I spent 1 1/2 years as a PCT (patient care technician) in our ED while in nursing school. The minimum requirements are one semester of nursing school, CNA or EMT. The techs in the ED are paid the same as on the floors and, as far as I am aware, do not have any specific continuing ed. Additionally, our facility does not pay more for certifications at this time, however, I know they are considering it for RNs and so might in the future.
The techs in the ED do different things than on most of the floors. Techs draw labs, start foleys and straight cath, get EKGs, help transport pts to ancillary depts, get accu checks, remove sutures, assist with splints and other procedures, assist with NG tubes, assist with pelvics, perform chest compressions during codes, clean rooms, and stock rooms. Also, in our urgent care area the techs place orders in the computer and run rapid strep and urine preg tests. There are probably "other duties as assigned," but those are the main ones. Good techs can gain a great deal of awesome experience in the ED, and having been on both sides I can tell you that a good tech is a valuable asset to the dept. Hope this helps. Best of luck to you.