Patient care technicians help patients with everyday activities, such as those related to hygiene or moving from a bed to a wheelchair or chair, and also serve as a source of comfort and support. In addition, a patient care tech may be assigned a variety of healthcare tasks, some of which include taking a patient’s vital signs, collecting blood for labs, administrative duties, and more.
If you’re considering this type of role, you may have questions about pay. Here we share the median wages for patient care technicians nationally, a breakdown of mean wages by state, and several other factors that can affect one’s pay in this healthcare role.
Patient Care Technician Wages (Annually, Hourly, and Monthly)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2021, the national median annual pay for nursing assistants, orderlies, and patient care technicians was $30,310 per year, or $14.57 per hour. As a median, one-half of the professionals working in these roles nationally earned more than this amount, and one-half earned less. Patient care technicians working full-time (40 hours per week) would earn approximately $2,525 per month based on the national median pay. Those working fewer hours weekly would have a lower annual and monthly income.
Also according to the BLS, the lowest 10% of earners (lowest decile) had annual wages of less than $23,970 per year in May 2021.1 UMA’s graduates in the 2021-2022 cohort of its Patient Care Technician diploma program reported to UMA that they earned a median hourly wage that is approximately at or slightly higher than the BLS’s lowest decile.2
Patient Care Technician Wages by State
The state in which patient care technicians are employed can impact their annual wages. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of the mean wages for patient care techs.3
|State||Mean Annual Wages|
Becoming a Patient Care Technician
Roughly three of four employers either require or encourage their patient care technicians to be certified.4 To qualify for the National Healthcareer Association’s Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) exam, individuals must have completed a patient care technician education or training program within the previous five years or have one year of supervised work experience within the previous three years and must meet eligibility requirements.
Other Factors That Can Impact a Patient Care Technician’s Wages
No one can say with any certainty what your pay as a patient care technician will be should you choose to pursue a career in this healthcare role. This is because several factors can impact your wages beyond the state in which you work. Among them are:5
- How much experience you have
- If you work in an urban or rural region
- Your level of skills
- The demand for and availability of patient care technicians in your area
Patient Care Technician Job Outlook
Patient care technician jobs are projected to grow by 5% between 2021 and 2031, which represents an average growth rate.6 This increase is anticipated, in part, due to the baby boomer population getting older, requiring more patient care technicians to look after their health needs. Shifts in government funding and patient preferences are expected to play a role as well, particularly for healthcare professionals working in home and community settings.
Ready to Pursue Training for a Career as a Patient Care Technician?
If you’d like to learn how to perform the duties required of a patient care technician, Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) offers a Patient Care Technician diploma program. Part of the coursework can be completed online with some labs being conducted at our Clearwater Campus. This program also includes an on-site externship, giving students real-world experience in a healthcare setting.
In UMA’s Patient Care Technician diploma program, students learn about anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, and phlebotomy. These courses prepare up-and-coming patient care techs to pursue work in a variety of healthcare environments ranging from hospitals and physicians’ offices to nursing homes and dialysis clinics.
UMA prides itself on being there for students at every step of their healthcare education journey. This includes not only providing the information and skills needed to work in their desired field, but also helping them with their job search. Even after you graduate from UMA, our relationship continues. We are here for our 75,000+ alumni, and we’d love to add you to this list!
If you’re still on the fence, we encourage you to learn more about UMA and what we can do for you. We aren’t successful unless our students are successful.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Nursing Assistants and Orderlies. Pay. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-5
2 UMA’s 2021-2022 graduate earnings estimate is based on wage information obtained for UMA’s graduates from the cohort. Earnings information was typically obtained by a self-report from the graduate, and occasionally from the graduate’s employer or other sources.
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. May 2021. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm
4 National Healthcareer Association. Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A). https://www.nhanow.com/certification/nha-certifications/certified-patient-care-technician-assistant-(cpct-a)
5 CareerBuilder. 5 Essential Factors for Determining Compensation. https://resources.careerbuilder.com/recruiting-solutions/how-to-build-employee-compensation-programs
6 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Nursing Assistants and Orderlies. Job Outlook. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm#tab-6