I've worked as a nurse in California, and it really depends what part of the country your in what a patient care tech is considered. Here in California in the acute hospitals those techs usually are a licensed vocational nurse or a certified nurse assistant. It just depends on which hospital your applying to and what city and state you live in. You should call or visit the hospitals or medical facilities in your area to see which it is.
And the pay really depends on the region your in, but I would say you could earn more if your in an acute setting versus a nursing home or home care setting.
Good luck :O)