Top 10 mri tech vs ct tech salary That Will Change Your Life

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Deciding Between CT & MRI – Which Should I Become?

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Do you find yourself deciding between CT & MRI as your next job? As Xray Techs get used to their role in radiography, they become interested in learning other modalities.

CT and MRI are common pathways in the world of radiology.

In my career as a technologist, I have done both CT and MRI. I am licensed in Computed Tomography but did not sit for the MRI license.

However, I did plenty of exams in each modality to have my own opinion.

My experience in CT and MRI

Aside from my infographic, here’s what I noticed as a Tech in CT and MRI.

Instant Access – No Way Jose

  • Patients can come at you very quickly from the ED. Nurses and Transporters can show up at your door expecting a scan with no warning. These are usually trauma patients. Of course, you should know they are coming…but they don’t always tell you.
  • Patients can never be thrown into an MRI scanner. There is WAY too much liability there. Each patient has to be cleared by the MRI Tech on call. That also puts the MRI Tech in full liability if something goes wrong. I’m still astounded by the number of patients who don’t know they have metal in their bodies.

Scan time is MUCH different

  • CT protocols are typically five minutes or less. That does NOT include patient prep or getting them off the table. Or finishing the exam afterward (recons, reformats, etc.) That is the actual scan acquisition time.
  • MRI takes at least 30 minutes. Now, we can argue over the new trauma head protocols that supposedly can be done in five minutes. But those are few and far between. Most MRI protocols take at least 30-45 minutes. If the patient has multiple exams, it can take upwards of two hours easily. Again, not counting pre and post workup.

Cross-training time

  • CT takes around three months to get a good, solid grasp. That is what we have traditionally done at my hospitals when we cross-train an existing employee. This includes with and without contrast studies, all trauma protocols, everything.
  • MRI takes at least six months. Contrast is pretty minimal in MRI since they only give around 15mls. I have seen it given with injectors or butterfly needles. But to learn all that goes into setup, prework, protocoling, post-work… it takes a good six months to learn it all. Again, this is a cross-training perspective.

Let’s not forget the pay $$

  • CT pays, in my 20 years experience, about $2-3 more per hour than you were making as an Xray tech. Obviously, every location will be different. But the fact is that you just don’t get a whole lot more pay for getting into CT. But it is a whole lot more rewarding, in my opinion, that General Xray. Not because it is super special but because you can obtain all anatomical pathology in the entire body in five minutes.
  • MRI has always paid more than CT and probably always will. There is more responsibility, for one thing, thanks to the magnet. There is also a little more pre-work with questionnaires and such. CT has pre-work too but not as much. Plus, at the end of the day, MRI scans bring in a lot more money per scan than CT scans do. Follow the money to see who gets paid more.
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Exam reimbursement costs

  • CTs, last I checked as an administrator, were bringing in around $700-$1000, depending on the length of study, contrast, post-work, etc. But the revenue is being reduced every single year. We used to be able to charge for abdomen exams separate from pelvic exams. Then one year, they were combined and we lost a lot of revenue. The bottom line, you can’t pay techs high wages if the exams they are doing don’t bring a lot of revenue. Ask a Dexa Tech.
  • But MRIs can bring in $2500-$3500 each all day long. The argument, in my mind, is that even though MRIs bring in more revenue per scan, you can do three times as many CTs in a shift or more. So at the end of the day, it is the CT department that is bringing in the Lion’s Share of revenue for an imaging department. Still, the MRI Techs always get paid more.

Equipment costs

  • Here, both CT and MRI are about the same. If you are talking about top-of-the-line equipment. A new 320 slice CT and 3T MRI will both set your department back a good $1.5M-2M. But a reconditioned 64-slice CT can be had for a mere $675,000
Siemens quote from 2016, reconditioned AS-64

Industry need for techs

  • CT Techs are needed at every hospital and outpatient imaging facility. Xray and CT are pretty basic imaging needs across the board. So most hospitals over 100 beds will need between 10-20 CT Techs. Including PRNs to cover vacations and sick time. It is very common for most hospitals to have at least two CT scanners. Many have a third in the ED.
  • MRI Techs are needed at every hospital but not necessarily every outpatient imaging center. It is also common to have MRI be on-call only at night. So the need for MRI Techs can be low per facility because all that they need coverage for is 7 am to 10 pm, Monday through Friday. I have even seen a hospital that doesn’t staff MRI Techs on the weekends. It is call only. I typically see MRI departments operate on a team of five or six techs. And sometimes that covers two scanners.

So that’s my two cents on the two modalities. Here’s what other technologists had to say when this question was posted on a Facebook group:

RI! Radiation free!! MRI
Is the future of imaging!

MRI 18 months to learn CT 90 days. MRI does almost no call, CT takes call and gets called in a lot. MRI makes more money then CT. There is more need for CT techs then MRI. MRI physics is harder then CT physics. MRI No radiation, CT high Radiation. MRI claustrophobic patients, CT a donut not so much.

wow 18 months?! I finished my MRI program in only 4 months.

I did ct and my wife does MRI…I agree 100%, different education time frame

okay I know people who did it in 18 months. Your amazing 4 months. So much to learn. Don’t think I could do it in 4 months. I would love to learn MRI though. Just got my CT registry at the end of November.

right mri is primary and post primary the only one that is both. So probably 18m if you have no RT but 4 m if you all ready have your associates.

my coworker did her MRI program in about 4 months

I’ve tossed this around a lot myself. I think all these points are great but it may actually come down to do you to be busy, or be more stationary? Because if you do not to sit then ct is for you. If money is the driving force the mri is it. And if jobs is one more ct jobs.

ah yeah that makes sense!

my coworker started her MRI program in December online, Is done with it now and just left for two weeks for clinicals. She will take her MRI boards in early March

Okay I stand corrected. 4 months sounds the norm.

didn’t realize it took 18 months. The program I’m looking at is a semester for each, so 3ish months

ugh that’s so tough because MRI makes more money but you wanna make sure you have a job

as I said I guess I am wrong. I just know two people that took 18 months. They were allowed that long so they took that long.

Oakland University with clinicals through various Beaumont Hospitals

Pitt community college in NC

Most CT is staffed 24/7 and no call.

Mri is very rare u get call! Mainly they have where I’m at someone who works the night shifts! It is a slower pace than CT and u definitely have to be way more careful of implants and metal stuff! No radiation and in mri u deal with way more claustrophobic patients! Mri takes longer to learn than ct

I would definitely say shadow in both multiple times. I did both before goin back to xray so just see what you truly enjoy.

Where I work MRI has 2 techs and they have call every day. So they alternate days. CT is always in house cause we are a level 2 trauma hospital.

Making this decision too. CT is fast paced, MRI longer procedures. At my hospital CT is no call but MRI does take call. Most places in our area lots of techs are Xray CT cross trained.

Can you shadow someone in both modalities? Might be a better gauge to help you.

Did CT in hospital setting for years. Not much call. Staffed 24 hours. Someone mentioned lots of radiation. That is funny, because I was always behind the monitor when the machine was scanning. I love the fast pace. Last year moved to a clinic doing CT and Xray.

Ct at most hospitals are staffed 24/7 now. However I agree Mri over all is the better modality to cross train into. More money better hours usually

I’m registered in CT and just started MR school this week and will be finished in July

Everything they are saying about CT is true but CT is moving forward and higher demand everyday so if you are looking for job security, CT definitely has that to offer. The money is there and there will always be a job. MRI pays well but with the limit

MRI is a lot of physics a lot of paper work

ct is a lil more fast paced and more trauma, mri is a slower more out pt scene. just depend on what u want/ better. i the fast pace trauma of ct.

Both are great avenues.. cant go wrong.

-More Pay
-Longer exam times

Both! I love both. Variety! ARRT in both since 1998. I teach them now. I just did my artifact lecture today for MRI physics.

CT run your butt off.MRI chill and work

MRI ! Pays better & more in demand. CT is over saturated.

MRI pays better than CT, but neither would be a bad move. Do both if u can.

CT is faster paced… if you want slower pace, MRI

I was in MRI for 20 years. Until I need a pacemaker Then I had to start all over and do CT ha ha. I CT better

MRI. Pays out more.

More jobs out there for Ct

CT is quicker, and more frequently used. MRI has limitations and more of a claustrophobia issue with patients. But the imaging in MRI is so cool.

I do both and enjoy CT more because of the pace, but MRI is great when I need a lazy day

MRI, if you’re by yourself, you’ll need to pee and you’ll be hungry.

Which one pays more CT or MRI ?

Not about money
Shadow each for a few days

Depends on where you work, our mri techs have to take call, our ct techs are busy but have a tech 24/7 so no call but we move all our own patients. So…. Depends on your facility.

I did both! Proud to document RT(R)(CT)(MR)(ARRT) after my name

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Extra Information About mri tech vs ct tech salary That You May Find Interested

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Deciding Between CT & MRI - Which Should I Become?

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Salary: Ct Mri Technologist (December, 2022) - Glassdoor

Salary: Ct Mri Technologist (December, 2022) – Glassdoor

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The Average Pay for Beginning CT Technologists

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MRI Technologist II Salary in Connecticut

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Frequently Asked Questions About mri tech vs ct tech salary

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic mri tech vs ct tech salary, then this section may help you solve it.

Do CT technicians earn more than MRI technicians?

The data indicates higher values for those pursuing a career as an MRI technologist despite the fact that both careers have bright futures. In May 2020, the BLS reported an average annual wage of 4,690 for magnetic resonance imaging technologists, compared to their radiologic tech colleagues’ 1,900.

Is MRI or CT technology superior?

Purpose: CT scans are better suited for imaging injuries from trauma, staging cancer, and diagnosing conditions in blood vessels. MRI scans are great for creating very detailed 3D images of soft tissues, tendons, ligaments, your spinal cord, and your brain.

Which Radiology Tech makes the most money?

7 highest-paying radiology jobs

  • MRI technologist. National average salary: $61,370 per year. …
  • Radiologic technologist. National average salary: $65,144 per year. …
  • Cardiovascular technologist. National average salary: $77,740 per year. …
  • Sonographer. …
  • Radiation therapist. …
  • Nuclear medicine technologist. …
  • Ultrasonographer.

How much do MRI techs make in CT?

The average MRI Technologist I salary in Hartford, CT is $79,378 as of , but the range typically falls between $66,115 and $90,382.

Can MRI techs make 6 figures?

The average starting salary is $46,500 per year. That is just the beginning. If you specialize, you could make around $100,000 per year. Go on to get a bachelor’s degree to become a radiologist and make between $300,000 to $500,000 a year.

Is MRI hard to learn?

There are many skills involved in conducting MRI studies, which makes it difficult to master quickly.

Why is CT preferred over MRI?

A CT scan may be recommended if a patient can’t have an MRI. People with metal implants, pacemakers or other implanted devices shouldn’t have an MRI due to the powerful magnet inside the machine. CT scans create images of bones and soft tissues.

Is MRI Tech a stressful job?

“New techs usually have to work their way up from nights to days,” Blair says. A typical day for an MRI tech is variable, but the MRI machines are running constantly, scanning back-to-back patients. The pace can be stressful, as can the seriousness of the work. “MRI technologists have to wear many hats,” Blair says.

What is the lowest salary for a radiologist?

How much does a Radiologist make in the United States? The average Radiologist salary in the United States is $441,090 as of , but the range typically falls between $383,590 and $510,290.

Is being an mri tech worth it?

MRI techs have one of the fastest job growth rates of any healthcare occupation. Through 2026 MRI tech jobs are expected to grow 13%. This growth rate is higher than average for all tracked occupations, not just healthcare. MRI techs can expect more than job security.

How many hours a week does an mri tech work?

MRI technologists usually work a 40-hour week, sometimes including evening, weekend or on-call hours. Opportunities are also available for part-time and shift work, as well as flexible scheduling. Technologists operate diagnostic machines in hospitals, medical centers, diagnostic imaging centers or physician’s offices.

Is MRI exam hard?

The ARRT MRI boards has been known to be a very challenging exam. If you’re considering or have decided to take this exam, what you truly need to know? This is the question that resonates in many MRI certification seeking professional’s minds.

Does MRI Tech require math?

Pathology, anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, patient care, and MRI equipment, safety, and ethics are just a few of the courses that an MRI technology program or Medical Imaging program will cover as you prepare for your degree.

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