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Finding Home Care Jobs
Types of Home Care Jobs and the Demand for those Jobs

Jobs for Caregivers

Jobs for Caregivers

The hourly rate for homemaker and companion services (nationwide) increased by 5.6 percent, from $18.00/hour in 2008 to $19.00/hour in 2009.

Hourly rates differ from state to state due to regional wage variations and funding sources.

According to the U.S. Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for home health aides was $20,820 in May 2012.

U.S. Labor Statistics arrived at the median wage by calculating half of the workers in an occupation; those earning more than a certain amount and the other half of those earning less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,600, and the top 10 percent earned more than $29,250.

Home health aides worked full-time in 2012.

So, if you're in search of a full-time home health aide job, you're in luck!

Finding Home Care Jobs

Today, there's no required formal training and education to work in the home health aide market. Most people working in the field have a high school diploma.

Home health aides, working for certified home health or hospice agencies, must get formal training and pass a test.

Although a high school diploma or equivalent is not required, it's a good idea to have one because many other people applying for home health aide jobs will have one and employers will pick the candidate with more training and education. A high school diploma is not necessary, but having one with increase your chances on getting a job. Some formal education programs are available from community colleges or vocational schools.


Home care assistants, companions, homemakers, and home health aides, receive their training at work. They receive

Certified and Trained
Certified and Trained
hands-on supervision from an experienced care assistant, certified home health aides or nurses. With supervision, caregivers learn specific tasks that applies to home care; bathing, toileting, transferring, cooking for clients with special diets, and administering medications.

Some home health care agencies train professional caregivers and home health workers in basic health needs like cardiopulmonary resuscitation, taking vital signs, giving medications, and performing dressing changes. But the students must pass a competency test before beginning work.

Certification and Licensing

Licenses or certificates are not required for in-home care workers. Certification is not required, but non-medical home care and medical home care agencies prefer hiring aides with certification.

The requirements to receive certification: 75 hours of training, observation, and documentation of 17 skills demonstrating competency, and passing a written exam. Certification is highly recommended because it helps the home health care worker get a good job. Along with an exam, approximately 75 hours of additional training is necessary.

Certification is not required for personal care aides.

Necessary Skills and Qualities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job-specific injuries like hurting one's back or pulling a muscle, are common for home care workers due to the strenuous work. Taking care of a people with a disability, or older adult who need transferring, and help toileting, does require the caregiver to have physical strength.

Other favored characteristics for home health care workers:

  • Dependability
  • Patience
  • Organizational skills
  • Willingness to learn
  • Compassionate and sensitive
  • Helpful
  • Good communication skills
  • Detailed oriented
  • Easy going and enjoys all types of people

Job Market

Personal caregivers, home care assistants, homemakers, and companions can opt to receive health training to advance and become home health aides. And the health aides have opportunities to move into other health careers and become medical assistants or nurses. Home care assistants who've earned advanced skills and experience can teach or supervise new home care assistants or students. Without training, your career has limits.


Caregivers in Demand
Caregivers in Demand

Home health aides, caregivers, home care assistants, companions, and personal care assistants are in demand!

With a rapid increase in the aging population, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates a 20% increase in caregiver and CNA jobs between 2010 and 2020. That reflects a faster rate of increase than any other occupation.

By 2050, the estimated number of persons who will need some type of long-term care projects to double, from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million, assuming current patterns of care continue. Of those, the majority will receive long-term care in the community rather than in institutions like nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

In 2012. home health aides held close to 875,100 jobs in the U.S.

Most work in individual's homes. Other places of employment are:

  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Hospice Care Agency
  • Nursing Homes
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Residential Care
  • Adult Day Care
  • Hospitals
  • Care communities

Home health care worker's role varies from employer to location. Some work for the same individual everyday, all day long. While others care for five and six clients in the same day. Some help people with disabilities to go to work and stay engaged in the community.

Certified Nurse Assistants' job statistics:

  • 90% of CNAs are female and 10% of CNAs are male
  • 11% of CNAs have less than one year of CNA experience
  • 45% of CNAs have one to four years of CNA experience
  • 20% of CNAs have five to nine years of CNA experience
  • 18% of CNAs have ten to nineteen years of CNA experience

The national average wage for CNAs range from $8.55 per hour to $16.62 on the high-end. The median CNA hourly rate is $11.54. Annually, average CNA pay goes from $17,800 to $34,600 at the high-end, with a median salary of $24,000.

Home Health Aides Job Statistics

  • Female (81%) - Male 59.5%
  • 76% are age 45-54
  • 74% are 55+
  • 49% are under 25
  • 86% have no high school diploma or GED
  • 66% have some college

Job Outlook

These types of jobs are in demand and prospects for home health aides are excellent. It's projected to grow 48 percent - from years 2012 to 2022, at a faster rate than any other occupation. As the elderly population grows, the demand for home health aides increases. There will be a big need for assistance and companionship. Plus, older adults, have chronic health problems and will need help with daily activities.

Elderly and disabled clients increasingly rely on home care as a less expensive alternative to nursing homes or hospitals. Clients who need help with everyday tasks and household chores, rather than medical care, can reduce their medical expenses by returning to their homes.

Another reason for home care is that most clients prefer aging in place, where they are most comfortable. Studies have found that home treatment is often more effective than care in a nursing home or hospital.

This occupation is large and expected to grow very quickly, adding more as time passes. The low pay and high emotional demands cause workers to leave, so there's ample room for more home care workers.

Get an overview of the job market.

Where to Find Home Care Jobs

You can search for available home care jobs by using the job search at the top of this page.

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.