MRI Technician Salary Overview

MRI TechnicianExperts in the field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should expect to recieve a salary that’s well above the estimated national average for all other occupations, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, the average MRI technician salary ranks high amongst all radiologic technologist jobs, but not the highest. That distinction belongs to the modality of radiation therapy, which boasts an average salary exceeding an impressive $80,000 per year, while the lowest annual earnings go to a conventional X-ray technician at $56,450 per year.

According to the BLS, the mean MRI tech salary was $65,410 annually, or $31.45 per hour respectively. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) reported near identical numbers for the average MRI technologist salary ($65,098) in 2010, when it conducted a nationwide survey of 9,068 radiologic technologists that possessed ARRT certification. There was also a 15.7% increase in annual wages between 2004 and 2010, padding the mean MRI tech salary with an additional $9000 in earnings per year.

It is estimated that an MRI technician earns roughly $20,000 more per year than the average of all other jobs combined nationally, and about $21,000 more than the average of all health technologist and technicians. Therefore, based on salary alone, magnetic resonance imaging is a rather attractive discipline within the rad tech field to become involved in.


The overall experience of an MRI technologist tends to correspond direclty with the amount of compensation they will receive, in that earnings will increase with time on the job accordingly. Based on 2010 ASRT survey data, an MRI tech practicing in the field might expect modest increases in pay until they reach 6-10 years of experience, and will go on to surpass the national annual average of $65,410 somewhere between the 11th and 15th year. Someone who has spent 30 years or more as a magnetic resonance imaging technologist reportedly earns $73,589 on average: See below:

Effects of experience on Salary:
0-2 Years: $50,350
3-5 years: $52,587
6-10 years: $58,758
11-15 years: $66,385
30+ years: $73,589

MRI salary is significantly influenced by other factors as well, such as the geographic location in which an individual practices, and the position that they hold in the field of magnetic resonance imaging technology. Other variables such as workplace and education don’t seem to have much of an influence on compensation in this field—unless the individual earned their master’s degree when they attended radiology technician school. However, even those possessing master’s degrees in radiologic technology don’t earn a significant amount more money—especially when considering the cost for schooling and the extra time spent in a classroom. Having taking these things into account, the difference is rather negligible.

How it Compares

With generous earnings of over $65,000 per year, the typical MRI technician salary ranks above average amongst all of the modalities within the field of radiologic technology. Nuclear medicine technologists and radiation therapists are the top-earners in the field, making annual wages of $70,840 and $80,410 respectively. However, an MRI tech’s annual salary compares favorably to many other types of radiology technicians earnings, including the traditional X-ray tech, the CT tech, and the mammographer, with the X-ray tech salary coming in at $56,450 per year, the CT tech salary in at $60,586 per year, and the mammographer’s salary at $60,263. Additionally, it is highly advantageous to be an MRI technician in a select few states, such as California where average wages approach the distinguished six-figure—or $100,000 per year mark. See below:

Q: How much do mri techs make a year?
A: $65,410 per year / $31.45 per hour

Q: How much does a radiology technologist make a year?
A: $56,450 per year / $27.14 per hour

Q: How much does a radiation therapist make a year?
A: $80,410 per year / $38.66 per hour

Q: How much does a CT tech make a year?
A: $60,586 per year / $29.13 per hour


As mentioned above, the annual salary for an individual working in the field of MRI technology will vary tremendously based on their geographic location. In fact, where an MRI technician lives is likely to have more of an influence on their earnings than any of the other contributing factors, such as the level of radiology degree or the persons position in the field of radiology.

Based on the ASRT’s 2010 survey, an MRI technologist employed in Nebraska might expect to earn roughly $53,000 annually, whereas an MRI tech in California earns over $98,000 annually. That’s a difference of a whopping $45,000 or 85% respectively, solely based on working in two separate locations. Therefore, of all the radiologic specialties, the salary for MRI techs would seem to be one of, if not the most effected by the state it’s being practiced in. Here are the states where the highest and lowest annual compensation for MRI technologists:

Highest MRI technician salary:
California: $98,260
Conneticuit: $89,328
Alaska: $83,654
Rhode Island: $82,454
Massachussets: $81,221

Lowest salary:
Nebraska: $53,812
Pennsylvania: $54,546
Iowa: $54,618
Alabama: $54,723
South Dakota: $54,806


According to detailed MRI radiographer salary data collected by the ASRT in 2010, the chosen work environment has little to no effect on compensation in this modality. Therefore, whether you perform your duties in an outpatient imaging facility, a hospitial, or a physician’s office, the difference in earnings for an MRI technician will be trivial regardless of where you choose to practice.


Fun Facts:

The BLS reported in 2012 that the highest payed MRI technicians are located in specific areas of California—particulary in the San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara metropolitan area, where the average annual MRI technologist salary exceeded a considerable $97,000.

1 Comment

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