Did you know that MRI techs and radiology techs are often grouped together? They’re even on the same page of the Bureau of Labor Statistics website! Although these two medical careers are similar, there are several key differences between them. These differences range from responsibilities, education requirements, and daily tasks. We’ve outlined how these MRI tech vs radiology tech careers differ and highlighted what they have in common. While you may find one career more interesting than the other, remember that they are both vital to the medical field!
Radiology Tech Responsibilities
Radiology techs are primarily responsible for performing diagnostic imaging examinations. These can include x-rays, sound waves, and other imaging tools to create images of patients’ internal organs, bones, or tissue. These techs use the images to help doctors diagnose patients. They maintain and operate imaging equipment and help to prepare patients for imaging procedures. Radiology techs are experts in x-ray technology and are usually very well-versed in CT scans as well. They not only take x-rays but can also specialize in mammograms, sonograms, bone density tests, etc. Radiology techs not only take the images, but they also help analyze them. They assist physicians in the diagnostic process and give advice about further treatment when needed.
If becoming a radiology tech sounds like your cup of tea, then you are going to love this next fact. It is said that from 2020 to 2030, there will be a growth rate in radiologic technologist careers. This means more job opportunities for you AND your bank account will be overflowing with happiness.
MRI Tech Responsibilities
Where radiology techs perform different diagnostic imaging exams, MRI techs primarily focus on Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This imaging, or MRI, displays the anatomic and physiologic bodily conditions. Not only do MRI techs perform the actual imaging process, but they are also responsible for explaining the process to patients and making them feel more at ease. They both mentally and physically prepare patients and operate the equipment. MRI techs position the patients properly for the MRI, because if they are not positioned properly, then the scan will not be successful. They then, similarly to radiology techs, consult with physicians about the images and subsequent diagnosis and treatment. A big part of an MRI tech’s job is to show sensitivity to patients. MRIs and other imaging tests can be scary for patients. MRI techs make patients feel comfortable and confident before the scan takes place.
As for MRI technologists, you can expect there to be a 9% growth rate in this career field from 2020 till 2030. So, just like radiology techs, you will be sitting in tons of moolah AND you won’t be stressing about job opportunities in this medical field.
Radiology Tech Education
Everyone knows that taking on a medical career means that a decent amount of schooling must take place. But how much does a radiology tech have to study before they get their official title? Suppose you want to become a radiology tech vs MRI tech, you need to complete an accredited radiologic technology program. It’s very easy to find these programs, but they absolutely need to be accredited. You can either earn an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for entry to a program. While each program is different, earning a bachelor’s degree as opposed to an associate’s degree does not necessarily make you a more viable candidate for a radiology tech program. However, it might make you more competitive in the job market.
Are you ready to become a radiology tech? You can find a list of accredited programs on different sites such as aart.org. See, it’s not too bad! Get that degree so you can start working as a travel radiology tech sooner than you think!
MRI Tech Education
One way to become an MRI tech is to begin training as a radiology tech and then specialize in MRI. This is the traditional route that many MRI techs take. However, it is not the only way to train to become an MRI tech. MRI techs can train exclusively as MRI techs without training as radiology techs first, which is a key difference between MRI tech vs radiology tech education. Like radiology tech programs, when choosing to become an MRI tech, it’s important to choose a program that is accredited. Accredited programs combine classroom learning with hands-on learning. This is perfect for all of our visual and interactive learners! You will train with actual equipment and may even go on clinical rotations! The business world says that experience is essential, so if you have the opportunity to take on some clinical rotations, do NOT hesitate to jump on this golden moment!
Radiology Tech vs MRI Tech Similarities
Both MRI techs and radiology techs have the same primary responsibilities but use different equipment. They both operate equipment and ready patients for tests. Both radiology techs and MRI techs are also totally devoted to patient safety and ensure that tests run smoothly. They keep detailed patient records and assist physicians with diagnoses. MRI techs vs radiology techs are similar in theory, but distinct. They are both integral parts of medical practice.
So, Which One?
So, of the MRI techs vs radiology techs debate, which one piques your interest? Do you think one is better than the other? If so, comment your thoughts below!
Could you go through the schooling to become a radiology tech or an MRI tech? Whether you see yourself shining as a radiology tech or becoming a leading MRI tech, know that you will be making a difference in either profession. If you’re ready to pursue a travel position as a radiology tech or an MRI tech, apply today! We can’t wait to see you traveling and doing what you love! Apply now to make a positive impact on YOUR life and others today.