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Home health aides are important for people who have disabilities, chronic illnesses, or cognitive impairments. As a home health aide, you're responsible for assisting with the daily life of your patients or clients.

While, you may believe home health aides only work in their clients' homes, that's certainly not correct. Aides can also work in group homes or even day service programs. Generally, you'll only need a high school diploma to become a home health aid.

Your days and responsibilities as a home health aide will vary, depending on how many clients you work with. Some days you'll only work with one client for the entire day, then other days you may find yourself with 4-5 clients for shorter time periods. It's definitely a job that will keep you on your toes. You'll never know what to expect each day.

What Does a Home Health Aid Do

Home health aides help people with disabilities, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment with activities of daily living. They often help older adults who need assistance. In some states, home health aides may be able to give a client medication or check the client’s vital signs under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.

Learn more about what a Home Health Aid does

How To Become a Home Health Aid

There is no formal education requirement for home health aides, but most aides have at least a high school diploma. Home health aides who work for certified home health or hospice agencies must complete formal training and pass a standardized test.

Education

Although a high school diploma or equivalent is not generally required, most home health aides have one before entering the occupation. Some formal education programs may be available from community colleges or vocational schools.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Home health 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. Training typically includes learning about personal hygiene, reading and recording vital signs, infection control, and basic nutrition. Aides may take a competency exam to become certified without taking any training.

Additional requirements for certification vary by state. In some states, the only requirement for employment is on-the-job training, which employers generally provide. Other states require formal training, which is available from community colleges, vocational schools, elder care programs, and home healthcare agencies. In addition, states may conduct background checks on prospective aides. For specific state requirements, contact the state’s health board.

In addition, many home health aides may be required to obtain CPR certification.

Training

Home health aides may be trained in housekeeping tasks, such as cooking for clients who have special dietary needs. Aides learn basic safety techniques, including how to respond in an emergency. Specific training may be needed for certification if state certification is required.

In addition, clients have their own preferences, and aides may need time to become comfortable working with them.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Home health aides must adhere to specific rules and protocols to help take care of clients. Aides must carefully follow instructions from healthcare professionals, such as how to care for a client’s wound or how to identify changes in a client’s condition.

Integrity. Home health aides should make clients feel comfortable when they tend to personal activities, such as helping a client bathe. In addition, home health aides must be dependable and trustworthy so that clients and their families can rely on them.

Interpersonal skills. Home health aides must work closely with their clients. Sometimes, clients are in extreme pain or distress, and aides must be sensitive to their emotions. Aides must be compassionate, and they must enjoy helping people.

Physical stamina. Home health aides should be comfortable performing physical tasks. They might need to lift or turn clients.

Home Health Aid Career Paths

Average Salary for a Home Health Aid

Home Health Aids in America make an average salary of $27,567 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Home Health Aid Salary
$27,567 Yearly
$13.25 hourly
$21,000
10 %
$27,000
Median
$35,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Home Health Aid Education

Home Health Aid Majors

20.0 %
11.9 %

Home Health Aid Degrees

High School Diploma

32.4 %

Associate

21.1 %

Bachelors

18.8 %

Top Skills For a Home Health Aid

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.7% of home health aids listed personal care on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and integrity are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Home Health Aid Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Home Health Aid templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Home Health Aid resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Home Health Aid Demographics

Home Health Aid Gender Distribution

Female
Female
86%
Male
Male
14%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among home health aids, 86.4% of them are women, while 13.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among home health aids is White, which makes up 41.1% of all home health aids.

  • The most common foreign language among home health aids is Spanish at 72.0%.

Online Courses For Home Health Aid That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Foundations for Assisting in Home Care
coursera

This course is intended as a self-study course for those interested in exploring a career as a Home Health Aide or Personal Care Aide...

Health for All Through Primary Health Care
coursera

This course explores why primary health care is central for achieving Health for All. It provides examples of how primary health care has been instrumental in approaching this goal in selected populations and how the principles of primary health care can guide future policies and actions. Two of the most inspiring, least understood, and most often derided terms in global health discourse are "Health for All" and "Primary Health Care." In this course, we will explore these terms in the context of...

Applying Health Coaching in Patient Care
edX (Global)

For health practitioners, having knowledge of treatment protocols is not enough. They must be able to inspire behavior change in their patients. In order for the treatment to be effective patients must be empowered to implement therapeutic approaches in their lives. In this course, you will learn about health coaching, which is an effective method for helping patients change their behaviors. Health coaching uses a blend of evidence-based strategies, interventions and communication to actively...

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Best States For a Home Health Aid

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a home health aid. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, and Montana. Home health aids make the most in Washington with an average salary of $35,549. Whereas in Oregon and North Dakota, they would average $34,959 and $33,344, respectively. While home health aids would only make an average of $33,125 in Montana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Montana

Total Home Health Aid Jobs:
436
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
1.18 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Minnesota

Total Home Health Aid Jobs:
2,654
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
1.25 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. North Dakota

Total Home Health Aid Jobs:
310
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
1.04 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Home Health Aids

How Do Home Health Aid Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

4.0

Hard work, low payAugust 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoHard work, low payAugust 2019

What do you like the most about working as Home Health Aid?

Helping people, taking the best care of them. Not only do i take care of people like i would my own family, i treat them as my own. Show More

What do you NOT like?

It is physically and emotionally draining at times and if you are great at what you do, you should be paid very well for it. Show More

Zippia Official Logo

4.0

HealthJuly 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoHealthJuly 2019

What do you like the most about working as Home Health Aid?

Experiencing different environment and atmosphere different days of the week. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Long hours Show More

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Personal Health care AidApril 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoPersonal Health care AidApril 2019

What do you like the most about working as Home Health Aid?

Helping those that are in need. Talking with them to help with their needs.

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Top Home Health Aid Employers

Most Common Employers For Home Health Aid

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1BrightStar Care$27,567$13.25776
2Always Best Care$27,567$13.25613
3BAYADA Home Health Care$27,179$13.071,821
4Homes.com$26,958$12.96429
5Maxim Healthcare Group$26,916$12.941,327
6*n/a*$26,711$12.84699
7Personal Touch Home Care$25,997$12.50739
8Home Instead$25,893$12.453,474
9Premier Home Health Care$25,891$12.45428
10Comfort Keepers$25,855$12.433,111

Home Health Aid Videos

Becoming a Home Health Aid FAQs

How do I become a certified home health aide?

To become a certified home health aide you need to complete a certified training program and pass a certification exam.

Certification is not necessary for home health aides unless they work in a facility that receives Medicare/Medicaid funding. However, to increase earning potential and move up in your career, it can be useful to get this certification.

How long does it take to become a home health aide?

It takes about 120 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of clinical work to become a home health aide. These are the typical industry requirements needed to become certified as a home health aide.

How much does a home health aide certification cost?

A home health aide certification costs between $300 to $650. The cost of the program depends on where you get your training from. For example, the cost of programs from a reputed university or school can be more expensive than the training provided by smaller schools.

What is the difference between a caregiver and a home health aide?

The difference between a caregiver and a home health aide is the level of medical care they are qualified and trained to give. Home Health Aides typically receive advanced training to provide simple health services.

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