’ schedules.
In hospitals, irregular shifts are more likely. Emergency surgeries can occur at any time. Accordingly, MRI technicians sometimes have to work overnight, during weekends and holidays, as well as regular times. Depending on the employer, a technician can work up to 12 hours at a time. In Australia, medical imaging technologists are entitled to additional pay for working Saturdays and Sundays and overtime. Also, the country’s Fair Work Commission sets an additional 15 percent for those workers whose shifts end between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or start between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
Bonuses and Benefits
PayScale reported bonuses of up to $2,397 for MRI techs in the United States.
In the United States and Canada, employers generally set the terms of pensions and other employment benefits. MRI technicians and other workers in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service can access pension benefits starting at age 55. Those in New Zealand and Australia obtain retirement and pension benefits through superannuation, in which employers contribute based on a percentage of the employees’ pay. Further, employees in New Zealand and Australia are entitled to paid time off. New Zealand requires employers to furnish four weeks of paid annual holiday leave each year.
Various factors may impose somewhat competing forces on employment prospects for MRI technicians. The need for medical imaging will increase due to an aging population and other drivers of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Surgeons rely on MRI technologists to guide where they perform procedures.
However, medical practices and employers may slightly suppress their employment of MRI technologists in search of less costly and less invasive imaging techniques such as ultrasounds. In the United States, insurance companies and other third-party payers may influence some of the waning emphasis on the use of MRIs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of MRI technologists in the United States should grow by 10 percent through 2024, or by 3,500. As of May 2014, there were 33,600 MRI technologists working in the United States.
The Australian Government projects between 10,001 and 25,000 openings for medical imaging professionals through November 2019. Employment is expected to grow “very strongly” through November 2020.
Physicians, hospitals and the patients they serve will count on the services of MRI technicians to help doctors find existing or potential diseases. The availability of job openings will turn upon whether medical providers use MRIs or find less invasive alternatives such as ultrasound. Experience and location of work will heavily influence an average MRI technician salary.
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