If you want to work in healthcare and love helping others, becoming a nurse technician might be the right career path. Nurse technicians are compassionate caretakers that assist patients in many ways.
As a nurse technician, you work closely with patients under the care of a registered nurse. You must be detail-oriented and able to multitask when needed. Patients rely on you and your empathic nature to perform activities of daily living and in-patient care. You are a constant helping hand by their side from bathing to mealtimes.
Nurse technicians usually work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities. As a nurse technician, you must ensure that your patient's primary healthcare needs are met.
Nurse technicians are essential members of any medical team. If you choose to work in this role, you can earn an average annual salary of approximately $33,102. Using research data from (Zippia, July 2022), we determined the national average based on the median annual salaries across the USA.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a nurse technician?
Nurse technicians perform a variety of tasks and responsibilities. They work one-on-one with patients daily in different healthcare settings. These include, but are not limited to, in-patient settings, rehab facilities, and outpatient clinics. Their primary daily duties may include helping patients move, dressing them, and assisting with personal hygiene.
Some other tasks nurse technicians perform are:
Changing bandages and dressings
Assisting supervising RNs and physicians during medical procedures
Reporting concerning findings to their supervisors
Prepping rooms for new admissions
When a nurse technician works in the hospital, they may accompany patients who need medical scans or are on the way to the OR. Additionally, nurse technicians might have to collect urine specimens for lab analysis.
How much does a nurse technician make a year?
In the US, the average nurse technician salary ranges from $27,549 in Louisiana to $46,506 in Hawaii. Zippia reports the average starting salary for nurse technicians is $28,000 annually. Keep in mind that the average in each state also has higher and lower salaries.
Your state’s average pay can help establish expectations when considering career options. You might find that working as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) or LPN/LVN (licensed practical nurse/licensed vocational nurse) pays more in some areas while fulfilling the same roles as a nurse technician.
How much does a nurse technician make an hour?
On average, the hourly compensation for a nurse technician in the USA is between $13.24 and $22.36.
Nurse technician salary by state
You can learn where nurse technicians earn the most money in the US with our comparison chart below. You can use the percentage on the right-hand corner can help you determine how your state’s average compares to the national average.
Hourly median wage
Annual median wage
Compared To National Average
District of Columbia
Factors that affect how much a nurse technician makes
If you’d like to become a nurse technician, or are already working in this role, below are some of the most common factors that can impact how much you earn:
1) Experience and education
Nurse technicians need to hold a high school diploma or GED and complete an accredited nurse technician training program in their state. They must also have a minimum of 1 year of experience working in healthcare, providing direct clinical assistance to patients and RNs.
A nurse technician earns their patient care technician (PCT) certification. They can also pursue a certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification.
Nurse technicians can find employment in hospitals and outpatient care facilities. You could work in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, or home health services. Your pay is influenced by both your work setting and the state you live in.
You may qualify for higher pay if you pursue additional nursing certifications. The national board for certification of school nurses (NBCSN) requires a valid RN license, a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), and at least 1,000 hours of clinical experience within the last three years.
Earning your BSN can allow you to take on more responsibilities as a registered nurse. Many programs help CNAs/PCTs become RNs.
How quickly can you become a nurse technician and start earning?
It takes less than one year to become a nurse technician.
Most CNA/PCT certification programs are between four and 12 weeks, with mandatory clinical hours ranging from 30 to 120. CNA/nurse technician education requirements differ by state.
Nursing technicians play a vital role in the overall well-being of the patients for which they provide support. Working as a nursing technician also allows you to interact with and support people as they recover from surgery and health conditions or receive medical treatment.
The first step in becoming a nursing technician is graduating from high school. Nearly everyone working in this role has at least a high school diploma. A GED is also acceptable.
Some high schools offer health care education to students, including CNA training and courses. Even if your school does not provide health care courses, you can prepare for further education by taking biology, anatomy, zoology, and other science courses.
If you are already out of high school, look for accredited CNA or PCT certifications in your state. You can find them in vocational schools and community colleges.
Nurse technician salary vs. other nursing professions
Wondering how a nurse technician’s earnings compare to other nursing jobs? Below is a short list of the average salary of different nursing roles.
Average nurse technician salary: $52,437.90
Registered Nurse: $76,944.90
GNA (Geriatric Nursing Assistant): $32,554.78
HHA (Home Health Aide): $28,314.90
Nurse technician salary FAQs
Am I being paid fairly as a nurse technician?
Nurse technicians should be paid at least their state’s average, which may be higher or lower than the median national salary for nurse technicians. Consider how these figures differ and how each number compares to your earnings.
If you are underpaid, you can present the data to your employer and consider asking for a raise. No one can be legally paid under the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Though this is low for a nurse technician in any state.
Are nurse technicians mostly paid hourly or annually?
Most nurse technicians are paid hourly, though some may receive a salary if they work full-time in a private healthcare setting, like a nursing home or rehabilitation facility.
Do nurse technicians get paid overtime?
Yes, all nurse technicians should receive overtime if they work more than a standard work week (40 hours). Check your state’s labor laws to learn about overtime regulations and protection for nursing professionals.
Do nurse technicians get paid more privately or in hospitals?
Nurse technicians can find work in both public and private settings. Their pay for in-home health services and long-term care facilities will likely be higher.
What state pays nurse technicians the most per hour?
Nurse technicians earn the most in Hawaii, where the average hourly wage is $22.36, or $46,506 per hour.
Below are the top 5 highest paying states for nurse technicians in 2022:
Median Hourly Wage
Annual Median Salary
Can you live off of a nurse technician salary in the USA?
To determine whether you can live off a nurse technician’s salary, consider the following factors:
1) Your state
Cost of living varies drastically across the US. In major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, the cost of living is much more expensive than in cities in the Midwest or South. You’ll also find that the cost of living directly affects how much you get paid --- states with higher taxes can make it challenging to be financially secure, even if your salary meets the national average.
State average nurse technicians' salaries tend to reflect their cost of living. However, some states with higher living costs than the norm may still pay lower than the average.
2) Median annual salary where you live
The median annual salary in each state differs, so what’s considered a good salary in one part of the country may be too low somewhere else. Research the average salary in your state, then see how your state's median nurse technician salary compares.
3) Personal finances
Consider housing, utilities, transportation, and debts as your budget and weigh your needs against a nurse technician’s salary in your area. A good budget rule is the 50-20-30 or 50-30-20 rule:
50% of your after-tax income goes to essentials
20% or 30% goes to savings
20$ or 30% is discretionary income (money you have leftover)
The cost of living index can also help you understand how comfortably you could live off a mental health nurse’s salary in your state. Metropolitan areas have higher living costs but tend to present more significant job opportunities.
A note about our data. We use the median of the data gathered from The BLS at data.bls.gov and other salary data sources such as Salary.com, Indeed.com and Zippia.com. We believe that this is the best average to follow, rather than the mean or mode. The mean will find the average of all salaries in each state; the mode will favor the most frequently reported salaries. However, the median will find the middle. All data in this report will favor the middle salary from all ranges, which means 50% will fall below and 50% will be above the salary data reported below. On another note, we have removed data from Puerto Rico, Guam, and The Virgin Islands from the data we have sourced as we have focused on the 50 US States plus The District Of Colombia.