Patient Care Technician Salary

What is a Patient Care Technician?

patient care technician salaryYou can consider the job of a patient care technician one of the most important jobs in the medical field. The term of patient care technician also known as PCT is used to describe one of the specialized healthcare professionals. Such a professional helps patients who are to be found in medical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices and for private clients.

A patient care technician fulfills his job duties and daily tasks under the supervision of other health care specialists such as doctors or nurses, but his main occupation is to attend the ill or injured patients. Working with other medical professionals in assisting them and helping patients can be one of the most rewarding careers. Most of a PCT’s time is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of patients.

Job Description of a Patient Care Technician

Operating as a patient care technician can be an offer that will change your life and the lives of others. You’ll have the great opportunity to be there at the right moment and make a change for the best. The daily job duties of a patient care technician will include to check patient’s temperature, check the blood pressure of those in need, their heart rate, and pulse.

As a technician, other common attributions that you’ll fulfill involves helping the doctor to perform a physical exam and also changing the bedding. Some of the patient care technician will have to help the patients to bathe, change their clothes and even shave. If there are cases when a patient will need to walk, then the technician will help him walk down the hall.

Their role is not ended here, taking care of patients will assume giving all the help that is required. For instance, you’ll have to make sure that the patient has received his or her meals on time. As well, you’ll monitor the food intake, or if there are changes you’ll have to mark them on the chart.

Some of the patients cannot move from their beds due to various health problems. The job of a patient care technician in cases like these is to make sure that those patients will not suffer from skin problems, or bedsores.

The room always has to be well cleaned and sterilized by the technician and the medication requires to be well administered. A technician also does the laundry and takes where needed stools or blood samples. There are various circumstances in which a patient will need the aid of a patient care technician.

For instance as a patient care technician if one patient will need to perform X-rays then the technician will accompany him or her to the room by pushing the wheelchair.

How to Become a Patient Care Technician?

Becoming a patient care technician is not an easy thing to do since you’ll have to possess certain skills that will make the difference especially when you work with people that are dealing with serious health problems. You’ll have to possess main communication skills and a heart of gold for each and every patient that you encounter.

Reaching at the status when you are called a PCT requires a few steps that need to be achieved first. The most reachable starts when you’ve finished high school, and you have a diploma or a GED. The second one is to obtain all the information that you can get about accredited training programs in this field.

Enrolling in a patient care technician training plan will get you a step closer to the final purpose of becoming one. There are plenty of hospitals or local universities and colleges that offer a patient care technician training program. Make sure though if you want your changes to be lifted up that the PCT training will offer you job placement assistance.

The next step is to complete the months of training and get your PCT diploma. The courses that are supported in this training program are based on radiology, geriatric skills, vital signs, occupational therapy. You’ll learn as well about electrocardiograms and how to read them properly, how to operate the lab equipment and wound care and many other that will help you become a PCT. The length of every PCT training program can last for eight months or up to one year.

Certification will be required as well. This will boost your chances to get the right job as a PCT. At the same time, many states require that a patient care technician should be certified. Your certification will consist of passing a written examination according to the area of specialty in which you are seeking to activate.

As a patient care technician you have several certification options such as being certified PCT, certified nurse assistant or certified phlebotomist, all of these being provided by the NHA else known as the National Healthcare Association.

After passing the exam, you will be added to a state registry. There are some states that will require that the PCT should be listed in the registry before they can truly start working as professionals in that state.

Getting the right job is not always easy due to the high competition that is established in this field. The best alternative if you crave to be ahead of many others with the same goals is to add to your resume some experience in working in a hospital. Prior experience will help you gain a lot of advantage in front of all other candidates that have not gained working experience in a hospital setting.

Work Environment and Schedule

When it comes to the work environment of a patient care technician, you find out that there are plenty of job opportunities and facilities in which you can work. A PCT can often find work in long-term care facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, even private homes, doctor’s offices and as mentioned right from the start with private clients.

The job that these professionals perform is highly demanding and many times it is exhausting. You will be physically and mentally challenged since you’ll have to lift patients a lot, and other demanding activities that can often result in injuries.

The hours of work will vary greatly according to each facility and the needs of patients. Some of the PCT will be asked to work on weekends, holidays and even during nights.

Pros and Cons of Being a Patient Care Technician

Like in any other job you will always find out that there are plenty of pros and cons that will make you form an opinion. Choosing the right career path is not always very easy. A patient care technician job can be very rewarding knowing that you were there to make a difference into the lives of many patients.

However, the drawbacks that are installed in this job are related to working with patients. Your daily tasks can prove many times to be physically and mentally challenging, and it can result in injuries or even stress. IN all, you’ll have to find balance and combine it with the proper skills and a proper attitude.

The PCT job outlook percentage is estimated to grow in the next ten years or so due to an increment in the aging population and in the numbers of demanding for these professionals.

The best of facts, when it comes to this job, is the stability that you can find. Another important aspect, which you surely want to know about is the variety of settings in which you can find work from the private facilities and the private clients and up to the public medical facilities.

The cons that are present in this job start with a very fluctuate schedule that involves according to each facility working hours during nights, evenings, weekends and holidays.

This job duties also will imply that because of his work a patient care technician will have to spend many hours standing on his feet and helping patients. This is not all as a patient care technician you’ll have to fulfill as well unpleasant job tasks such as having to empty patients’ bedpans and other similar tasks.

You can also find opportunities for career advancement but many times you’ll have to go through an additional training this involving more money. So make sure before you go on this path that you already have a well-established plan.

Patient Care Technician job growth

The employment growth for patient care technicians is projected at 21% rate of increase, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Considered to be a faster than the average growth, professionals in this career have plenty of job opportunities found in various settings such as hospitals, Physician’s offices, nursing homes and others as well.

This growth is also due to the number of demanding that are found in the US for these professionals, but also according to the nature itself of the job, by providing the basic assistance and care to many patients that are in need for them. This career path also allows you that opportunity to make other feel better and healthier.

Patient Care Technician Salary

The wage of a patient care technician in the United States varies a lot according to the type of employment, the work experience that you’ve earned and also according to each state. To be more specific, the geographical location will sometimes determine your payment.

A patient care technician salary will range between $19,532 and $38,010 per year while the average hour wage is estimated between $11.42 and $23.86 per hour. The best news is that a yearly bonus of $1,035 per year is being added.

Based on the type of employment you’ll find out that those PCT that are working in environments such as hospitals will receive an annual salary that is estimated to range between $16,466 and $42,542 per year. If one of these professionals is being employed by a company, then his or her annual salary is estimated between $19,872 and $49,332 per year.

Those PCT’s who found work in a private firm will receive an average hourly wage estimated at $17.66 per hour. This leads to an average salary that is estimated to range between $25,706 and $38,146 per year.

According to the years of work experience those hired for less than one year will receive a salary that is estimated to range between $11,926 and $35,752 per year. Those professionals that have between one year and four years of work experience will gain a salary that ranges between $16,542 and $43,622 per year.

This figures based on the working experience and the years of work are estimated to grow over time. For instance, those with 10 to 19 years of experience will gain an income that is estimated between $20,010 and $38,582 per year. Similarly, those with over 20 years in this field can end up to a salary estimated between $34,586 and $43,896 per year.

You will find out that the work of a patient care technician is very appreciated and well paid in states like Illinois with an income estimated between $8,462 and $76,896 per year. It is also great in other states such as New York, paying between $23,306 and $39,506, and then come Georgia and Michigan.

Salary of a Patient Care Technician in 2015

The salary of a patient care technician in 2015 will depend mainly on the same influential factors that were reminded earlier such as the location, your certification, experience and the type of employer.

All these factors will lead eventually to an average hourly wage that is estimated between $10 and $14 per hour and a median annual average income ranging between $25,010 and $30,010 per year.

Patient Care Technician Salary in 2016

In the US, for 2016, the average median income of a patient care technician is estimated to reach at $29,845 per year. The starting point in the earnings of these professionals is estimated at $19,983 per year and up to $40,828 per year, according to the salary data information provided by PayScale. The bonuses that are granted in this job usually reach at $513, while the offered profit sharing tends to be comprised between $6.51 and up to $7,252. This leading in the end at a salary that is situated at $20,573 and up to $36,519.

On the other hand, according to Indeed, the median income of a patient care technician is estimated to reach around $36,010 per year. Other various related jobs offer as well different salaries. For instance, a surgical core technician core can expect to earn an average income of around $28,010 per year while a dialysis nursing will take home an average estimated to be at around $63,010 per year.

The vast majority of individuals that work in this position are women rather than men. The main factors that impact and affect this job are related to the geographical location, type of employment, industry as well as years of experience in the field.

When it comes to the years of the experience factor, according to PayScale, an entry-level patient care technician with up to five years of working experience can expect to earn around $25,010 per year, while one individual with 5 and up to 10 years can expect to gain around $28,010 per year. An experienced professional with 10 and up to 20 years of experience will receive 31,010 while a veteran with more than 20 years of knowledge and activity in this field can expect at an income of around $33,010 per year.

The national average for this job is estimated at $26,527 per year. The salaries of these professionals vary from state to state and from region to region. The fluctuations in their incomes are also due to the costs of living and the living expenses that are found in various regions. For instance, a patient care technician, who is located in New York, can expect to get an average median payment that reaches around $40,175 per year, while one individual that is working in Phoenix will gain an average established income that is comprised between $24,700 and up to $36,078.

On the other side, you can likewise find salaries that are below the national average. For instance, in Dallas, the average payment of a patient care technician, with the bonuses added, will get to be around $22,195 and up to $33,776. In Orlando, the established incomes are also below the national economic average reaching at a low point, all together with the bonuses, of $20,339 and up to $36,233.

Patient Care Technician Salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom

  • In Canada, the starting average salary for a new patient care technician is estimated between C$30,123 and C$37,510 per year. The average hourly wage in this field is estimated to be comprised between C$14.48 and C$18.03 per hour. Over time, the average hourly wage will increase leading to an estimated average between C$18.17 and C$20.08 per hour. The annual salary then will be around C$39,010 per year.
  • In Australia for a new PCT the average hourly wage is estimated between AU$15.96 and AU$23.39 per hour. This average hourly wage will increase in time reaching to be comprised between AU$10.22 and AU$31.33 per hour. The good news is that an average annual salary bonus is given of around AU$1,010 leading to a total annual salary that ranges between AU$32,114 and AU$50,979 per year.
  • In the UK, the average hourly wage for a new PCT is estimated to range between £5.98 and up to £9.02 per hour. The hourly wage is estimated to increase over time leading it to be £10.06. You can also add an average salary bonus of about £166 leading to a total annual salary that will range between £12,108 and £18,584 per year.

Conclusion on Patient Care Technician Salary

People that can’t take care of themselves will be inclined to appeal to these professionals for their needs to be understood, and the right treatment be applied. The average hourly wage will increase over time as well as the annual and median salary that is to be found in this profession.

Post Revisions
  • First Published Date: 4 May, 2015
  • Last Updated Date: 29 November, 2016