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Become A Personal Support Worker

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Working As A Personal Support Worker

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • $76,760

    Average Salary

What Does A Personal Support Worker Do

Personal care aides help clients with self-care and everyday tasks. They also provide social supports and assistance that enable clients to participate in their communities.

Duties

Personal care aides typically do the following:

  • Care for and assist clients with cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s or mental illness
  • Engage clients by talking to or playing games with them, or by taking them for walks
  • Help clients with hygiene-related tasks, such as bathing, brushing teeth, and going to the bathroom
  • Transfer clients to and from a bed or a wheelchair
  • Complete housekeeping tasks, such as changing bed linens, washing dishes, and cleaning living areas
  • Help prepare and plan meals
  • Assist with organizing a client’s schedule and schedule appointments
  • Arrange transportation to and from doctors’ offices or the store
  • Help clients pay bills or manage money
  • Shop for personal items and groceries
  • Assist clients in going to work and participating in their communities

Personal care aides—also called caregivers and personal attendants—help clients with self-care and daily activities. Personal care aides perform tasks that are similar to those of home health aides. However, personal care aides cannot provide any medical services, whereas home health aides may provide basic medical services.

Direct support professionals work with people who have developmental or intellectual disabilities. They may help create a behavior plan and teach self-care skills, such as doing laundry or cooking meals. They may also provide other personal assistance services.

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How To Become A Personal Support Worker

Most personal care aides are trained on the job. There are no formal education requirements for personal care aides, but most aides have a high school diploma.

Education

Although there are no formal education requirements for personal care aides, employers may prefer candidates with a high school diploma.

Training

Aides may be trained on the job by registered nurses, other personal care aides, or their direct employer. They are trained in specific tasks, such as how to work with a client who has a cognitive impairment and how to assist a client in preparing meals.

Most employers require aides to have training or certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Personal care aides must follow specific rules and protocols to help take care of clients. They must pay close attention to a client’s medical condition, quickly noting any changes that may require assistance from medical personnel.

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

Interpersonal skills. 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. Personal care aides should be comfortable performing physical tasks. They often need to lift or turn clients who have a disability.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Personal care aides may be required to complete a formal training program depending on the state where they work, and state laws vary widely in terms of the requirements that must be met. Some states and organizations may conduct background checks on prospective aides. A competency evaluation also may be required to ensure that the aide can perform certain tasks.

There are no federal training requirements for personal care aides. For specific state requirements, contact the state’s health board.

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Average Length of Employment
Group Home Worker 2.5 years
Personal Assistant 2.3 years
Support Worker 2.2 years
Residential Worker 2.1 years
Direct Care Worker 2.1 years
Support Staff 2.0 years
Personal Attendant 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Personal Support Worker
Cashier 10.9%
Volunteer 8.7%
Internship 6.6%
Teacher 4.4%
Teller 3.6%
Server 2.9%
Nanny 2.7%
Top Careers After Personal Support Worker
Cashier 9.6%
Internship 9.2%
Volunteer 8.3%
Teller 3.8%
Supervisor 3.3%
Teacher 3.3%
Associate 3.3%
Cleaner 2.9%

Do you work as a Personal Support Worker?

Personal Support Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

71.2%

Male

27.6%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

67.6%

Hispanic or Latino

12.7%

Black or African American

9.2%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.8%

French

9.7%

German

6.5%

Hindi

6.5%

Filipino

3.2%

Chinese

3.2%

Samoan

3.2%

Mandarin

3.2%

Urdu

3.2%

Korean

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%
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Personal Support Worker Education

Schools

Illinois State University

9.1%

University of Oregon

8.0%

Rhode Island College

6.8%

Lane Community College

5.7%

Chemeketa Community College

5.7%

University of Phoenix

5.7%

University of South Florida

4.5%

California University of Pennsylvania

4.5%

Temple University

4.5%

Portland State University

4.5%

Northern Illinois University

4.5%

Central Connecticut State University

4.5%

Oregon State University

4.5%

Liberty University

4.5%

Drexel University

4.5%

Capella University

4.5%

Central Georgia Technical College

3.4%

University of Rhode Island

3.4%

Ashford University

3.4%

Southern Oregon University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

14.6%

Psychology

11.9%

Nursing

9.9%

Criminal Justice

7.9%

Social Work

7.6%

Education

4.3%

Accounting

4.3%

Counseling Psychology

4.0%

Health Care Administration

4.0%

Special Education

3.6%

Sociology

3.3%

Computer Science

3.0%

General Studies

3.0%

Human Services

3.0%

Management

2.6%

Elementary Education

2.6%

English

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Medical Assisting Services

2.6%

Ethnic, Gender And Minority Studies

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.1%

Other

29.0%

Masters

13.8%

Associate

9.7%

Certificate

5.9%

Diploma

4.3%

Doctorate

1.6%

License

0.5%
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Top Skills for A Personal Support Worker

  1. Independent Living
  2. Personal Care
  3. Support Person
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted patients with daily living tasks to aid independent living and promote a home-like environment.
  • Performed personal care duties to ensure client hygiene* Completed supportive and personal cares
  • Employed as the Facilities Support Person, supporting Environmental Services and Maintenance.
  • Assisted autistic woman with her daily life activities-Provided medical assistance with seizures-Personal hygiene-Administered medication-Prepared meals and snacks-Assisted in her volunteer activities
  • Performed various clerical duties to improve office efficiency including answering phones, data entry and filing.

How Would You Rate Working As a Personal Support Worker?

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Top Personal Support Worker Employers

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