National Credential
Credential: Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA), Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) is an entry-level certification for allied healthcare professionals who assist with the critical day-to-day care of patients. CPCT/As work with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide direct patient care. Some of the tasks that CPCT/As perform in their work include bathing, feeding, providing catheter care, acquiring, distributing, and administering patient care supplies, performing safety checks and ensuring cleanliness in patient rooms, accommodating special needs of patients, obtaining EKG readings and monitor vital signs, performing phlebotomy procedures, providing emotional support to patients and families, particularly coping with grief and death. CPCT/A applicants must pass the written exam, in addition to meeting education and training or work experience eligibility requirements.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 2 years

Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 68D Operating Room Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted 68N Cardiovascular Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted 68S Preventive Medicine Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted 68V Respiratory Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted 68W Combat Medic Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted N4 Health Physics Specialist ASI some          
Enlisted Q5 Special Forces Combat Diving, Medical ASI other          
Enlisted W1 Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCOM) ASI some          

Army Table Legend

Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 1 year
  • Education: High School Diploma/GED
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
11161 Overbrook Road
Leawood, KS  66211
Phone: (913) 661-5592
Fax: (913) 661-6291

Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A)

Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Option 1: Applicants must have successfully completed an NHA approved training program within the past five (5) years.

Note: Formal medical services training in the field offered by any branch of the U.S. Military fulfills the training program.

Note: Applicants who completed training five or more years ago must also have one (1) year of relevant, supervised work experience within the past three (3) years.

Option 2: Applicant must have worked within the past year in the field of certification for a minimum of one year.

Option 3: Work Experience - Candidates must have at least one (1) year of supervised work experience in the health field covered by the NHA certification exam within the past three (3) years.

Note: Candidates whose date of graduation or completion from their training program is five years or more prior to the date of application, must have relevant work experience.

The Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A)

  • Patient Care
    • General Patient Care
    • Patient Care and Preparation Related to Phlebotomy and EKG
  • Safety
  • Professional Responsibilities
  • Infection Control
  • Phlebotomy
    • Primary Collections
    • Special Collections
    • Processing
  • EKG Monitoring

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing for this credential is handled by PSI. The test centers are located in the U.S.

To find out more, use the following links on the PSI website:

For more information on the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) testing process, visit the agency website.

Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) credential has the following recertification information:

  • The CPCT/A is renewed every 2 years; renewal requires earning continuing education units and paying a fee. More information about renewing NHA credentials is available on the NHA Renewal page.