How do I change careers from being a Mechanical Engineer?
August 26, 2007 9:09 AM   Subscribe

How hard do you think it would be for a Mechanical Engineer to change careers to MRI technician or Radiological Technician?

I have been an Engineering in varying manufacturing and utilities environments. I am not happy with my career currently. I am looking for information on switching to possibly healthcare related work as I would like to directly help individuals vs. design and engineer things. Any information on healthcare jobs (such as working conditions, what people like or dislike about their jobs) and/or other suggestions are appreciated.
posted by senador to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've spent many hours chatting to radiology techs while waiting for the MRI machine to do its thing. Almost all of them have changed from other careers.

My take on your question is that you'd be overqualified for the job. It's basically a lot of button-pushing and navigating through menus. There's also not much real interaction with the patients, it comes down to 'please sit here, get up on this bed, are you wearing any metal on you?'

It is, however, an easy job that pays relatively well. A lot of the techs I talked to were completely bored with the work - some to the point of surliness - and each of these pointed out that they couldn't afford to change careers because the money was far better than anything else they were qualified for.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:29 AM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Interview with a medical physicist:

Video interview with another medical physicist:

Yet another:

Somewhere on the above sites is a good first-person article on the subject from a few years ago. Sorry, I could not locate it, and I haven't read these (although a quick preview indicates they should be helpful). See also (American Association of Physicists in Medicine).

Depending what you want to do, the career transition will probably involve more school.
posted by AppleSeed at 2:01 PM on August 26, 2007

Look into running a Gamma Knife (or whatever is coming along which might replace it). A friend of a close friend does this and reportedly finds it challenging and rewarding. He has a PhD in nuclear physics.
posted by jamjam at 6:03 PM on August 26, 2007

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