CareerStep’s Guide to Getting Hired as a Patient Care Technician

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Looking at options for 6-month career training programs and feeling a little overwhelmed by your choices? CareerStep is here to help. While we offer many job training programs for adults, one of our most popular career courses is the Patient Care Technician program. 

Patient care technicians assist doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals with the care of sick and injured patients. And, as the need for medical workers continues to grow in the United States, this role is becoming more and more vital to a successful medical practice. 

With our career training — and some of the helpful tips below — you’ll be ready to enter the job market and start an exciting career as a patient care technician. 


Don’t have time to read the whole piece? No problem. Check out our key thoughts below:

  • Becoming a certified patient care technician can promote higher salaries, growth opportunities, and a healthier career trajectory in the future
  • Don’t neglect your externship! All externships, long or short, guarantee hands-on experience in the field, which is invaluable to your training.
  • Start preparing for your interviews early with CareerStep’s resources. 

Train Smart and Train Well

Our first tip is arguably the most essential tool in your career toolbox: your training. While some states allow patient care technicians to work without certification, certified patient care technicians enjoy higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts. Becoming certified also gives you a leg up in your resume over other job seekers. 

But don’t think that being certified means you need to invest in a two-year or four-year degree. Completing an online training program like the course we offer at CareerStep can prepare you for certification in as little as 4 months, and certification courses are far less expensive than a degree. 

Online certification also offers the benefit of industry-recognized courses designed with professionals in mind. You can complete your training at your own pace from your own home, which means you can keep paying the bills while setting yourself up for future success. 

During your training, you’ll learn how to properly perform patient care technician duties: 

  • Basic patient care like bathing, feeding, and catheter care
  • Acquiring, distributing, and administering patient care supplies
  • Collecting laboratory specimens
  • Ensuring the cleanliness of patient rooms and conducting safety checks
  • Monitoring and recording changes in patient health and vital signs
  • Performing EKG and phlebotomy procedures

At the end of your coursework, you’ll be trained and ready to take one of three national certification exams:

  1. Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) from the NHA
  2. NCPCT (Patient Care Technician) from the NCCT
  3. Patient Care Technician certification from the AMCA

Complete a Clinical Externship

One of the easiest ways to beef up your resume is with relevant, hands-on work experience. At CareerStep, we ensure that you can practice in a real work environment while you complete your certification. 

Our Patient Care Technician program includes up to 100 hours of clinical externship. During this time, you’ll work under the direction of doctors, nurses, and certified patient care technicians to practice your skills and gain confidence in working with real patients.

Get Ready for Interviews

With your certification complete, you’re ready to jump into the job market. Your training may be over, but we won’t leave you on your own. 

You can meet with our Career Advisors for resume advice, interview tutorials, and personal career consultations. And, with our extensive list of partners, we can direct you toward some of the industry’s best employers. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out there and get hired!

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