MRI Professional Certifications From ARRT & ARMRIT

Many states require magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists to get certified before working. Certification provides MRI technologists the opportunity to demonstrate they have knowledge and competency within a field, as well as the ability to meet the demands of the job. It also shows they are qualified and actively pursuing their career. Last, it sets a foundation for continuous learning and improvement through continuing education and recertification.

Candidates must first complete an approved MRI technologist training program before taking a certification exam. These programs take anywhere from one to two years to complete and require at least a GED to apply. Many programs also require completion of an associate degree.

MRI technologists are commonly certified at the national level through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT).

Both programs require completion of an approved training program, although ARMRIT will accept those with documented clinical experience. ARRT also requires completion of an associate degree in addition to completion of a training program. Most MRI technologists working in a specialty area are certified through ARRT, whereas those who need a general certification go through ARMRIT – particularly if they are working in an outpatient imaging center setting.

Individual states may have their own certification, licensing, and/or registration requirements. They may also have additional requirements. Always double-check with the licensing board for the state where you work prior to starting the licensure process.

Looking for a complete guide to ARRT and ARMRIT certification and take your career as an MRI technologist to the next step? Read on for more.

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) – Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Certification

The MRI credential offered by ARRT provides future MRI technologists the opportunity to demonstrate classroom and clinical experience.

The exam is divided into a written and practical components that examine didactic competence and clinical competence. Didactic competence, or essentially the ability to demonstrate understanding of theory learned in the classroom, is tested through a written exam. The content included in this portion of the exam is provided on the ARRT website. They also provide practice tests and study outlines.

There are two pathways to become eligible for the ARRT MRI credential exam:

  • PrimaryOption: Complete an approved educational training program, in addition to an associate’s degree.
  • Post-Primary Option: Be ARRT-certified in another field and registered in MRI as a supporting category. Demonstrate completion of 16 hours of structured education requirements within the last two years prior to registering for the exam. Meet clinical educational requirements through documenting performance of 125 “repetitions” of different procedures.

Approved educational training institutions can be found on the ARRT website. The cost for the MRI credential exam is $200.

American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) – Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Certification

ARMRIT offers a MRI certification to qualified MRI technologists who wish to demonstrate their educational and clinical experience. ARMRIT provides interested applicants a comprehensive candidate handbook which covers requirements for applying to the MRI certification. Applicants must demonstrate a certain number of hours of MRI training or clinical experience. They must also take an exam that covers theory and practical components of MRI.

Study guides are available for sale through the ARMRIT website. There are several ways to become eligible to take the ARMRIT-MRI exam. Students can attend an approved educational training institution and complete 2,000 hours of clinical MRI training. Alternatively, they can demonstrate four years or 6,240 hours of full-time MRI clinical experience. Approved educational training institutions can be found on the ARMRIT website. The cost for the MRI credential exam is $300.

MRI Technology Certification Renewals – ARRT, ARMRIT

MRI technologists need to recertify their ARRT credential every year. The annual renewal deadline is the last day of your birth month. There is an application fee, although the cost is only available to ARRT members. They must have taken 24 credits of continuing education courses within the last two years.

There are also long-term continuing education requirements every ten years, as well as a Continuing Qualifications Requirements (CQR) test to ensure that working MRI technologists are staying current on their skills and education. ARRT-certified MRI technologists are required to take a CQR test every ten years. ARRT will then look over test results and develop a plan to cover any areas where there are gaps in knowledge or understanding.

ARMRIT requires MRI technologists to recertify their experience every three years. To recertify, applicants must pay a $300 application fee and have taken 24 credits of continuing education courses within the last three years.

Lastly, they must notify ARMRIT if they have been convicted on a felony and provide further information.

State Certification & Licensure for MRI Technologists

States vary in their registration, licensing, and certification requirement for MRI technologists. Some states require a state license before you can work as a MRI technologist. This is a different certification and process than ARRT and ARMIT. Always check with the licensing board in your state for current information on the application and continuing education requirements. Many states will require passage of the ARRT or ARMRIT exams prior to applying for state licensure.

For example, the state of Indiana requires MRI technologists to graduate from an ARRT- or ARMRIT-approved training program. They also require passage of ARRT and/or ARMRIT examinations and for all applicants to hold an active certification. After completing these requirements, prospective MRI technologists must apply for a license through the Indiana State Department of Health through completing an application and paying a $60 fee.

Renewal procedures vary by state and may be anywhere from two to five years. Those applying to renew their application may need to demonstrate proof they have completed any necessary continuing education requirements. They may also have to pay a fee and disclose any formal disciplinary actions filed against them.

Bree Nicolello
Bree Nicolello Writer

Bree is an urban planner and freelance writer based in Seattle, WA. She has worked on land use and housing policy issues throughout the Pacific Northwest. She previously led Run Oregon Run, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Oregonians run for office and apply to boards and commissions. When not writing, she is lovingly tending to her cast iron pans.