Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
Home health aides and personal care aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, though some positions do not require it. There are also postsecondary nondegree award programs at community colleges and vocational schools.
Training Required
Home health aides and personal care aides may be trained in housekeeping tasks, such as cooking for clients who have special dietary needs. Aides may learn basic safety techniques, including how to respond in an emergency. Specific training may be needed for certification if state certification is required.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 40% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Aides who work for agencies that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid must get a minimum level of training and pass a competency evaluation to be certified. Some states allow aides to take a competency exam in order to become certified without taking any training.
Median pay: How much do Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides make?
$22,170 Annual Salary
$10.66 per hour

Home health aides and personal care aides help people with disabilities, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment by assisting in their daily living activities. They often help older adults who need assistance. Home health aides may be able to give a client medication or check the clients vital signs under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.

What do Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides do?

Home health aides and personal care aides typically do the following:

  • Assist clients in their daily personal tasks, such as bathing or dressing
  • Housekeeping, such as laundry, washing dishes, and vacuuming
  • Help to organize a clients schedule and plan appointments
  • Arrange transportation to doctors offices or other outings
  • Shop for groceries and prepare meals to meet a clients dietary specifications
  • Keep clients engaged in their social networks and communities

Home health aides may provide some basic health-related services (depending on the state they work in), such as checking a clients pulse, temperature, and respiration rate. They may also help with simple prescribed exercises and or with giving medications. Occasionally, they change bandages or dressings, give massages, care for skin, or help with braces and artificial limbs. With special training, experienced home health aides also may help with medical equipment such as ventilators, which help clients breathe.

Personal care aidessometimes called caregivers or personal attendantsare generally limited to providing non-medical services, including companionship, cleaning, cooking, and driving.

Careers for Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides

  • Aides, home care
  • Aides, home health
  • Attendants, personal
  • Blind escorts
  • Caregivers
  • Companions
  • Direct care workers
  • Direct support professionals
  • Elderly companions
  • Geriatric personal care aides
  • Home care aides
  • Home health aides
  • Home health attendants
  • Home hospice aides
  • Personal attendants
  • Personal care aides
  • Personal support workers

Similar Careers