Your Path to Patient Care Technician/Assistant Certification

Your Path to Patient Care Technician/Assistant Certification

Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A)

Earning your CPCT/A credentials will help you:

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Fulfill employer requirements

78% of employers encourage or require certification for patient care technicians.
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Access better career opportunities

35% of employers believe that patient care technicians have more responsibility in 2020, compared to 2019.
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Maximize earning potential

A patient care technician's salary ranges from $21,290–$39,560, according to the BLS in 2019.
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Enhance knowledge
and skills

Professionalism and critical thinking are the most important soft skills employers are looking for, when hiring a patient care technician.

What is a patient care technician?

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals rely on patient care technicians to assist with the critical day-to-day care some patients require. They provide hands-on assistance to serve patients' basic needs, which greatly impacts the lives of their patients and their patients' families. As a patient care tech, you may be able to perform some or all of the following tasks:
  • Provide basic patient care — bathing, feeding, catheter care, etc. 
  • Acquire, distribute and administer patient care supplies
  • Perform safety checks and ensure cleanliness in patient rooms
  • Accommodate any additional patient needs
  • Obtain EKG readings and monitor vital signs
  • Perform phlebotomy procedures
  • Provide emotional support to patients and families,
    particularly coping with grief and death
NHA partners with educators and employers across the United States to educate, train and certify patient care technicians. Find a job near you to start your journey toward this rewarding and in-demand career.
Visit Our Job Board



78% of employers require or encourage certification for patient care technicians. (Source: 2020 Industry Outlook)

Benefits of certification:
more responsibility + job opportunity

Healthcare is evolving, and patient care technicians are in higher demand than ever before. Patient care technicians are also facing increasing responsibilities in their role due to a shortage of LPNs in hospitals combined with the increasing patient hospitalizations. Patient care technicians who are NHA certified (CPCT/A) are better prepared to tackle these responsibilities than CNAs or PCTs who are not certified

Other job titles with scopes that a CPCT/A can fulfill or exceed include:
  • Certified Patient Care Assistant
  • Home Health Aid
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Patient Care Associate
  • Patient Care Assistant
  • Home Health Assistant


    What is the difference between an MA, CNA and CPCT/A?



    CPCT/A exam eligibility

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    Possess a high school diploma or GED/high school equivalency; or are scheduled to earn a high school diploma or GED/high school equivalency in the next 12 months*

    *Click here for more details on the certification pathway for high school health science students.

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    Completed a patient care technician training
    or education program within the last 5 years


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    Possess a high school diploma
    or GED/high school equivalency

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    1 year of supervised work experience in a patient care technician field within the last 3 years; or 2 years of supervised work experience in a patient care technician field within the last 5 years


    See Candidate Handbook for more information about Eligibility Requirements.

    NHA certifications tell an employer that a graduate is well-prepared and ready to do a good job. The employees receive portable credentials that stand out on a resume and make them more likely to be hired. Deb Miller, Director of Grants Development at Roane State

    5 Steps to Patient Care Technician/Assistant Certification


    1. Apply for your exam

      Create a free NHA account online, anytime, and submit your Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) exam application through your account portal.

    2. Set a date

      Select the date and location–online or in-person–for your exam. (A CPCT/A exam fee payment is required during this step.)

    3. Prepare, prepare, prepare

      Time to study! We're here to support you. We have study materials available, including an interactive study guide and CPCT/A practice test.

    4. Take the exam

      You'll take the 100-question exam either at your school, a PSI testing center near you, or through live remote proctoring at the location of your choice. 

    5. Get your results

      For online exams, NHA will officially post your certification results to your account page within two days of scoring your test.

    Is your school or employer sponsoring your exam?

    When you create your NHA account, be sure to select your organization type, school or training center, or employer in order to:

    • Access any pre-purchased materials or exams available to you
    • Take advantage of possible discounts
    • Share your exam results with your school or employer

    Ready to get your certification?

    Prepare for your certification exam

    Access proven CPCT/A exam preparation materials that are designed to help you succeed.

    *The purchase of NHA exam preparation materials is not required to sit for any NCCA-accredited certification exam and use does not guarantee a passing score on an exam. All NHA exams are NCCA-accredited.

    NHA Mobile — 

    Empowering learner success with study-on-the-go flashcards aligned to your enrolled NHA course.

    NHA Mobile - Study On-the-go

    Are you an educator or employer?
    Talk to a certification specialist to learn more about our robust digital learning resources designed to supplement your training or education program.

    Renew your certification

    Keeping your certification current is a small investment (just $7 per month!) that can help you achieve your healthcare career goals.


    Certifications must be renewed every two years


    There is no penalty for renewing early


    Before your expiration date:

    • Complete 10 continuing education credits
    • Pay your recertification fee

    If your certification has expired, you have 1 year to reinstate it

    Learn More About Recertification Renewal
    Continuing Education
    • 10 Continuing Education (CE) credits are required every two years to maintain certification
    • NHA's continuing education courses are free to current certification holders
    • You can complete your 10 CE credits any time prior to your certification expiration and our CE library is available online 24/7
    • Our CE library is continuously updated so you can learn the latest protocols and techniques

    Learn More About Continuing Education ‣

    Ready to renew your certification?