Patient Care Technician Salary

What is the average patient care technician salary?

The average patient care technician (PCT) salary can range widely, depending on location and number of years on the job, indicates payscale.com. In fact, as of June 2015, the national average wage for patient care technicians was $26,000, but salaries typically ranged from as low as $20,399 to as high as $36,610. Some factors leading to higher-end pay include profit sharing and bonuses, payscale.com shows.

The national hourly rate for patient care technicians generally varies from $9.77 to $16.61 per hour, with the national average hourly rate at $12.38, according to June 2015 payscale.com information. Location can be a factor, as some of the highest paying cities in the U.S. include New York, Phoenix, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago and Houston. In fact, pay in New York was shown to be 40 percent above average, but this could be a result of a higher cost of living too. Skills or knowledge about patient education, dialysis, EKGs, intensive care and phlebotomy can positively affect salaries, payscale.com shows.

Individuals who start out as patient care techs may later decide to go on and pursue any number of other health-related careers, some of which could offer higher pay. These related careers include certified dialysis techs, medical assistants, licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses. Of these, registered nurses often earn the most with a mean annual pay of $67,970, shows May 2014 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Is there room for advancement as a patient care technician?

Patient care technicians, including dialysis technicians, may find improved job opportunities by gaining on-the-job experience. However, payscale.com reports that many patient care technicians move on to other careers, such as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) or registered nurses (RNs), after 20 years.

The geographic location and employment setting where patient care technicians choose to work may also contribute to their potential for advancement. Patient care technicians can find employment opportunities in a variety of places, including hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. Patient care technicians can even work as private caretakers.

How to become a patient care technician

Individuals interested in becoming a patient care technician typically need to complete a college certificate, which generally takes about nine months to finish, according to the Rasmussen College website. This certificate often features classes in electrocardiograms, medical terminology and phlebotomy. Afterward, graduates may want to take the Patient Care Technician exam. More job opportunities, improved job security and even better pay can be the result of passing, according to the National Healthcareer Association that offers the exam. Certification can provide proof that you are knowledgeable about many important patient care tech tasks, such as obtaining EKG readings or doing phlebotomy procedures.

However, patient care technicians have many more responsibilities than these. They need to be able to get along with others, including nurses, patients and physicians, and may be tasked with feeding patients, helping them use the bathroom or brushing their teeth. They need to know how to fill out patient charts, distribute medications or even complete laboratory work, if needed, shows payscale.com. Some patient care technicians even specialize in operating machines for dialysis and other procedures.


  1. Patient Care Technician Salary, payscale.com, June 2015. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Patient_Care_Technician/Hourly_Rate
  2. Registered Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm
  3. Medical Assistant vs. Patient Care Technician: What You Need to Know, Rasmussen College, http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/medical-assistant-vs-patient-care-technician/
  4. The Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A), National Healthcareer Association, http://www.nhanow.com/patient-care-technician.aspx

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