MRI Technologists: Certification, Licensing and Accreditation in the United States-Fact Sheet
Informational links accessed on 10/20/2011

With the momentum of the CARE Bill now in progress imaging professionals that are non-certified that are currently scanning technologists need to be aware that they will need certification to work as an allied healthcare professional in their respective modality. If they want to work as MRI technologists they will need to be certified once this legislation becomes a federal mandate. The SMRT is a strong supporter of CARE Bill and a member of the Alliance for Quality Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (AQMIRT). AQMIRT is a coalition of 26 national organizations representing more than a half million healthcare professionals that support the CARE bill. Current updates on the CARE Bill can be accessed at:

Over 25,000 MRI technologists are certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists ® (ARRT), the world’s largest credentialing organization. There are two methods by which professionals can become certified by the ARRT.

  1. Primary Pathway: If you have no allied health care background— within the past five years have successfully completed an educational program that is accredited by a mechanism acceptable to the ARRT you can apply for the ARRT MRI certification exam. Before enrolling into an educational program ensure that the program has been accredited by the ARRT. Beginning on January 1, 2015, all candidates for primary pathway certification must have earned an academic degree before becoming certified.
  2. Post-Primary: For currently employed certified technologists, who already hold the primary ARRT certification/s (thus certified) in Radiography, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, or Sonography can consider this path by completing the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Clinical Experience Requirements.

There is a second certifying organization in the United States - The American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) This organization has been gaining recognition and uses its own MRI educational schools with programs which range from 1 year up to 2 years (Associates Degree).

There are a just handful of states that actually require state licensing in order to work as a MRI Technologist. The American Society of Radiological Technologists (ASRT) provides more information on their website at: Certifying organizations such as the ARRT and ARMRIT are recognized as approved certifying bodies in most states to apply for state licensure. More info on state licensing can be found at:

For all outpatient imaging facilities in the US, effective January 1, 2012, all providers that bill for CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine and PET under part B of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule must be accredited in order to receive technical component reimbursement from Medicare (Currently, the CMS/MIPPA mandates apply to private outpatient facilities only, NOT to hospitals). It is highly recommended that the requirements for the MRI technologist’s performing the studies at your facility be reviewed. There are 3 approved accreditation organizations:



  1. American College of Radiology (ACR)
  2. Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC)
  3. The Joint Commission