For those who have chronic illnesses, live with disabilities or have severe cognitive impairments, home health aides provide personalized care and help. Having this type of healthcare worker in their homes allows many to keep up some independence and avoid full-time living in nursing home facilities. Depending on state laws, home health aides can even administer medications and check patient vital signs under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or other licensed healthcare professional.
Home Health Aide Job Education Requirements
No formal training is usually necessary to accept a job as a home health aide. Most companies require a high school diploma or its equal at the least for qualified applicants. Those working in licensed hospice or home health businesses may need to successfully complete a certified training course from an approved institution and pass an exam. Coursework covers basic life support, CPR, core healthcare concepts, terminology and first aid. Many programs allow home health aides to complete the training program online or in a traditional classroom setting.
Home Health Aide Job Market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job market for home health aides to grow by 48 percent from 2012 through 2022 -- that's "much faster than average." The growth of the retirement population in the United States is the chief catalyst for new jobs in this industry. As of 2013, federal research data says that more than 800,000 people in the country work in this field. The largest segment, 332,480 home health aides, work in the home health care services field for larger healthcare companies. New York, as of the same reporting year, employs the largest number of home health aides at 128,480.
Home Health Aide Job Salary Information
As of 2013, the mean annual salary for home health aides is $22,050 with a mean hourly wage of $10.60. Pay can increase with length of employment, additional certifications, and experience. Aides can use this job as an entry way into larger managerial opportunities, such as nursing home manager, which come with better pay and benefits.
The median, or middle 50 percent, of workers in the home health aide field earned slightly less at $21,020 annually, or $10.10 per hour. The highest paying employers for home health aides are physicians' offices and psychiatric hospitals, which pay $27,490 and $37,380 per year, respectively. The more than 300,000 working directly for home health care service providers earn $21,830 per year, or $10.50 per hour.