How Much Salary Does a Patient Care Tech Make?
© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
The ultimate responsibility of patient care technicians is to take care of patients at healthcare facilities, often under the supervision of medical staff. They may also be called nursing aides or attendants, if they provide medical care such as measuring blood pressure and heart rate; or orderlies, if they transport patients from their rooms to operating theaters.
The nation’s 1,466,700 patient care technicians earned a mean $25,420 per year, or $12.22 per hour, as of May 2011, states the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- However, their salaries could descend below an annual $18,060, or $8.68 hourly, or rise above $35,170 yearly, or $16.91 per hour.
- This compared to the mean $45,230 per year, or $21.74 per hour earned by all workers in all professions, and the average $27,370 yearly, or $13.16 hourly, earned by all healthcare support occupations. This occupational category included medical assistants, pharmacy aides and massage therapists.
Almost 43 percent of patient care techs worked in nursing care facilities, where they averaged $24,460 per year, or $11.76 per hour.
- Other big employers included general medical and surgical hospitals, elder care facilities and home health care services.
- The highest salaries were in scientific research and development services at a mean $36,910 annually, or $17.75 hourly.
To obtain these salaries, nursing aides and attendants need a postsecondary education from vocational schools or community colleges. They must also take a competency exam and may use the title “Certified Nursing Assistant” in some states. Orderlies need only a high school diploma.
Locations with the highest populations contain the highest number of patients and thus, the highest number of jobs for patient care technologies.
- Among states, California topped the opportunity list with 7 percent of the total jobs and averages at $28,990 per year, or $13.94 per hour.
- New York City showed the most positions among metro areas, with means at an annual $33,460, or $16.09 per hour.
The highest salaries were in locations with high costs of living. Among states, the distinction went to Alaska, with means at an annual $34,700, or $16.68 per hour. Among cities, it was San Francisco, California, averaging $37,440 yearly, or $18 per hour.
Because America’s population is growing and aging, it will require more medical diagnosis and treatment, and longer stays in hospitals and nursing homes. Therefore, jobs for patient care technicians are forecast to increase by 20 percent, which is higher than the predicted 14 percent growth for all jobs in all industries. Prospects for those with formal training will be good. Opportunities will continue to be the best in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
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