What’s the Difference Between a Med Tech and an RN?

2 minute read

Medication Technicians (Med Techs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) work diligently to provide healthcare to the community. As both trained as medical professionals, a Med Tech and an RN complete a variety of tasks each day. While both titles carry a hefty responsibility, you should understand that each requires different levels of experience and education.

Med Tech Certification Vs. RN License

It takes at least 10,000 hours to master any skill, approximately 416 days. Becoming a certified med tech will certainly not take you as long. However, unlike med techs, RNs must sacrifice a significant amount of time to become certified to work in their field.

To complete med tech certification, you must first shadow an experienced professional at your chosen Medication Technician Training Program. Pennsylvania offers training programs that can have you certified as a med tech anywhere between days to weeks. 

Aspiring registered nurses must attend an accredited institution that offers a nursing program. As a student, you will work towards your associate’s or bachelor’s degree, which will take a couple of years to complete. After degree completion, you will need to pass NCLEX to obtain your license.

As you can see, either side of the coin requires specific training and experience. However, neither journey is the same.

Schooling Costs

Certification as a medication technician is relatively inexpensive compared to RN schooling. Expect to pay between $200-$1000 for in-person classes, while online courses offer as low as $60. Some workplaces require you to have in-person experience, so be wary of the online option. Be sure that your choice yields results. 

It’s important to note that for a nurse, attending a University for their degree is not cheap. Frequently, freshly trained nurses are left with a line of debt from their schooling.

For an associate’s degree, nurses could expect to pay $6,000-$20,000 for the entire program, according to Nurse Journal. However, to obtain a bachelor’s degree, Nurse Journal reveals that nurses are looking to pay  $40,000-$100,000. 

Certified Med Techs and RN Responsibilities

Med techs can administer and prepare medications for patients requiring it. Their job is to keep records of patient medications and side effects. When not assisting their patients, they must help aides with existing tasks. Med techs are also named Lead Aides. Duties include responding to call bells and assisting patients out of bed to get ready for the day.

Look at our blog, What Are the Main Duties and Responsibilities of a Med Tech? for more details surrounding med-tech requirements. 

Patients rely on registered nurses for comprehensive care, and so RNs have many more tasks to complete each day, such as:

  • Monitor patients daily
  • Create patient care plans
  • Attend to wounds
  • Draw blood and take samples for lab work
  • Provide routine exams
  • Administer medications and note any side effects/reactions

Comparing Salaries

When choosing a profession, money is an essential factor for many people. According to Intuit Mint, those with a med-tech certification make anywhere from $17,500 to $38,000 in Pennsylvania, depending on outside factors. For registered nurses, salaries range from $25,000 to $115,000, as Intuit Mint shares.

If you’re a nurse or med tech looking for employment, CynaMed can be your guide to getting a proper position. With over 18 years in business, CynaMed has excellent connections to some of the top facilities in the greater Pittsburgh area. So if you wish to learn more about our many opportunities, call us today!

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