MRI Technologist Jobs in Illinois: Salary, Outlook and Benefits
March 22, 2020
By Anita Wong, contributor
Before determining what kind of illness or injury a patient has, doctors often need diagnostic images to get a clearer picture of what's happening inside the body. This is where the skills of an MRI technologist are essential. These healthcare professionals specialize in using magnetic resonance imaging machines to obtain accurate images and help make proper diagnoses.
Jobs for MRI technologists are expected to grow by 11% by 2028, with Illinois among the states providing excellent opportunities. Here's a look at what MRI technologists can expect in this vibrant Midwestern state.
Salary for MRI technologists
MRI technologists earn an average annual salary of $72,230, or $34.73 per hour, according to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries range from $58,240 to $91,290 per year when compared by state because of differences in cost of living and labor market demands.
MRI technologists in Illinois earn an average of $74,010 per year. This is higher than the national average, and places Illinois among the top 20 states for MRI technologist salaries. MRI technologists in the Chicago metropolitan area average $75,850 per year, the highest in the state.
Most MRI technologists work in hospitals, diagnostic labs and doctor's offices, and earn an average of $70,530 to $84,080 per year. Only 4% work in outpatient care centers, but these facilities pay the highest annual mean salaries at $86,740.
Job prospects for MRI technologists
There are more than 38,000 MRI technologists in the United States. Nearly 2,000 work in Illinois, which has the fifth-highest employment level of MRI technologists in the country, behind Florida, California, Texas and New York.
Jobs in this field are expected to expand by 11% nationally between 2018 and 2028, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a faster pace than the average of other occupations.
This is due in part to the increasing demand for MRI technology in healthcare, according to a study by Grand View Research. MRIs use magnetic fields and radio waves instead of radiation and offer a fast, accurate and minimally invasive diagnostic tool for healthcare professionals. It's used in a variety of specialties, including cardiology, oncology, neurology and gastroenterology.
Aging populations and an increase in diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's, makes this an essential imaging tool for diagnosing illness and injury.
Increased opportunities in ambulatory care
Almost 60% of MRI technologists are employed in hospitals. About 20% work in diagnostic labs and 13% in doctor's offices. Only 4% work in outpatient care centers.
Grand View Research projects the fastest growth for MRI technology will be in ambulatory care because of government efforts to increase the number of these centers. This should create more opportunities for MRI technologists. There's also expected to be some growth in the use of mobile MRI machines to improve patient access in remote regions.
Travel opportunities in Illinois
MRI technologists are needed across the country for short-term travel assignments, typically for 13 weeks. These positions are ideal for healthcare professionals who want to choose where and when they work, combining patient care with an opportunity to explore the country.
Travel MRI technologists working with Club Staffing typically earn $35 to $40 per hour and can receive benefits such as free housing, medical and dental insurance and 401(k) plans.
Benefits of living and working in Illinois
In addition to offering above-average salaries for MRI technologists, Illinois is one of the top 20 most affordable states in the country when considering costs of living compared to income. This means your paycheck stretches a little further.
Chicago offers many amenities for travelers, who can browse shops along the Magnificent Mile, cheer on the Cubs at Wrigley Field, take in exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago and admire Lake Michigan from Navy Pier.
For outdoor adventure, grab a paddle board and head onto the Chicago River or try your hand at rafting on Vermillion River. You can hike and watch for bald eagles in Starved Rock State Park and explore rock formations in the Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest. Top it all off with an unforgettable concert at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, an outdoor music series held throughout the summer.
Don't miss out on opportunities to advance your career as a travel MRI technologist in Illinois. Sign up for job alerts at Club Staffing, or search for a job today.
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